Floyd County Judge-Executive Robbie Williams reported this week that the county is collaborating with Teleworks USA to provide home-based jobs for Floyd County residents.

Teleworks USA is currently looking to fill 300 jobs, Williams reported, and will hold two job offer sessions — limited to 30 people who pre-register per session — on Nov. 13 in the Floyd County courthouse.

At the event, Teleworks USA staff will inform participants how the program can help them with job preparation, resume building, job applications and certificates in job preparation. 

Job offers will be presented that day, Teleworks USA reports, and the full-time positions are $12 per hour. Candidates must be able to pass a background check and provide their own equipment, such as a computer, for these jobs. 

Teleworks USA, based in Hazard, was launched by the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program in 2011 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2009. The program is geared to provide home-based employment opportunities for residents throughout Eastern Kentucky. It partners with nationally-known companies for these jobs. 

Teleworks hubs are located in several communities, including locally in Pikeville and Hazard. 

Teleworks USA is also hosting job offer sessions on Nov. 11 from 10 a.m. to noon or 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Pikeville Teleworks Hub, located at 180 Ford Mountain Rd. in Pikeville, as well as on Nov. 13 from 9 a.m. to noon or 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Magoffin County Health Department.

Williams said he learned about these open positions while meeting in Louisville with a Jackson County official who told him the program created 700 jobs in his county.

“He basically said that the two biggest hurdles they had in their county was the same hurdles that we have, transportation issues and child care issues,” Williams said. 

He said he researched the program and learned that Teleworks USA was looking to fill 800 jobs.

“They asked if we would be willing to partner up with them and fill the positions and we told them absolutely,” Williams said. “I didn’t know if we could fill 800, but we’d block out 300 and try to fill 150, and then another 150.”

He said he is working to coordinate another job offer session at the Knott County Sportsplex. 

He said the jobs offered as part of this program are from Concentrix, an international company that offers, among other things, customer service centers. Williams said the company partners with major businesses like Apple, Intuit and Quickbooks, Turbo Tax, Nationwide, iTunes and others. 

“I know these are good jobs because through my tax office we have folks that I do stuff for now that work for Apple and Verizon,” Williams said. “And this is a good opportunity for folks to get their foot in the door and then they can move on to higher-paying jobs.” 

He said Floyd County residents who are hired for these positions will have the opportunity to advance into permanent positions, which offer benefit packages. 

“What it does for us is, you know, we have folks that live in Wheelwright that say, hey, we just don’t have a car to get to work; there are no jobs up here,” he said. “So, this gives us an opportunity ... to bring this opportunity to you and your house. You’re not having to drive to Prestonsburg to work. We’re bringing the opportunity directly to you. I’m excited about it. I think it’s a win-win.” 

He said these jobs are “ideal for stay-at-home moms, retirees, folks who need to get their foot in the door.” 

Williams reported that 900 people have applied for 200 positions that were announced recently by state officials in Wheelwright. The state is currently negotiating a lease to reopen the former Ottercreek Correctional Facility and staff it with state employees. 

The Kentucky Center for Statistics reported that unemployment was 6.4 percent in September in counties located in the East Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program service area. 

The Kentucky Center for Statistics issued a report in September that ranked Floyd County, Pike County, Letcher County and Harlan counties as the five counties with the largest decreases in populations, statewide, between 2008 and 2018. In that time, Floyd County lost 3,606 residents, while the decreases were 6,622 in Pike and 2,620 in Perry counties. 

The report also showed that while employment increased in larger metropolitan areas of Kentucky between 2008 and 2018, the counties served by the East Kentucky Concentrate Employment Program were among five areas that experienced a decrease in the number of people employed during that timeframe. 

To pre-register for the upcoming job offer sessions, contact Regina Tackett at (606) 624-7027 or Billy Carrico at (606) 438-5535. 

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