Letcher Countian Wesley Cornett took the road fairly often travelled by young Southeastern Kentuckians. After hearing of the abundant opportunities available out of the area, he made the decision to move away from home.
In 2015, Cornett and his wife moved from Jeremiah, Ky., to Georgetown, Ky., in hopes that an opportunity to work with the Toyota plant would help get their life started. Unfortunately, not all prospects work out the way we want them to.
“We were really aiming to live around here (Letcher County) instead of moving off, but we had to try it out in Georgetown,” Cornett explains as he untangles his headset in his Teleworks USA office in Hazard. “We lived in Georgetown for probably like four months or something, and it was just too crowded, too many people—everybody from this area is trying to move down there.”
“It just wasn’t a future that we could see wanting to raise our children up in,” he adds, shaking his head.
After encountering an issue with the contractor he was hired under, Cornett said he knew this move wasn’t for his family. In December 2015, he and his wife moved back home.
Moving back to the same area that he had left because of a lack of employment opportunities left Cornett with a huge weight on his shoulders coming into the New Year. Job searches came up with no leads, and so he began to look to local job fairs for job openings.
“In February, there was a job fair at LKLP. I had come to the job fair to work for a specific company . . . I was pretty deadest on what I was going to do, I was like, there’s no other job here,” Cornett says. “My wife told me, you need to keep your eyes open, there might be another opportunity up here. It’s ironic because that’s where I stumbled upon Teleworks.”
An initiative of the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP), Teleworks USA identifies and develops legitimate remote-work, distance learning opportunities, and helps people prepare for and land these jobs through its website, teleworks.com. Teleworks USA also operates hubs in Annville, Beattyville, Booneville, Harlan, Hazard, and Pike County that offer workspace and workshop learning opportunities for teleworkers who may not have access to suitable internet speeds or computer equipment at home.
After speaking with Teleworks USA representatives at the job fair, Cornett visited the Hazard Teleworks Hub the next day to get the process of applying for teleworking jobs underway.
“I had to fill out my application, fill out all my paperwork,” he explains, adding that he applied first with a global gaming and software company through Sutherland CloudSource. “I had to go through five different interviews . . . It was a pretty extensive process.”
Cornett admits that the process was difficult and lengthy, but he knew it was worth it to have a job he would be excited to work at.
“I didn’t want just a regular job, I wanted something that I’d love to do,” he says, smiling.
After nearly two months of interviews and testing, Cornett finally heard back from the company that he’d landed the job.
Cornett was able to telework for nearly six months before extenuating circumstances caused he and his family to have to relocate and for him to find other employment. Even though he had to leave the company, Cornett says he’s blown away at the opportunities that have been brought to this region because of Teleworks.
“I would say that it’s a very trustworthy company. They’re not going to scam you or post anything that would be a fake job that you wouldn’t be able to trust,” he says. “I feel like the future for this are programs like Teleworks.”
EKCEP, a nonprofit workforce development agency headquartered in Hazard, Ky., serves the citizens of 23 Appalachian coalfield counties. The agency provides an array of workforce development services, administers the Hiring Our Miners Everyday (H.O.M.E.) program for dislocated coal miners and their spouses, and is the White House-designated lead organization for the federal TechHire designation for Eastern Kentucky. Learn more about us at http://www.ekcep.org, http://www.jobsight.org and http://www.facebook.com/ekcep.