The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

August 4, 2013

Telework recruiting residents into program

Prepares workers for jobs in the telework industry

Sen. Joe Manchin

— Telework West Virginia, an initiative designed to train residents for telework positions, develop a database of employers who offer legitimate work-from-home positions, and foster the growth of home-based businesses in rural communities, met Thursday in Ansted to recruit local residents into a training program that is set to start Aug. 36.

Telework West Virginia is operated through Bridgemont Community and Technical College.

“We’ll be offering two tracks during our 15-week training program,” said Holly Clark, program director at Bridgemont. “Our business incubation track is suited for those interested in starting their own business from home, while the Telework training track is geared toward those who would like to obtain a telecommuting job.”

 According to 2010 census data, 70 percent of West Virginians live in communities of fewer than 2,500 residents, Clark reported.

“We need to keep our small communities thriving to make West Virginia thrive,” said program coordinator Ginger Danz.

“Telework offers the chance for workers to live and work in their home communities.  

“By avoiding long commutes and relocation, people have more time and energy to volunteer, sit on boards of local organizations and engage in other types of community building.”

Ansted Mayor R.A. “Pete” Hobbs attended the meeting.

“I believe strongly that if we can empower our citizens by providing them with fundamental tools, we will grant them the ability and opportunity to leverage jobs without leaving the state or their community for employment,” said Hobbs.

Joshua Ball, a West Virginia native and director of a partner program, Kentucky Teleworks, said the program has been successful in the Bluegrass State.

“It’s all about increasing our capability to serve rural communities with residents who are in search of jobs,“ said Ball. “We have had great success in placing local Kentucky citizens into telework opportunities, and I see great promise in the Northern Fayette County Telework Training program.”

Telework West Virginia aims to strengthen rural communities and to connect employees with work-from-home positions.