The Ohio County Economic Development Alliance has partnered with Connected Nation to bring a Digital Works program to Ohio County.

Connected Nations is a non-profit organization with an initiative to help bridge the digital divide in targeted communities. The organization created the Digital Works, a 4-week program to provide virtual job training in addition to job placement services and mentoring.

OCEDA Director Jody Ashby said the program is more than just job training, it actually connects people to potential employers.

Christina Carpenter, an administrative assistant with OCEDA who has taken the virtual course, said the program is both easy to navigate and informative, giving those enrolled useful tools to find potential employers.

“The first four weeks are spent in class and we go over different aspects of customer service … and for the remaining time, we work with the facilitator to brush up resumes, get everything polished and looking good,” she said.

According to Carpenter, Connected Nations partners with about 70 employers with whom to connect Digital Works students. She said each class has a facilitator available to help those enrolled seek out flexible jobs that cater to each individual’s specific needs.

“Some people, they have kids and they can’t work during the day,” Carpenter said.

All jobs through Digital Works are done remotely through a digital platform. Many of the jobs have quick advancement opportunities and are customer service based, according to Carpenter.

“One of my classmates from the last round, she lives in Hartford and she works for TeleTech and she’s not even been there a year yet and they’ve already promoted her twice,” she said.

Carpenter said since the COVID-19 pandemic, Digital Works classes have become more frequent with many people being out of work and with the increased need for virtual-based employment.

Additionally, Carpenter said OCEDA is offering its Hub workspace as part of the Digital Works program to those taking the virtual training who do not have reliable internet access at home. The Hub, located in the OCEDA office space on Peach Alley in Hartford, also has available office space for rent.

OCEDA is hoping to start the Digital Works program by mid-November, according to Ashby. The class needs at least seven people enrolled to begin, she said.

All training is completely virtual and free to Ohio County residents. Anyone interested in enrolling can contact the OCEDA office for additional information.

Christie Netherton, cnetherton@mcleannews.com, 270-691-7360

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