Digital Works streamlines teleworking in rural Ohio

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Digital Works, a training program that prepares applicants for telework employment, opened its second location in Logan, Ohio. According to Connect Ohio, which is a subsidiary of the larger Connected Nation, the Digital Works program selects vacant buildings and transforms them into job incubators that aim to provide mentoring and training to applicants seeking employment. Upon the successful completion of the Digital Works training program, the applicants are then placed into quality teleworking jobs that match their skills and interests. 

The Digital Works website is the hub of the program's activity, and it's where new applicants can apply for teleworking placement. Applicants fill out a simple form on the main website, free of charge, that asks for basic identification, current employment status, education and training and internet and computer availability. Another section on the website allows employers to contact Digital Works to set up an avenue of employment for new hires, who will first be screened, trained and certified by Connected Nation. New applicant training will take place at Digital Works locations in Zanesville and Logan.

Of the participants who enrolled in the Zanesville location, 75 percent have successfully secured employment as a result of the training program. Training is done through a digital learning model, whereupon the applicant will be assessed, trained, placed, mentored and then employed in job sectors where demand is high. Digital Works guarantees that at the end of the training program, the skills and interests of the applicants will determine where they are placed. 

"Proving the success through our job numbers is a strong indicator for the program; however, the greatest impact that Digital Works is having is on the participants' lives after helping them to secure employment," said Stu Johnson, executive director of Connect Ohio. 

21st century jobs the solution to missing job opportunities
According to Sen. Sherrod Brown, Digital Works' efforts have been pivotal to revitalizing Ohio's economy. Brown refers directly to teleworking jobs as a key to success in the state of Ohio, citing the innovative training and mentoring programs as the catalysts. According to Connect Ohio, partial funding for Digital Works comes from the U.S. Department of Commerce Broadband Technology Opportunities (BTOP). 

Digital Works has expanded with its newest location. Connect Ohio has partnered with Hocking County Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) and Frontier Communications to further develop Digital Works. The executive director of CIC, Bill Rinehart, is confident that the impact of the Digital Works location in Logan will employ "a couple hundred employees."

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