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Digital Works marks milestone — 1,000 jobs — in telework training and job placement program

The digital training and career mentoring program Digital Works recently marked a major milestone — 1,000 job placements. The 1000th job placement was filled by an Army veteran.

Connected Nation, the national nonprofit that founded Digital Works, is hosting a virtual celebration on Aug. 6 to celebrate the milestone, those who made it possible, and the graduates of the program. Connected Nation will also announce future plans for Digital Works, including how communities can bring it to their area.

“The significance of this milestone cannot be overstated. That number represents young adults, military spouses and veterans, people with physical disabilities, senior citizens, individuals living in rural areas with few job opportunities, and so many others who just needed an opportunity to change their lives in positive ways,” said Tom Ferree, Chairman and CEO, Connected Nation. “Digital Works focuses on remote work opportunities which can be leveraged by people with all kinds of backgrounds who are living anywhere in the country. It’s one reason we have had a high rate of success helping military spouses — these jobs can move with them.”

Military spouses have some of the highest unemployment rates in the country simply because they must move with their spouse when he or she is deployed. Thanks to funding from the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet and Kentucky Veterans Program Trust Fund, Digital Works launched classes in the Fort Campbell area in February aimed at helping military spouses and veterans.

The Fort Campbell location for Digital Works, which is helping military spouses and veterans.

“Every time someone gets a job you can feel the excitement. We all celebrate together,” said Tammy Spring, Operations Manager, Digital Works. “We’ve always limited our class size in an effort to establish community. Smaller classes provide better opportunities for bonds to be formed and relationships to be built. I’m still in contact with graduates from our very first classes and love following their careers. In addition, many of our alumni assist with mentoring new graduates.”

In response to the pandemic, the Fort Campbell location expanded beyond its brick-and-mortar classes in March, offering virtual classes to military spouses, veterans, and spouses of veterans across Kentucky.

“The shutdowns that began to happen due to the pandemic have only emphasized the need for and importance of programs such as Digital Works,” said Chris Pedersen, VP of Planning and Development, Connected Nation. “Many employees were suddenly having to work from home, and businesses had this unexpected need for people who were trained in online work skills. As a result, we’ve seen the opportunities for telework grow at a staggering rate, and these new positions are likely here to stay. That means there are new opportunities for those who can provide the skillsets needed.”

Digital Works was founded in 2013 by Connected Nation — a national nonprofit with a mission to find innovative solutions to expand access, adoption, and use of high-speed internet and its related technologies.

“Several years ago, our staff working in communities across the country began to see a glaring trend: Digital literacy and job training was a missing piece when it came to workforce development in both rural and urban areas alike. It was from this observation that Digital Works was born,” said Ferree.

The program leverages a network of more than 70 companies nationwide. Staff works with those employers to address what skillsets they’re looking for in new hires and apply that to the classroom setting.

Anyone is welcome to attend the virtual celebration. Visit us02web.zoom.us to register and take part.

From Digital Works

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