Digital Works Graduate Says Program Prepares Students for Future of Work

“If you look at the statistics, just about one in 11 jobs are work-from-home positions.”

Class of 2014: Daniel Taylor

Sandusky, OH. (August 5, 2020) – Daniel Taylor discovered the Digital Works program in an unexpected place back in 2014.

“I was at the gym when I heard an announcement about a job fair,” he explained. “I went to that, and just when I was about to exit I saw this guy who said, ‘I can teach you to work from home.’ I thought, ‘Well, that sounds interesting.’”

Taylor had just returned to Sandusky, Ohio, to care for his aging parents after living in Trinidad and Tobago for nearly 10 years. Because he’d been working outside the U.S. for so long, there weren’t a lot of positions available to him. That is until he found Digital Works—a job training and placement assistance program that the national nonprofit Connected Nation created in 2013.

“I was pretty impressed with the program. It opened up a whole new world for me,” said Taylor. “I didn’t realize there were so many opportunities.”

He leveraged his new training to build a career that spanned several companies. Over the last six years, he has taken on multiple roles and responsibilities within the customer relations sphere and tried new things along the way. From Nissan consumer relations to now providing guidance to patients waiting to take COVID-19 antibody tests at 35 locations in New York, Taylor says he has evolved and grown with each new opportunity.

“I’m now helping people get their test results and access the portal. The experience and training from Digital Works has served me very well for this job and my past positions,” he said. “I’m a 70-year-old man, so I appreciate it even more because of my age. I’m pretty active, but I dread the thought of going out and doing manual labor. Being able to work from home, answer the phone, and solve problems or provide guidance for callers is something I can now do with no sweat.”

According to Taylor, the work-at-home industry has grown quickly—partly due to the pandemic, but also because companies are increasingly understanding that they can move online.

“This is the wave of the future. If you look at the statistics, just about one in 11 jobs are work-from-home positions,” he said. “That is going to just keep growing. The good news is the pay is competitive and the convenience of working from home is just priceless. With so much demand, you can really move up quickly if you simply apply yourself.”

Daniel Taylor

Daniel Taylor

Upon completing the Digital Works program, participants obtain formal certifications from the National Retail Federation making them more marketable for digital positions. In addition, Digital Works staff continue mentoring students long after they graduate and provide guidance as students begin applying for new jobs.

On July 27, 2020, Digital Works marked its 1,000 th job placement. Taylor believes in the program so much that he’s stayed in touch with Tammy Spring, the Operations Manager for Digital Works.

“I have been talking to Tammy for years. She’s a great resource, someone you can turn to if you’re looking to grow your career long after you’re done with the program,” Taylor said. “I call her even if it’s about something good that’s happened. I just say, ‘Hey Tammy, guess what?’ She’s always excited for me and encouraging. Her passion for the program is contagious.”

Taylor points to his own success as an example of how impactful the training—and the commitment of Digital Works staff—is for the program’s graduates.

“It’s a door-opener and an eye-opener,” he said. “If you start with the mindset that you’re going to apply yourself, you’ll be surprised. You could be a supervisor in a year. The demand is so great that this is the right time to get into the field, and Digital Works can help you do it.”

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