How the Ohio County Economic Development Alliance is Helping Residents Find Work Amid COVID-19 Closures

Hartford, Ky. (June 04, 2020) – The Ohio County Economic Development Alliance (OCEDA) is celebrating the completion of its first all virtual Digital Works class. The program provides technology training and job placement assistance for online teleworking jobs—a critical part of workforce development.

“We understand that families and individuals in Ohio County are looking for new opportunities,” said Jodi Ashby, Executive Director, OCEDA. “Our organization has provided training opportunities in the past, but Digital Works partners with more than 70 companies nationwide and we knew this would open up new avenues to jobs and future careers.”

Digital Works is a program developed by the Kentucky-based national nonprofit Connected Nation (CN). The training and mentoring is designed for placement in typically a four- to six-week cycle with a conservative 80 percent job placement rate.

“Our Digital Works’ facilitators mentor graduates for work-at-home careers and promote a co-working peer network,” said Tammy Spring, Operations Manager, Digital Works. “Job retention and advancement depend on the skill and will of each participant. The classes are intentionally small so that we can better serve every student during instruction and while applying for positions.”

The program was offered across Ohio County at no cost to residents. Seven graduates just completed the course.  They are Christina Carpenter, Fatisha Wilkerson, Mercedes Howell, Ivee Lobberding, Morgan Johnson, Lyndsey McKinley, and Sarah Chinn.

“We want to congratulate each of the graduates who finished the program despite unexpected changes. The classes were originally set to take place at The Hub in Hartford but when coronavirus closures began we had to take a new approach,” said Ashby. “Digital Works and OCDEA staff had to be flexible—taking the program completely virtual so that the students who had signed up could still get the training and job placement assistance they needed.  This became even more critical with COVID-19 as a majority of employees across the U.S. were told to work from home.”

Digital Works was developed by CN in 2013 to meet a growing need for employees who are trained in digital skills and working remotely. CN works with companies that need individuals to fill remote and in-demand jobs which provide new employment opportunities and a larger tax base for the local community.

“The Ohio County Economic Development Alliance is taking a positive step toward helping local residents take part in the flourishing job market of telework and work-at-home opportunities. Forty percent more U.S. employers offer flexible workplace options than they did just five years ago*,” said Chris Pedersen, VP of Planning and Development, CN. “The work-at-home population has grown an incredible 159 percent since 2005, more than 11 times faster than the rest of the workforce. These numbers were before the pandemic. So, we will likely see an even larger jump now that more employers have seen that working from home as a viable option for their workforce.”

To learn more about Digital Works head to; to learn more about OCEDA go to

*Data cited in the above can be found under Telecommuting Trend Data (updated August 16, 2019)on

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Contacts: Jessica Denson

Communications Director

(502) 341-2024

Digital Works, a program of Connected Nation, connects people to leading-edge customer support and IT jobs for global corporations by providing training, mentorship, and job placement assistance, as well as the opportunity for advanced careers.

Connected Nation’s mission is to improve lives by providing innovative solutions that expand the access, adoption, and use of broadband (high-speed internet) and its related technologies to all people. We believe that everyone belongs in a Connected Nation. For more information, please visit: www.connectednation.orgor follow Connected Nation on Facebookand Twitter.

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