Video: Digital Works Participant Excels In Program One Year Later

Video produced by: Lyndsey Kleven

Written by: Zach Gerhardt

Finding work continues to be a struggle for many jobless Americans, especially those living in rural areas. Gary Chandler was part of the first Digital Works group in Zanesville, which was established as a pilot location last summer when Connect Ohio launched its Digital Works initiative in summer of 2013.

One year later, more than 150 Ohioans, including Chandler, have been able to find employment opportunities through Digital Works. Digital Works provides people who are unemployed or underemployed with the training they need and connects them to twenty-first century jobs.

“It’s been about six months since I’ve been out of work, I was starting to get a little nervous. It’s good to get going again,” said Chandler.

One of the many benefits of Digital Works is the comfort and flexibility of the hours workers put in. Upon completion of training, Digital Works allows employees to plan their own schedules and work from home. Many Ohioans now have found work because of the Digital Works program, and enjoy setting manageable work hours based on their needs.

“My day may start at nine but I may not finish up until nine or ten at night. I get to the point where I have to take days off and relax,” said Chandler. “ It’s getting to the point where it is starting to be fun.”

Prior to coming to Digital Works, Chandler struggled to get job interviews and paying his bills. The Digital Works program expresses to future employers the dedication that these workers put forth. By completing the training people like Chandler are educated and prepared for twenty-first century careers.

“I’m starting to make money to be able to do things and pay bills and sustain myself—it’s at the point where I’m like, how much can I make now? So it’s not worrying about making enough money to cover all of that stuff, I’m meeting that and now it’s how far can I go?”

Once participants have completed the training, they are able to start in a level one customer service position. After a short nesting period of working from the Digital Works center, participants can then choose to work from home (if technology requirements are met) or continue working from the Digital Works center.

From here, additional training can be taken for more advanced positions. The next advancement positions allow participants to start working on dedicated phone lines for specific companies. Beyond this, additional advancement opportunities are available in web content writing and computer programming.

With ten locations currently open in Ohio, Digital Works is continuing to grow.

For additional information on Digital Works, visit:

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