Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Career Services connecting jobseekers and employers   no comments

Posted at 2:23 pm in News

New hires at Harbor Freight Tools in Paintsville were able to complete their computer-based training at the BSACAP office just down the road from the new store while it was being prepared for the grand opening.

Harbor Freight Tools, a retailer providing a variety of tools, automotive supplies, and home improvement items, opened a new store in Paintsville last month and Big Sandy Community Action Program’s Career Services team helped them to connect with strong candidates for employment and get them ready to start their new jobs.

In coordination with Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP) and Kentucky Career Centers, BSACAP’s Community Action Career Services team assisted the company in finding, hiring, and onboarding employees in time for the grand opening.
Harbor Freight connected with BSACAP’s Employer Account Representative who learned about the company’s local employment needs and expectations.

In order to ensure that the company was able to open the Paintsville store on time, BSACAP advertised for and then hosted a job fair at the Country Music Highway Museum. Over 200 local jobseekers were able to meet with company representatives and participate in on-the-spot interviews. Career Advisors ensured the event moved smoothly by assisting jobseekers with registration and paperwork.

Community Action Career Services Manager Erica Ash said, “The central goal of our work is developing the local economy. So we want to help our clients through the hiring process from start to finish. We are working to help people access the education and training they need to be strong employees and then helping them connect to employers. And employers know they can reach out to us when they are looking for strong candidates to work for them and when they need help with planning for their growing businesses.”

After a busy and successful job fair, the store’s new hires needed to complete begin their training; however, work was still being completed on the store’s interior and everyone needed to stay on schedule.

After learning of the store’s needs, BSACAP was able to arrange for Store Manager Billy McGuire to conduct the computer-based portion of the onboarding process at the Paintsville Community Action office. By providing the employer with a conference room and computers, along with internet and phone access, BSACAP ensured that the new area business was able to open the store on time and with 40 new employees.

Mike Howell, Executive Director of BSACAP said, “This company offered 40 new jobs to local people who will be paid over the minimum wage and who have opportunities to earn bonuses. We need to see more employers moving into the area who are ready to pay better wages. It is wonderful to that people are setting up shop in our area and we want to support them any way we possibly can.”

BSACAP’s Community Action Career Services are made available to jobseekers and employers through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA).

Written by Sarah Hill on March 22nd, 2018

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BSACAP makes hiring easy for new business   no comments

Posted at 2:20 pm in News

When Logan Corporation set up shop in Salyersville, they began reaching out to local partners to help their business grow and thrive. Their research into hiring in the region and their area connections pointed them to Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program and Big Sandy Area Community Action Program’s Employer Services Team, who helped them find the best path to success for them.

Joey Osborne, the Employer Account Representative for BSACAP, met with Randy Risner, the General Manager over Manufacturing and Chief Design Engineer for Logan Corp. Risner explained that he had a lot of a lot of interest from applicants, but wading through the stacks of applications was time consuming and reached a point where it was unhelpful. “We had a lot of applicants coming in, but there were a lot people who had no background in the work. Hiring anyone is a gamble, but I just had a big stack of papers and not much information to go on,” Risner said.

BSACAP’s Employer Account Representative introduced Risner to the options available to him through the Employer Services Team. Once Risner explained his needs, BSACAP’s WIOA Career Advisors began screening applicants and making referrals for truly qualified applicants. Risner said that having a steady stream of vetted applicants made his hiring work much easier. “There are a lot people who just sign up to sign up with us. I would rather see applicants who are going through a hiring program and who are looking for work in the right way, the smart way. They are the ones who tend to last longer.”

And employee retention rates are critical to Logan’s success. Risner explained, “We have clients and customers who make yearly orders. Most of the time, they want exactly what they had the year before. If I have a high turnover rate, I won’t have people who have a clue what was done the year before.”

Additionally, Risner must train an employee for two to three months before they know the work and they need at least a year before they become fully reliable workers due to the nature of products the company produces. BSACAP is able to assist him with this as well through cost-sharing on-the-job training opportunities. During the time an employee is being trained, some of the cost of that employee is offset by funds made available through the Employer Services Team as part of the National Emergency Grant and WIOA.

For Logan Corporation, having vetted applicants and being able to offset the cost of training new hires by working with EKCEP and BSACAP provided them with a reliable path to growth.

Written by Sarah Hill on March 22nd, 2018

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Moving from coal to the classroom   no comments

Posted at 2:18 pm in News

Pictured is Corey Conley, who lost his job repairing coal mining equipment due to the downturn in the industry. After working with BSACAP, Conley became a trained CNC machinist and is teaching others his trade at the new eKAMI school in Paintsville.

Corey Conley, a resident of Paintsville, performed equipment repair for mining operations in the area and his work was based out of Huntington, WV. In July of 2016, Conley was laid off from his job due to the downturn in the coal industry. “Your life changes dramatically when you’re laid off. All of a sudden you have to worry about providing for your family where everything was taken care of before,” he said.

As a dislocated worker, Conley was eligible to take part in the Community Impact Grant administered through Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program and Big Sandy Area Community Action Program. The Community Impact Grant is a National Emergency Grant. It provides funds to assist individuals who served in ancillary positions to the coal industry to receive education and training that will help them to transition into new work.

Conley said that he had always been mechanically inclined and felt that becoming a machinist would be a great new path for him. With the assistance of BSACAP’s Career Advisor Sandy Grimm, Conley prepared to attend the CNC Machinist School in Indiana. The training required for his certification meant that he spent nearly four months away from home, but it gave him a great opportunity to meet new people and study with really good instructors. Conley said that working with Grimm was great. “Sandy was awesome. She told me up front that it was going to be hard, but she made sure that I had everything that I needed for school and she called to check in and make sure that everything was going well,” he said.

After receiving his certification, Conley became an instructor at the East Kentucky Advanced Manufacturing Institute (eKAMI) in his hometown of Paintsville and began teaching classes.

EKAMI opened in February and will offer 16-week training courses in fields related to advanced manufacturing including machine building and tool maintenance required for both the general private sector and the aerospace industry.

After spending eight years driving to Huntington for work every day, Conley is excited to have steady work closer to home.

BSACAP’s Community Action Career Services are made available to jobseekers and employers through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA).

Written by Sarah Hill on March 22nd, 2018

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A GED and a whole new life   no comments

Posted at 2:14 pm in News

Esther Kirk, of Martin County, has a whole new life now that she has her GED and gets to work out in the community. She is a participant in BSACAP’s Senior Community Service Employment Program and studied with the Martin County Adult Education Skills-U.

“I’ve dreamed of this my whole life,” said Esther Kirk of Martin County after receiving her GED. Kirk joined Big Sandy Area Community Action Program’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) and began to find a new way forward in life after living through some tough years.

When Kirk was just 16 years-old her mother passed away and she took on the responsibility of raising her 13 year-old and 3 year-old siblings. “There was not much income. We had it hard,” she said. She married at age 14 and had three children of her own who kept her busy. “I raised gardens. I canned. I milked cows. I churned butter. And I babysat for the rest of the family,” she said.

“I never went to a prom. I never went to a high school. I never had the childhood things that other kids had. It was just out of the question for me,” she said.

Years later, Kirk would find herself looking for a new start. Her husband, who was also her childhood sweetheart, passed away 12 years ago. Her children are grown. And she was living on a small fixed income. It was time to look for a job.

Kirk heard about the SCSEP from a friend who had been through the program. Through the program and with the assistance of Martin County Adult Education, Kirk began a new life of studying and working outside of the home.

She said that studying for her exam was really hard. “It was all new to me. Back, 50-some years ago, I only went to the 8th grade. I didn’t have algebra. I didn’t have the decimal points. I didn’t have any of the new stuff they’ve got today. So I had to really work hard. And I had good teachers to help me.”

Through SCSEP Kirk was also able to be hired for the first time for work outside the home. As a participant in the program, she has been able to hold positions with Goodwill, Appalachian Reach Out, and at Sheldon Clark High School.

Kirk, who didn’t get to spend time in high school when she was younger, now gets to regularly work with high school students working in the county high school’sResource Center. “They’re all sweet kids and my two bosses are great.” She said, “My jobs have been very rewarding. I’m out in the public a lot now. I always stayed home with my kids and very seldom went any place and now I’m just everywhere!”

Returning to her GED, she said, “My high school diploma is something that I have wanted all my life. I’ve dreamed of having it all my life. And I always felt beneath everybody because I only went through the 8th grade.” But now that she has it, nothing is going to stop her. She has even signed up to take a college computer class and keep herself moving forward.

She said, “I feel like I’m up with everybody else. I feel proud and blessed.”

Big Sandy Area Community Action’s Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is a program designed to help low-income people over the age of 55 to receive the job training, education, and support they may need to find employment.

Written by Sarah Hill on March 22nd, 2018

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LIHEAP Crisis Heating Assistance Available   no comments

Posted at 10:08 am in News

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program (BSACAP) will be taking applications for the Crisis component of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) beginning Monday, Jan. 8, 2018. Applications will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis until March 31 or until funds are exhausted.

The Crisis component of LIHEAP provides assistance to low-income households experiencing heating emergencies.

Households are considered to be in a home heating crisis if:

  • the household is within four days of running out of fuel if bulk fuel (coal, fuel oil, propane, kerosene, or wood) is the primary heating source; or
  • the household has received a disconnect notice if natural gas or electric is the heating source; or
  • the household’s home heating costs are included in the rent and the household has received an eviction notice for non-payment of rent.

To be eligible for Crisis assistance, households must verify their address, verify a heating crisis exists and meet federal income eligibility guidelines. Applicants also must apply in their county of residence.

In addition, applicants must present the following:

  • Proof of household income for prior month;
  • Birthdates for all household members;
  • Social security card or official documentation with social security numbers for each member of household.

Applications will be taken at the following BSACAP service offices from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:

 

Floyd County

60 Court Street

Allen, Ky.

606-874-3595

 

Martin County

387 E. Main Street

Inez, Ky.

606-298-3217

Johnson County

230 Court Street

Paintsville, Ky.

606-789-6515

 

Pike County

478 Town Mountain Road

Pikeville, Ky.

606-432-2775

Magoffin County

131 S. Church Street

Salyersville, Ky.

606-349-2217

 

 

LIHEAP, a national energy assistance initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is funded in Kentucky by the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services and Community Action Kentucky.

 

Written by Sarah Hill on January 3rd, 2018

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Heating assistance subsidy signups end Friday, Dec. 15   no comments

Posted at 2:46 pm in News

The subsidy portion of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), administered by Big Sandy Area Community Action, will end this Friday, December 15th. Low-income individuals and families in need of assistance should visit the Community Action office in their county before 4:30 p.m. on Friday.

LIHEAP is a federally-funded program that helps low-income households with their home energy bills. By ensuring proper heating, the risk of health and safety problems such as illness, fire, or eviction is reduced. This important federal program helps provide heating assistance to over 100,000 families in Kentucky each year.  It operates in two components:  the subsidy component and the crisis component.

Individuals seeking assistance during the subsidy component must meet income eligibility requirements and bring the following information with them when they sign up:

  1. Proof of Social Security Number or Permanent Residence (Green Card) for EACH member of the household. In order to receive assistance you MUST bring EVERY Social Security Number or Permanent Residence (Green Card) for each member.
  2. Proof of ALL household’s (ALL MEMBERS) income from previous month.
  3. Most CURRENT heating bill, statement from your landlord if heating expenses are included in rent, statement from utility company if you participate in Pre-Pay Electric Program.
  4. The ACCOUNT NUMBER and NAME on the account for ALL heating fuel sources and electric.

You do not have to have a “disconnect” notice during the subsidy component of LIHEAP.

Applicants should bring their documents to the Community Action office in their county. If an applicant cannot apply in person, contact the office to make other arrangements.

  • Floyd County
    60 Court Street
    Allen
    606-874-3595
  • Johnson County
    230 Court Street
    Paintsville
    606-789-6515
  • Magoffin County
    131 Church Street
    Salyersville
    606-349-2217
  • Martin County
    387 E. Main Street
    Inez
    606-298-3217
  • Pike County
    478 Town Mountain Road
    Pikeville
    606-432-2775

All eligible applicants will receive a benefit amount that is based on their income and primary fuel type.  Benefit amounts vary based on individual situations. All vouchers are paid directly to the primary fuel vendor with no funds being distributed directly to the applicant household.

Applications for the subsidy portion of LIHEAP will not be taken after Friday, December 15.

The crisis component of LIHEAP will not begin until Monday, January 8th.

The crisis component has the same income eligibility as the subsidy component with the additional requirement that the household must have a “disconnect” notice from their utility company or they must self-certify that they are within four days of running out of their bulk fuel source such as wood, coal, kerosene or fuel oil. Benefit levels are determined by the amount needed to prevent disconnection or the amount needed to ensure a deliverable amount of bulk fuel. The crisis component operates on a first come first serve basis and will be in operation until March 31st or until funds have been expended.

LIHEAP is funded through Community Action Kentucky (CAK), the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Written by Sarah Hill on December 11th, 2017

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Heating assistance (LIHEAP) subsidy signups begin Nov. 6   no comments

Posted at 1:17 pm in News

The subsidy portion of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), administered by Big Sandy Area Community Action, will begin this Monday, November 6th. Low-income individuals and families in need of assistance should visit the Community Action office in their county between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Applications will be accepted alphabetically by last name.

LIHEAP is a federally-funded program that helps low-income households with their home energy bills. By ensuring proper heating, the risk of health and safety problems such as illness, fire, or eviction is reduced. This important federal program helps provide heating assistance to over 100,000 families in Kentucky each year.  It operates in two components:  the subsidy component and the crisis component.

Individuals seeking assistance during the subsidy component must meet income eligibility requirements and bring the following information with them when they sign up:

  1. Proof of Social Security Number or Permanent Residence (Green Card) for EACH member of the household. In order to receive assistance you MUST bring EVERY Social Security Number or Permanent Residence (Green Card) for each member.
  2. Proof of ALL household’s (ALL MEMBERS) income from previous month.
  3. Most CURRENT heating bill, statement from your landlord if heating expenses are included in rent, statement from utility company if you participate in Pre-Pay Electric Program.
  4. The ACCOUNT NUMBER and NAME on the account for ALL heating fuel sources and electric.

You do not have to have a “disconnect” notice during the subsidy component of LIHEAP.

All eligible applicants will receive a benefit amount that is based on their income and primary fuel type.  Benefit amounts vary based on individual situations. All vouchers are paid directly to the primary fuel vendor with no funds being distributed directly to the applicant household.

Households should choose the date that contains the first letter of the head of household’s last name.

Nov. 6 – A Nov. 13 – C Nov. 20 – H Nov. 27 – I, J Dec. 4 – M Dec. 11 – S
Nov. 7 – B Nov. 14 – D, E Nov. 21 – H Nov. 28 – K Dec. 5 – N Dec. 12 – T
Nov. 8 – B Nov. 15 – F Nov. 22 – Closed Nov. 29 – L Dec. 6 – O, P Dec. 13 – U, V, W
Nov. 9 – C Nov. 16 – G Nov. 23 – Closed Nov. 30 – M Dec. 7 – Q, R Dec. 14 – X, Y, Z
Nov. 10 – Closed Nov. 17 – Open Nov. 24 – Closed Dec. 1 – Open Dec. 8 – Open Dec. 15 – Open

 

Applicants should bring their documents on their alphabetically assigned day to the Community Action office in their county. If an applicant cannot apply on their assigned day, contact the office to make other arrangements.

  • Floyd County
    60 Court Street
    Allen
    606-874-3595
  • Johnson County
    230 Court Street
    Paintsville
    606-789-6515
  • Magoffin County
    131 Church Street
    Salyersville
    606-349-2217
  • Martin County
    387 E. Main Street
    Inez
    606-298-3217
  • Pike County
    478 Town Mountain Road
    Pikeville
    606-432-2775

Applications for the subsidy portion of LIHEAP will not be taken after Friday, December 15.

The crisis component of LIHEAP will not begin until Monday, January 8th.

The crisis component has the same income eligibility as the subsidy component with the additional requirement that the household must have a “disconnect” notice from their utility company or they must self-certify that they are within four days of running out of their bulk fuel source such as wood, coal, kerosene or fuel oil. Benefit levels are determined by the amount needed to prevent disconnection or the amount needed to ensure a deliverable amount of bulk fuel. The crisis component operates on a first come first serve basis and will be in operation until March 31st or until funds have been expended.

LIHEAP is funded through Community Action Kentucky (CAK), the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Written by Sarah Hill on October 25th, 2017

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BSACAP to start LIHEAP pre-registration for elderly and disabled on Oct. 23   no comments

Posted at 11:54 am in News

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program (BSACAP) is offering pre-registration for the Subsidy portion of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The pre-registration will begin on Monday, October 23, and last until November 6.

BSACAP Executive Director James Michael Howell said pre-registration should prove beneficial to customers.

“The elderly and the disabled have less mobility and it’s harder for them to stand in long lines,” Howell explained. “Pre-registration should cut down on those long lines and help more people access the services.”

Howell added, “We want to stress that, although we’re offering the pre-registration, no applications will be approved until Monday, November 6, the first day of the Subsidy component. No vouchers will be sent to vendors until after November 6th.”

Pre-registration is available to applicants who receive a fixed income and are either 60 years of age and above or who have disabilities.

To be eligible to pre-register, applicants must bring proof they are receiving disability benefits and/or are at least 60 years of age and on a fixed income.

In addition, to qualify for the Subsidy component of LIHEAP, applicants must present the following:

  • Most recent heating bill or proof that heating expenses are included in rent (for example: lease agreement or rent contract);
  • Proof of physical address – bring metered utility bill;
  • Proof of household income for prior month;
  • Birthdates for all household members;
  • Social security card or official documentation with social security numbers for each member of household.

Applicants must apply in their county of residence. Applications will be taken at the following BSACAP service offices from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:

  • Floyd County
    60 Court Street
    Allen
    606-874-3595
  • Johnson County
    230 Court Street
    Paintsville
    606-789-6515
  • Magoffin County
    131 Church Street
    Salyersville
    606-349-2217
  • Martin County
    387 E. Main Street
    Inez
    606-298-3217
  • Pike County
    478 Town Mountain Road
    Pikeville
    606-432-2775

All other applicants may begin applying for Subsidy on Monday, November 6, through Friday, December 15. As in past years, applications will be taken alphabetically, according to the applicant’s last name.

LIHEAP, a national energy assistance initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is funded in Kentucky by the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services and Community Action Kentucky.

Written by Sarah Hill on October 12th, 2017

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Weatherization helps lower energy bills   no comments

Posted at 11:52 am in News

Lora Bryant of Floyd County stands in her home which was weatherized with the assistance of BSACAPs Weatherization Assistance Program.

Lora Bryant of Floyd County has lived in her home for nearly 17 years, but began to have more and more trouble keeping her house warm.

Bryant explained that the rooms in the home didn’t heat equally and that in order to sleep in the bedrooms during the winter, extra heaters and blankets would be needed. “When you got up in the morning, the floor would be like ice,” she said. But the most troubling issues she found were a constant draft in the living room and monthly heating bills between $200 and almost $300.

Bryant saw a flyer in her local post office about Big Sandy Area Community Action Program’s Weatherization Assistance Program and thought that maybe she could get some help figuring out her home heating issues.

BSACAP Weatherization Assistance Program inspector Steve Mullins and his crew assessed the home and discovered that, in addition to the major draft, there was very little insulation in the attic and none at all under the home. Inspector Mullins explained that essentially warm air was escaping the house as fast as it was coming in. He calculated the correct amount of insulation required for the home and used a blower door to measure the airflow out the home.

The crew then got to work and added the proper amount of insulation to the attic and beneath the house. They sealed off the draft and also found worn insulation on the home’s duct work, which they replaced with better quality insulation.

The Weatherization Crew also ensured that Bryant had a working heating system and installed a carbon monoxide detector and smoke detector to improve the home’s safety. The crew also installed a CFM vent designed to improve air quality. Bryant also qualified for a refrigerator replacement that upgraded him to a more energy efficient model.

After the work was completed, the amount of warm air escaping the house was reduced by three times and Bryant’s electric bills steadily decreased. “It is comfortable all over this house now,” she said, adding that the Weatherization Crew completed the work on her home during the hottest time of the year and never complained. “They did such a thorough job and checked everything. They were such a good crew. I was totally amazed by what they did.”

The Weatherization Assistance Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and administered by the Kentucky Housing Corporation.

Written by Sarah Hill on September 29th, 2017

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Back to work after 17 years   no comments

Posted at 11:48 am in News

Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Clerk Bonnie Jaynes spent 17 years out of the workforce, but is now back on the job with assistance from the Senior Community Service Employment Program offered through Big Sandy Area Community Action Program.

Jaynes was working as a nurses aid with Mountain Comprehensive Care when she was forced out of work by a series of back surgeries and recovery periods over a number of years. “I had always worked, my whole life, and so it was hard to adjust,” she said. Jaynes said that being out of work left her feeling isolated and without purpose. “There was a lot of depression,” she said. Though she is feeling better now, she is still limited in what she is able to do.

When Jaynes regained her strength and was cleared to return to work, she was eager, but encountered some difficulties. “Seventeen years is a long time to be out of work,” she said. She explained that not only did she encounter the difficulties that many mature workers face when they look for work, but also that a large number of employers are asking for applications online and expect more computer skills, something she did not have a great deal of experience with before.

By chance, Jaynes stumbled upon information about the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) offered through Big Sandy Area Community Action Program. “It turned out to be exactly what I needed,” she said. SCSEP assists jobseekers who are at least 55 years old and who have limited job prospects to return to the workforce. Program participants work 15 hours per week at community and government agencies and receive job training and educational opportunities designed to assist them in finding new, permanent work.

Through the program, Jaynes was able to meet with fellow senior jobseekers and learn some new job search skills that could help her overcome some of the difficulties she encountered. “I enjoyed it,” she said. “I went to the meetings and met new people. It really helped me. They understood what I needed and they understood my limitations.”

Jaynes was placed with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office during her year with the program. As a Deputy Clerk, Jaynes manned the front desk and handled a lot of paperwork. The Sheriff’s Office was so pleased with her work that they hired her for the job after her time with the program ended. “I love the people I work with. They are great to be around,” she said. “I feel more useful, which makes me feel a lot better. Changing your environment and getting up for work, it just gives you a purpose and something to look forward to.”

Jaynes said she would recommend the Senior Community Service Employment Program to others. “Go for it,” she said. “Age shouldn’t have a bearing on what you can do. We’re as old as we feel.”

The Senior Community Service Employment Program is funded under Title V of the Older Americans Act, through the National Council on the Aging.

Written by Sarah Hill on September 29th, 2017

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