Archive for the ‘WIOA’ tag

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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Floyd Countian beating the odds with WIOA   no comments

Posted at 11:41 am in News

Stressful jobs and stressful situations can cause many of us to collapse under the pressure, but Floyd Countian Chavella Kelly has the skills to prioritize, stay positive, and reach out for a little help to keep her going, which is perfect for an aspiring trauma nurse. Kelly reached out to Big Sandy Area Community Action Program to help her stay on top of it all.

“I always wanted to be in the medical field,” she said. “I was a CNA [Certified Nursing Aid] straight out of high school.” When Kelly became pregnant with her daughter, she knew what her top priority was and she became a full-time stay-at-home mom.

After spending those important first years with her daughter, Kelly knew it was time to get back to school, so she enrolled in classes and applied to the nursing program at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. While balancing caring for her daughter and furthering her education, Kelly heard about a program offered through Big Sandy Area Community Action Program that could help her pay for school.

“I called as soon as my friend told me about it, and then I met with Trina about it,” she said. Trina Yeary is a Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Career Advisor with Big Sandy Area Community Action Program. Career Advisors provide an array of services that help people re-enter the workforce or gain the skills for new, better jobs and careers. In addition to assistance to dislocated or underemployed adult workers, the agency also provides workforce services to at-risk youth and area employers. As a Career Advisor, Yeary works every day to help those in her region find gainful employment through job searches, retraining, or, as in Kelly’s case, working toward a college degree.

“It usually takes a long time when you’re trying to get in with programs. I mean, even with financial aid at school it takes forever,” Kelly said. “This was done and ready whenever I started school in August, so within a month, and all I had to do was set up an appointment with Trina, and then I gave her my school schedule and that was it.”

After her first semester back at school, Kelly was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. “I had surgery in January, right after I started the second semester, but I went straight back. I was out for two weeks, and then I went straight back.”

“I think school for anybody in the nursing program would be hard, but the obstacles that Chavella has faced this semester—I think it’s amazing what she’s done,” Yeary said. “If she had come to me and said, ‘Hey, I can’t go to school this semester,’ I mean, that’s kind of what I expected, not just from her, but from anybody. She never once mentioned giving up,” Yeary said. “A lot of people couldn’t pass the nursing program if that’s all they had going on, and she managed to pass the semester despite all of the odds.”

Kelly adds that she has had to undergo radiation treatments, the first of which was in the middle of her second semester. “I had extremely supportive staff, our professors. We were able to record their lectures to where I didn’t really miss anything. I was allowed to make up everything,” she said. “The type of cancer I have is extremely curable, so I stayed extremely optimistic the whole time, even now.”

Kelly credits her success to the assistance she received from Yeary and Big Sandy Area Community Action Program. “I couldn’t have done this on my own. I work, but I still wouldn’t have made enough money to pay for it,” Kelly said, adding that the relationship she was able to build with her Career Advisor was also helpful. “I can talk to Trina about anything. I wasn’t expecting anything like that. She makes sure everything’s done and smooth with school. That way, if I forget to turn in something, Trina’s like, ‘I need this.’”

Yeary said, “It’s not like coming into an office and just doing paperwork and stuff—from the very beginning it’s not like that. I think we really take the time to get to know people and to know what they want to do. We try to make it all about them, and I think we really care about our people—that’s just who we are as Career Advisors.”

Facing a difficult program of study, caring for a toddler, working, and having cancer treatments, Chavella Kelly is still moving forward and creating a better life for herself and her family, with just a little push from Big Sandy Area Community Action Program.

BSACAP provides Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) career advising services in Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, and Pike counties under contract with the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP).

Written by Sarah Hill on September 29th, 2017

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Big Sandy Job Fair on Oct. 31   no comments

Posted at 8:55 am in News

big-sandy-job-fair-1

Written by Sarah Hill on October 18th, 2016

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Youth Program gives Martin Co. woman a head start on her career   no comments

Posted at 2:10 pm in News
Kyla Horn, of Martin County, participated in BSACAP’s Youth Program and landed an internship with The Mountain Citizen in order to help her on her way to a successful career in journalism. The Youth Program is open to students in high school and young people between the ages of 18 and 24.

Kyla Horn, of Martin County, participated in BSACAP’s Youth Program and landed an internship with The Mountain Citizen in order to help her on her way to a successful career in journalism. The Youth Program is open to students in high school and young people between the ages of 18 and 24.

Meeting the right people and making the right connections to start a career early in life can be difficult for many students in our area, but one young woman from Martin County took the step she needed to get her foot in the door with journalism.

Kyla Horn, a recent alumna of Sheldon Clark High School, interned with The Mountain Citizen through the assistance of Big Sandy Area Community Action Program (BSACAP) and the Youth Program offer through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA).

The WIOA Youth Program offers a range of services to students still in school and young people age 18-24. The program offers tutoring, study skills, training, and instruction, alternative secondary school offerings, summer employment opportunities, paid and unpaid work experiences including internships and job shadowing, occupational skills training, leadership development opportunities, supportive services, adult mentoring for 12 months to ensure continued success of placement, and comprehensive guidance and counseling. The program is open to low-income young people who may experience barriers to employment.

Horn explained, “All of my friends were getting on [the Youth Program] and I was like, ‘You guys are working at the coolest places, like having to do with what you want to do when you grow up.’ And I was like, ‘I want to do that to.’” So she connected with BSACAP Career Advisor Kayla Jude.

Horn told Jude about her passion for journalism and her hopes of one day becoming a news anchor. “[Working with Kayla] was really cool because I didn’t feel like I was talking to a supervisor. It felt like I was talking to a big sister who was helping me learn the ropes. It was really helpful,” Horn said. Jude was able to arrange for Horn to have an internship with her local newspaper, The Mountain Citizen, so that she might begin to see how the news is gathered.

Horn said that initially she was a little nervous about the internship. “I was working with people who had been there since before I was born. I was so scared of messing up,” she said. But after about a week, Horn adjusted to the paper business and learned how to work the front desk, file papers, and take advertisements. She was even given the opportunity to write a few articles about her high school and the dance team.

Horn said her internship with the paper not only gave her real life work experience, but also gave her confirmation that journalism is in fact the path that she wishes to pursue in college. “It gave me real life work experience that I wouldn’t have received anywhere else,” she said. “I’ve recommended it to all my friends who are in high school right now.”

She is attending Big Sandy Community and Technical College at present and plans to transfer to Morehead State University where she will study Journalism and Communications. Horn says she is looking forward to the future and is excited to learn everything she can about different kinds of media productions and become the future of news in Kentucky.

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a vast array of services, such as employment and training assistance, weatherization of homes, and area Head Start programs, in order to assist individuals and families in obtaining self-sufficiency. Through collaborative efforts of community and organizational partnerships, BSACAP seeks to improve the overall quality of life within the Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, and Pike County communities. To learn more about BSACAP and their programs, visit www.bsacap.org or call the service office in your county.

Written by Sarah Hill on October 3rd, 2016

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Fall into the New Season with a New Career and the Pike County Job Club   no comments

Posted at 9:56 am in News

It’s time to turn over a new leaf in your search for a new career by coming to the Pike County Job Club!

With practical lessons and expert-led activities planned to help get you back to work, Job Clubs in Pike County is now better positioned than ever to deliver hands-on assistance that can help you write a professional résumé, learn how to succeed in job interviews, connect with employers, workforce professionals, and other jobseekers, and create a winning game plan for your job search.

Join us at the Pike County Job Club, which will meet starting September 14th, at the Pike County Public Library, 126 Lee Avenue, Pikeville.

The Pike County Job Club is brought to you by a partnership between Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP), Big Sandy Area Community Action Program, Inc. and the Kentucky Career Center Office of Employment and Training (OET).

Our career experts in the Job Clubs partnership have brought together a program powered by the career-advising industry’s best ideas and tools to help those searching for employment build the skills and connections they need to find rewarding new work.

In Job Clubs, you will:

• Build job leads
• Get top job search advice
• Have access to job networking opportunities
• Build a professional employer-approved résumé

The experts who will guide you through Job Clubs and on your way to a successful new job have been in this industry for years and know what needs to be done to get you on the fast track toward employment.

To attend the next Pike County Job Club meeting, stop by the Pike County Public Library, 126 Lee Avenue, Pikeville, starting at 11:00 a.m. on September 14th.

All new members are asked to arrive 30 minutes prior for new member orientation. For more information or to speak with a Career Advisor about the Pike County Job Club, please call (606) 433-7721.

Written by Sarah Hill on September 9th, 2016

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Fall into the New Season with a New Career and the Martin County Job Club   no comments

Posted at 9:54 am in News

It’s time to turn over a new leaf in your search for a new career by coming to the Martin County Job Club!

With practical lessons and expert-led activities planned to help get you back to work, Job Clubs in Martin County is now better positioned than ever to deliver hands-on assistance that can help you write a professional résumé, learn how to succeed in job interviews, connect with employers, workforce professionals, and other jobseekers, and create a winning game plan for your job search.

Join us at the Martin County Job Club, which will meet starting Tuesday, September 13th at 1:30p.m., on the 3rd Floor of the Roy F. Collier Community Center, 387 East Main Street, Inez.

The Martin County Job Club is brought to you by a partnership between Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP), Big Sandy Area Community Action Program, and the Kentucky Career Center Office of Employment and Training (OET).

Our career experts in the Job Clubs partnership have brought together a program powered by the career-advising industry’s best ideas and tools to help those searching for employment build the skills and connections they need to find rewarding new work.

In Job Clubs, you will:

  • Build job leads
  • Get top job search advice
  • Have access to job networking opportunities
  • Build a professional employer-approved résumé

The experts who will guide you through Job Clubs and on your way to a successful new job have been in this industry for years and know what needs to be done to get you on the fast track toward employment.

To attend the next Martin County Job Club meeting, stop by the 3rd Floor of the Roy F. Collier Community Center, 387 East Main Street, Inez, KY starting at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 13th.

All new members are asked to arrive 30 minutes prior for new member orientation. For more information or to speak with a Career Advisor about the Martin County Job Club, please call 606-298-3217.

Written by Sarah Hill on September 9th, 2016

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Pike County woman earns scholarship, creates better life with BSACAP   no comments

Posted at 9:35 am in News
Cassondra Smith stands with her young son outside of her apartment at the Scholar House in Pikeville. Smith participated in Big Sandy Area Community Action Program’s In-School Youth Program and was a recent recipient of the Community Services Block Grant Scholarship.

Cassondra Smith stands with her young son outside of her apartment at the Scholar House in Pikeville. Smith participated in Big Sandy Area Community Action Program’s In-School Youth Program and was a recent recipient of the Community Services Block Grant Scholarship.

Juggling work, school, family, and life can be difficult for anyone, but Casondra Smith, a young mother in Pike County, is making it work by taking advantage of every opportunity to better her life and create a good life for her son.

Smith met Big Sandy Area Community Action Program Career Advisor Jackie Blackburn who knew she would be a perfect fit for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program for In-School Youth. Blackburn started helping Smith put herself on a strong path while she was still at Shelby Valley High School by working with her to find employment.

The In-School Youth Program available through BSACAP helps low-income young people gain work experience, find career counseling and academic tutoring, and gives them 12 months of mentoring to ensure their continued success.

Through the relationship they built, Blackburn was able to find several more ways to help Smith stay on the path to success. When Smith graduated from high school, Blackburn assisted her with information about college scholarships and housing arrangements for single parents.  “Jackie is very nice. You can really tell she loves her job,” Smith said.

Beginning her second year at Big Sandy Community and Technical College, Smith, who is studying Human Services, is excited for her new classes. “I’m excited to start my clinicals next year, and this year I’ll be starting my psychology and sociology classes,” she said.

Smith is taking advantage of the opportunity to live in the Scholar House in Pikeville, apartments for single parents who are enrolled in school, have their child enrolled in daycare, and agree to keep up their grades and pay part of the cost of living in the apartment. “They’re very nice apartments. And it’s all about school and studying, so it’s really helpful,” she said.

Smith was recently awarded the Community Services Block Grant Scholarship that is distributed by BSACAP and made available to low-income students to help with their college expenses. Smith said she plans to use the scholarship money to help her take of her son while she is in school.

Smith said, “I dread [going back to school], but I’m excited at the same time. I know I’m going to be taking harder classes this year, but I’m excited to graduate and get into a job.”

Smith’s Career Advisor Jackie Blackburn said, “Cassie is a bright girl, and she is so dedicated to succeeding in making a better life for her son. She was an excellent participant in our program, and her strong drive and perseverance is going to take her far.”

Funding for the Youth Program is made possible by the Workforce Investment and Opportunities Act of 2014 and the U.S. Department of Labor through the Department of Training and Re-Employment and the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP). The Scholarship Program is made possible by Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) with funds made available by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a vast array of services, such as employment and training assistance, weatherization of homes, and area Head Start programs, in order to assist individuals and families in obtaining self-sufficiency. Through collaborative efforts of community and organizational partnerships, BSACAP seeks to improve the overall quality of life within the Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, and Pike County communities. To learn more about BSACAP and their programs, visit www.bsacap.org or call the service office in your county.

Written by Sarah Hill on August 19th, 2016

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Miner turns barber after layoff with help from BSACAP   no comments

Posted at 9:26 am in News
Michael Lowe was laid off from his work as a coal miner but is now working as a barber at Goodfellas Barbershop on Division Street in Pikeville after taking advantage of the educational opportunities provided by the Hiring Our Miners Everyday Program and Big Sandy Area Community Action Program.

Michael Lowe was laid off from his work as a coal miner but is now working as a barber at Goodfellas Barbershop on Division Street in Pikeville after taking advantage of the educational opportunities provided by the Hiring Our Miners Everyday Program and Big Sandy Area Community Action Program.

After 17 years of working as a dozer operator for a surface mining company, Michael Lowe, like so many others in the region, was laid off from work and had to find a way to begin again.

“Mining is pretty much all I’ve ever done,” Lowe said. “But with the decline in the coal industry, I decided it was time to make a change. And I’ve always been interested in barbering.”

Lowe connected with Big Sandy Area Community Action Program Career Advisor Reva Kidd at the Office of Employment and Training in Prestonsburg. Kidd informed Lowe that as a laid-off coal miner, he was eligible to participate in the Hiring Our Miners Everyday Program (HOME).

The HOME program created by Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment and administered with the assistance of Big Sandy Area Community Action Program, assists former coal industry workers and their spouses to receive educational and workforce opportunities which can help them transition to new work.

Lowe, who has had a passion for barbering since he was a child, jumped at the chance to learn a new trade with the help of the HOME program. Lowe enrolled in classes at Ashland Community and Technical College and was on his way to a new trade.

While enrolled in classes, the HOME program helped Lowe pay for tuition costs and his barbering tool kit in addition to helping him stay enrolled with a monthly stipend to help pay for his travel costs to and from school. When his classes were finished, Lowe was even reimbursed for the fee required to take the Kentucky Barber Board test.

Lowe said that although transitioning to new work was time consuming, working with BSACAP Career Advisor Reva Kidd made it easier. “Once I got in school and the process was started, it just went along smoothly. Reva helped me so much and the program was really good,” Lowe said.

Lowe was even fortunate enough to find a job waiting for him after completing the program. Tommy Smith, owner of Good Fellas Barber Shop in Pikeville, called Ashland Community and Technical College looking to hire a graduate. He was connected with Lowe and the two are working in what they call “the best barber shop in eastern Kentucky.”

Lowe said he is enjoying his new work and fulfilling a childhood passion. “I like making people feel good about themselves, and it’s an honor to serve our customers,” he said.

Lowe offered encouragement to fellow former miners as well. “There are other things out there. There are programs and help available for miners. It is possible to get new work. Don’t get discouraged, just keep pushing forward in life.”

 Hiring Our Miners Everyday assists laid-off coal industry workers and their spouses to receive on-the-job training, classroom training, basic academic skills, certification/licensing, skilled apprenticeships, and other services. HOME was created by Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP) with a two-year National Emergency Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The program is open to the residents and employers who meet the grant specifications.

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a vast array of services, such as employment and training assistance, weatherization of homes, and area Head Start programs, in order to assist individuals and families in obtaining self-sufficiency. Through collaborative efforts of community and organizational partnerships, BSACAP seeks to improve the overall quality of life within the Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin, and Pike County communities. To learn more about BSACAP and their programs, visit www.bsacap.org or call the service office in your county.

Written by Sarah Hill on August 19th, 2016

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