How Telework Is Working in Rural America
By Rachel Brown
The old maxim fills in that blank with “right.” The 3.5 million customer service agents in the United States—who individually field about 50 calls a day—might choose a more colorful adjective. But talk to the hundreds of teleworkers in rural Kentucky and their adjective would be “green”—as in the dollars going into their pockets and the environmentally friendly setup that allows them to work from home. In the past two years, more than 350 people living within the two-county service area of Peoples Rural Telephone Cooperative (PRTC; McKee, Ky.) have landed jobs as customer service representatives for major companies. Keith Gabbard, chief executive officer of PRTC, credited the economic development staff at the local electric co-op, Jackson Energy Cooperative, who set up a meeting with Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program (EKCEP)—a federal agency set up to offer job training in areas of the country with high unemployment and poverty.
Wellness: CTC Finds Success in Shaping Up
By Kelly Burns
Employee health and wellness continue to be a top priority at Consolidated Telecommunications Co. (CTC; Brainerd, Minn.), and the Wellness Committee continues its quest to offer numerous events throughout the year to promote this. We have invited several speakers in for Lunch and Learns to educate us on topics ranging from exercise and nutrition to ergonomics and the benefits of essential oils. We also learned how to apply the seven dimensions of wellness for a more balanced life and were educated about our local food co-op. CTC has sponsored abundant community wellness events, including the Lakes Country Triathlon, Brainerd Jaycees Run for the Lakes, Fit City Glow Run, Baxter Parent-Teacher Organization Family Fun Color Run, the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and the Warrior Homecoming Run.