AGENCY TRYING TO INCREASE TELEWORK JOBS IN EASTERN KENTUCKY AS COAL SLUMPS
by Bill Estep / March 13, 2016
When people call from the U.S. or Canada to rent a U-Haul trailer, one representative they reach is Mary Kibbey, working from the small office at her house in the hills of rural Owsley County.
Kibbey, 50, is part of a growing effort to recruit telework jobs to Eastern Kentucky as the region tries to revive its economy.
A deep slump in the coal industry has wiped out thousands of jobs since 2012, and some counties have lost manufacturing plants.
Kibbey said she looked for jobs close to home, but in one of the poorest counties in the nation, there was little available until she heard of the chance to train for a telework job.
Answering calls for U-Haul allows her to stay home, where she can be close to a son who has health problems, and avoid the time and expense of driving an hour or more for work in other towns, as many residents do.
It’s also in line with the trend of more people working at least part of the time from home.