Wednesday, October 28, 2020

EDF Launches New Remote Work Initiative Pilot Program

By Alyssa Schnugg
News editor
alyssa.schnugg@hottytoddy.com

A new remote work initiative program will provide job opportunities for people who need it most in Oxford and Lafayette County.

The Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation has been selected to participate in the Tennessee Valley Authority’s new Remote Work Ready Pilot Program. The program, developed by TVA Economic Development, in partnership with FlexJobs, is designed to connect local residents with additional remote work job opportunities and allowing communities to offer those jobs without having to first recruit large companies to open up shop locally.

FlexJobs is an online job service for people seeking flexible work, specializing in full-time and part-time remote jobs, employee and freelance jobs, and on-site jobs with flexible schedules. Since its start in 2007, more than 4 million users have used the large database of job opportunities to find jobs in more than 50 career categories.

TVA provides electricity for business customers and local power companies, including Utilities. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving all of its revenues from sales of electricity.

TVA provided 50 free memberships to FlexJobs for Oxford and Lafayette residents and the EDF created a local website for residents to apply for those memberships.

The cost to join FlexJobs without going through the EDF/TVA partnership is about $50 a year.

“A community’s ability to adapt to changing workforce needs is critical in the ever-evolving world of economic development,” said John Bradley, TVA senior vice president of Economic Development. “Understanding that remote work can provide opportunities for a community to build its talent pipeline can really be impactful to economic success, and TVA is proud to continue to provide innovative solutions for job opportunities in the Valley.”

The program is being supplemented by a grant through BancorpSouth that will provide an additional 50 FlexJobs memberships, specifically for low- and moderate-income households in Lafayette County.

“This enhancement to the remote work opportunity will make it available as broadly as possible,” said Jon Maynard, president and CEO of the EDF. “So far, we’ve given out 56 of the 100 memberships we have available to us.”

FlexJobs memberships offers its users such benefits as:

  • A search feature to explore “vetted” jobs of potential interest in 50-plus career fields
  • More than 170 jobs skills tests that can be taken limitless times to showcase/improve career abilities
  • Webinars with career experts and hiring managers to help in job searches
  • Special notification for early registration to members-only access FlexJobs Virtual Job Fairs, hiring events and special employer spotlight webinars
  • Alert emails that match remote and flexible jobs related to a member’s profile
  • A personal dashboard to help stay organized, motivated, and educated

Once a FlexJobs member, job seekers are provided information on resume writing, remote job opportunities and in-demand skills for remote jobs.

“We feel that changing times need new ways to solve problems. TVA and BancorpSouth are helping the EDF to create opportunities for 100 new and better jobs in Lafayette County,” Maynard said. “These opportunities will span the diverse skill sets, backgrounds, ages and interests of the people of Lafayette County. We will retain our talent and bring in economic benefit from around the world.”

Maynard said if the program is popular and successful, EDF will consider purchasing additional memberships out of its own budget.

“The nice thing about FlexJobs is that they provide a lot of workforce development training on their website of how to build a resume; how to be better at working remotely; and what companies to look for,” Maynard said. “I don’t think I would have supported a company that was just a job board.”

Visit https://remotejobs.oxfordms.com for more information and to apply for a free membership. Registrants will be notified in an email with access details as soon as it is approved.