About Us

EKCEP—the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc.—helps workers and businesses in Eastern Kentucky meet the challenges and seize the opportunities of today's economy.

EKCEP operates the Kentucky Career Center JobSight network of workforce centers, which provide access to more than a dozen state and federal programs that offer employment and training assistance for jobseekers and employers all under one roof.

Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), EKCEP also administers programs that help adults looking for work, workers who have been dislocated from their jobs, and economically disadvantaged young people. WIOA assistance ranges from career counseling and job search assistance to paying for tuition and providing on-the job training opportunities.

For nearly 50 years, EKCEP has served 23 mountain counties in Eastern Kentucky with exemplary training, employment, and workforce development programs to meet the region's changing needs.

Throughout its nearly five decades of service, EKCEP has exhibited extraordinary adaptability, flexibility, proficiency, and perseverance, operating the best programs possible under the prevailing legislation of the time. Periodically, EKCEP has initiated and administered programs to address the fluctuations in Eastern Kentucky's coal industry, retraining dislocated workers during coal's periods of decline and training new workers during growth periods.

The latest such program, Hiring Our Miners Everyday, was funded in 2013 by a National Emergency Grant (NEG) from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. H.O.M.E. helps workers and their spouses affected by the coal industry downturn discover their skills, determine new career options, covers costs for them to enter classroom training, and helps place them into subsidized on the-job training positions with area employers.

EKCEP is headquartered in Hazard, Kentucky, and serves a population of nearly one-half million in 23 counties in the Appalachian mountains of eastern Kentucky.
EKCEP and 87 other Concentrated Employment Programs (CEPs) nationwide were formed in 1968 under federal Manpower Development and Training Act (MDTA) and the Economic Opportunity Act (EOA) to meet the job training needs of people in areas of high unemployment and acute poverty. Every subsequent federal employment and training law has recognized that four of the rural CEPs have shown superior performance and effectiveness, and kept these CEPs in place. The latest federal law to confer this distinction was Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

Signed into law in July 2014, WIOA guides the structure and delivery of job training and re-employment programs administered by the nation’s workforce development system—including EKCEP and Kentucky’s nine other Local Workforce Innovation Areas, as well as the commonwealth’s workforce system. In effect, WIOA reauthorizes the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) that has provided funding to states and workforce organizations for jobs programs since signed by President Bill Clinton in 1998.

WIOA makes several changes to WIA, including the streamlining of existing funding streams and the elimination of 15 programs, many of which are considered duplicative or currently not being funded. It also gives states and cities additional flexibility in how they use federal funding for training and re-training programs. The law also adds more accountability on agencies in the workforce system by requiring that a “Job-Driven Checklist” be followed. This checklist includes requirements on close local employer engagement to determine local hiring needs and training-program design; increased use of on-the-job training and apprenticeships; using data and measuring employment and earnings outcomes to drive accountability; streamlining educational progress; and effective workforce partnerships to make the most of limited resources.


The Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc, (EKCEP) is funded through the Office of Employment and Training, Division of Workforce Services, Kentucky Education Cabinet, with Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funds. EKCEP is an equal-opportunity employer with equal-opportunity programs. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

If you would like more information about our equal opportunity programs, please call our office at 606-436-5751.

Staff Directory

Teleworks USA
Namesort descending Job Title Phone / Email
Katelyn Dunn
Teleworks USA Annville Hub Manager 606-364-2831 / Email
Carla Gabbard
Teleworks USA Booneville Hub Manager 606-438-5399 / Email
Tracie Spencer
Teleworks USA Beattyville Hub Manager 606-464-2098 / Email
Betty Hays
Teleworks USA Operations Manager Email
Theresa Noble
Teleworks USA Hazard Hub Manager 606-436-5751, ext. 7027 / Email
April Leisge
Teleworks USA Harlan Hub Manager 606-216-6883 / Email
Billy Carrico
Teleworks USA Pike County Hub Manager 606-438-5535 / Email
JobSight Services
Namesort descending Job Title Phone / Email
Jennifer Bergman
Director of JobSight Services 606-436-5751, ext. 7020 / Email
Vanessa Collier
Administrative Assistant 606-438-6964 / Email
Workforce Services
Namesort descending Job Title Phone / Email
Lesa Neace
Training and Performance Analyst 606-436-5751, ext. 7022 / Email
Bridget Back
Research and Program Effectiveness Director 606-436-5751, ext. 7025 / Email
Michele Whitlock
Project Assistant 606-436-5751 / Email
Crissy Sexton
Workforce Service Coordinator 606-436-5751, ext. 7000 / Email
Dottie Nolan
Work/Ethics SENSE Trainer & Job Club Coordinator 606-436-5751 / Email
Melissa Williams
JobSight Coordinator 606-436-5751, ext. 7036 / Email
Kendra Sexton
Administrative Assistant 606-436-5751, ext. 7000 / Email
Melissa Quillen
Project Manager Email
Dedra Duty
Success Coach 205-546-0654 / Email
Michelle Feltner
Workforce Services Coordinator 606-436-5751, ext. 7015 / Email
Emily Ayers
Success Coach 606-438-6441 / Email
Lisa Meade
Project CASE Career Pathway Coordinator Email
Tesa Turner
Project CASE Career Pathway Coordinator Email
Vanessa Castle
Project CASE Career Pathway Coordinator Email
Jason Riley
Mechanical Engineer
Office of the Executive Director
Namesort descending Job Title Phone / Email
Owen Grise
Deputy Director 606-436-5751, ext. 7001 / Email
Jeff Whitehead
Executive Director
See Biography
606-436-5751, ext. 7008 / Email
Sharon Poff
Human Resources/Purchasing Agent/EO Officer 606-854-1782 / Email
Accounting
Namesort descending Job Title Phone / Email
Elizabeth Pennington
Bookkeeper Specialist 606-436-5751, ext. 7011 / Email
Kathy Smith
Bookkeeper Specialist 606-436-5751, ext. 7009 / Email
Shannon Baker
Bookkeeper Specialist 606-436-5751 / Email
Tonya Collins
Assistant Director of Finance Email
Judith Miller
Controller
See Biography
606-436-5751, ext. 7012 / Email
Business Services
Namesort descending Job Title Phone / Email
Joyce Wilcox
Industry Liaison 606-436-5751, ext. 7013 / Email
Trish Adams
Industry Liaison 606-436-5751, ext. 7002 / Email
Patrick Detherage
Employer Services Assistant 606-436-5751, ext. 7005 / Email
Ian Mooers
Economic and Entrepreneur Liaison 606-438-9927 / Email
Communications
Namesort descending Job Title Phone / Email
Amelia Holliday
Marketing Communications Associate 606-435-5751, ext. 7004 / email
Cris Ritchie
Marketing Communications Coordinator 606-435-8487 / Email
Michael Cornett
Director of Agency Expansion and Public Relations
See Biography
606-435-8482 / Email
Travis WInkler
Information Technology Manager 606-436-5751, ext. 7017 / Email

Board of Directors

Namesort descending Job Title
Gail Brock
Member
Judy Roark
Member
Jim Ward
Member
Kirstie Warren
Member
Roger T. Daniel
Member
Dan Mosley
Member
Marvin Gearhart
Member
J.M. Hall
Member
Craig Hamilton
Member
Pat Bailey
Member
Kathryn Reynolds
Member
Polly Arnold
Member
Phyllis Lawson
Member
Luther Blanton
Member
Tim Bobrowski
Member
See Biography
Curtis Davis
Member
See Biography
Connie Barnes
Member
Don Emmett
Member
Brad LeMaster
Member
Jamie Brunk
Member
Joe Grieshop
Member
John Ed Pennington
Chairman
Marie Rader
Member
Tim Bingham
Member
Tom Gambrel
Member
Walter Nixon
Member
Rick King
Member
Darren West
Member
Dennis Brooks
Member

East Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board

Namesort descending Job Title
Sonya Bergman
Member
Vince Minix
Member
Vic Adams
Member
See Biography
Rocky Adkins
Chairman
Carla Bishnoi
Member
Betsy Clemons
Member
See Biography
Keith Gabbard
Member
See Biography
Howard Blackburn
Member
See Biography
Fran Feltner
Member
See Biography
Denise Thomas
Member
See Biography
Ronald Hart
Member
Cody Davidson
Member
Paul Patton
Member
See Biography
Brad Hall
Member
See Biography
Kevin Chestnut
Member
See Biography
Paul Dole
Member
Tim Wireman
Member
Brent Sturgill
Member
See Biography
Mike Caudill
Member
Tracy Smith
Member
Frank Dawahare
Member
See Biography
Jamie Gaddis
Member
Jason Slone
Member