Veterans Speak to How Pearl Interactive Network’s Call Centers Ease Reentry

Man holding woman holding baby. Veteran reentry to civilian life can at times be a daunting task. The combination of Pearl’s social mission, culture of caring, structure in all facets of operations, and career pathways address the plight of civilian reentry for Pearl’s veteran employees.

In a recent group interview with three Army veterans located at a Pearl call center location, Veterans Monty, Jerry, and Jim shared inspiring stories of separation from the military and their reentry through employment at Pearl. The three veterans all separated from the military with honorable medical discharges. Monty, a Gunner stationed in Afghanistan, shared that his call center duties at Pearl are structured and require performance to exact standards. He “welcomes the focus of regimented and structured tasks that provide a focus.” Monty made the compelling statement that: “The military spent so much time wiring our brains to prepare for combat. The challenge is coming back and trying to get my brain unwired.”

Jerry, while not deployed outside the U.S., spoke about the pain of an early medical separation from the military. Jerry was discharged after 3 years of service because of unresolved mental health issues. He equates the separation from his comrades in the military akin to experiencing a death of a loved one. He felt that the strong bond, camaraderie, coupled with the finite structure he experienced in the military was an environment he still misses 7 years after discharge. Jerry believes the soft skills he learned at Pearl helped “rewire” how he was taught to engage with people while in the military. Jerry said “The Pearl training program instilled within me the importance of not becoming angry with callers and people I work with. Instead, Pearl taught me how to engage with respect both at work and with my family.”

Finally, Jim stationed in Hawaii, was assigned to a post with the military police. After an ankle injury sustained 2 years into his military term, he was discharged. After his discharge from the military, Jim took a position as a security officer. Shortly after assuming the position, he had difficulty adjusting to the culture of serving as a security officer in a civilian setting. The power and responsibility expected of Jim while with the military police was too great a transition as a civilian security guard. Jim was hired at Pearl’s contact center through the assistance of the local Veterans Rehabilitation and Employment Office (VR&E). At Pearl he felt at home. Jim comments that “Pearl’s culture supports the military credo of ‘Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, and Honor.’” The two veterans interviewed agreed with Monty when he expressed that “Pearl’s contracts supporting the federal government ‘feels right’ and is consistent with the values instilled by the military.”

At Pearl’s headquarters located in Columbus, Ohio, Carla, an Army veteran who served in a Finance Battalion, was stationed both in Kaiserslautern, Germany, and Ft. Lewis, Washington for 5 years. Her observation is that the military instills a sense of pride and accomplishment that creates values of self-worth and dependability. Carla believes that Pearl translates this sense-of-belonging to each employee. She states that “I can see Pearl’s values and mission every day. The culture of caring is active, and our team is made up of dedicated people here to serve and help others.”

Cari, a Pearl military spouse, and remote Executive Assistant located in North Carolina, validates the challenges experienced by veterans reintegrating to civilian life from the vantage point of a military spouse. “Being the wife of a retired Marine and sister of a retired Soldier, I’ve observed my husband’s and brother’s struggle leaving comrades, the life, the structure, and the security they had in the military. Unfortunately, many employers may fail to see through the veil of the stigma of hiring a veteran. What employers are not able to comprehend is that veterans are driven, determined, possess critical thinking skills, hold a strong work ethic, are self-disciplined, and loyal.”

Abi, Director of Pearl’s Department of Human Resources (HR), believes that through employment with Pearl, associates can explore a full spectrum of career growth opportunities within the contact center industry that could include positions as diverse as HR, Talent Acquisition, Training, Business Development, Operations and Marketing. Abi asserts that “Among the many advantages of call center jobs to transitioning veterans with no previous civilian job experience, is the opportunity for growth in a warm, supportive, and family-like environment. It is common to see our veterans begin as call center agents and ascend career pathways into leadership roles.”

About Pearl

Pearl Interactive Network, Inc., a government contact center provider, is a for profit social enterprise founded in 2004 that gives hiring priority to a niche workforce of people with barriers to work. Sixty-five percent of Pearl associates are living in economically challenged areas, people with disabilities, military spouses, and Veterans. Today Pearl employs over 1,000 associates located across twenty-nine states.


Merry Korn, MSW
(614) 893-6511

Jean Murphy
VP Business Development
(301) 674-2333


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