Following extension, Pearl Interactive Network to continue bringing jobs to Winchester

Published 12:16 pm Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Having been in Winchester for ten years, Pearl Interactive Network has done business around town.

However, it’s about to become more significant and more noticeable.

The call center, located near Lowe’s on Bypass Road, recently received a ten-year federal government contract extension to stay at its location.

Email newsletter signup

The company is looking to hire approximately 650 new jobs in customer service representation.

“It is helping folks sign up for healthcare, [and] navigating healthcare plans,” said Tony Listerman, Operations Manager for Pearl Interactive Network. “They receive inbound calls from people that have essentially signed up or are going to be signed up.”

Listerman emphasizes that making outbound cold calls to sell goods will not be in the job description compared to other customer service positions.

Founded in 2004 by former social worker and CEO Merry Korn, Pearl Interactive Network is a for-profit social enterprise organization providing healthcare services primarily for the federal government.

If you visit its location, you will likely see a sign that says “Maximus Federal” regarding a former tenant.

However, as of October 2022, Pearl Interactive Network has taken over the entire contract and building thus creating room for the abovementioned jobs.

With the former business vacated, the hope is that new signage will be displayed by the first week of June.

Regarding the 650 jobs, Pearl Interactive Network looks toward individuals with a background in customer service, healthcare, or working at a call center.

A two-to-three-week training program would prepare individuals for on-the-job tasks.

Along with a starting salary of $16.20 per hour, employees can enjoy perks such as covering health care premiums on their insurance.

As a result, between $300-$500 monthly can be saved.

While Pearl might function like many other businesses, it also stands out in the community.

The organization currently sponsors a little league baseball team, BCTC’s Moonlight Movie Nights, the Beer Cheese Festival and the Legacy Nights Series.

It has also participated in and been otherwise involved with Operation Happiness, the Joe Reed Memorial Heart Walk, and recently hosted the American Red Cross for a blood drive that gathered over fifty units of blood.

“Pearl’s offering a bunch of jobs here in town, but we also participate and are really ingrained in the community and try to help as much as we can,” Listerman added.

Pearl Interactive Network has even been designated as a HUBZone due to its dedication to serving historically underutilized business areas.

When it comes to Winchester, Listerman notes that there are several advantages.

“We’re the only [business] that’s essentially still doing call center, brick-and-mortar work, and offering the benefits and pay we do without having other folks we’re competing against,” he said. “It’s important for us to have a social impact…we were looking at several cities, but Winchester is one of those areas that satisfy.…our HUBZone requirements.”

The work, as highlighted, is found to be rewarding.

“All the folks that work here know every day that they’re actually servicing the American public, and in some cases, the American veteran,” Listerman said. “It’s extremely rewarding work. It’s not work where you’re putting anyone out on the street or trying to take money from anyone. What you’re actually doing is signing people up for healthcare, and in a lot of cases, they never had it before.”