November 06, 2014
It would seem like a perfect fit: Willing, disabled American veterans looking for work and an industry in need of employees would welcome a job and stick with it.
That’s what inspired Direct Interactions President and co-founder Matt Storey to utilize a cloud-based virtual contact center solution to create home-based employment opportunities for disabled veterans and military families.
“I wanted to prove that with the right technology and opportunities, I could compete as a knowledge worker in today’s economy,” said employee Tom Gonzalez, a seven year veteran of the Navy SEALs. “With Direct Interactions, I am part of a team solving problems for customers and setting an example that just because a person had a disability, it doesn’t mean we can’t excel in the modern workforce.”
The story begins back when Storey and and his business partner, CEO Jonas Nicholson, had set up a number of offshore call centers in the 1990s and realized the same technology could empower Americans with disabilities and military families by enabling them to work from home.
Today, the company’s 200 agents do work from home, providing customer support for technology companies, city governments and organizations interested in demonstrating their commitment to corporate social responsibility. But they’re not stopping there, not by a long shot.
Over the next three years, Nicholson plans to expand its workforce to 1,000 agents nationwide. He also said he hopes other companies will be inspired by Direct Interactions, which has been recognized by the State of Washington and various nonprofits for its efforts in creating jobs for people with disabilities.
“Working from home is a winning trend, and so is hiring people with disabilities,” said Nicholson. “We would like to see more companies copy us.”
All it will take is someone with vision, and a desire to help.