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Published on : Wednesday, November 6, 2013
As part of the International Franchise Association’s Operation Enduring Opportunity initiative within its VetFran program, and participation in the White House Joining Forces Initiative, IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira today announced that 151,557 veterans and military spouses have entered franchising since 2011, including 5,192 as franchise business owners. These new hiring numbers dramatically surpass the commitment made by the IFA two years age to hire and recruit 80,000 veterans, wounded warriors and military spouses by 2014.
“IFA and our member companies are proud to have surpassed the industry’s pledge to hire veterans in franchise establishments and motivate many returning heroes to become new franchise business owners,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira. “IFA has a long history of supporting our veterans and together with IFA members, we will continue to help transition servicemen and women to the civilian workforce, and help other companies understand and leverage the unique skills and experience our veterans have to offer.”
Enthusiastically led by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, Joining Forces is the White House initiative to support America’s service members and their families that focuses on three priorities – employment, education, and wellness, while engaging in a comprehensive effort to raise awareness about the service, sacrifice, and needs of military families.
“Joining Forces is proud to applaud The International Franchise Association and their partner firms across America for embracing their Joining Forces commitment and announcing today nearly doubling their projected hiring goals by employing over 150,000 veterans and military spouses. This success underscores the great fit between military experience and the business needs of franchise owners. Veterans lead in complex environments, build teams and are natural managers of people and resources to get things done.” Colonel Rich Morales, Executive Director, Joining Forces
IFA’s VetFran initiative is also proudly supported by the National Chamber Foundation and Capital One’s Hiring 500,000 Heroes, a campaign to employ half a million veterans and military spouses by the end of 2014.
“IFA has stood with us from the beginning and set the example for associations and companies across America by making one of the first and largest pledges toward our Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign,” said Thomas J. Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “The fact that they have gone well above their hiring goal is a testament to their commitment to the men and women who have served our country.”
The numbers reported today resulted from a survey of the franchise industry regarding the hiring of veterans and military spouses conducted by Franchise Business Review conducted between Oct. 3 and Oct. 25, 2013.
IFA and the Small Business Administration partner to expand opportunities for veterans
IFA also announced today that it has strengthened its relationship with the Small Business Administration by establishing a partnership to start, maintain and expand small business opportunities for veterans in franchising. Through a Strategic Alliance Memorandum signed today by IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira and Acting SBA Administrator Jeanne Hulit, IFA and the SBA will work to support small business development through specific training and outreach activities for veterans and their families.
“We are grateful for the support of the SBA to recognize the proven track record veterans have as employees and franchisees in our industry,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira. “We are honored to partner with the SBA in their ongoing efforts to educate veterans about small business opportunities, including franchising. This relationship will further our collective goal of helping America’s returning veterans learn about the many opportunities available to them in the franchise industry.”
“At the Small Business Administration, we are committed to helping veteran entrepreneurs and small business owners achieve their dreams,” said Acting Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Jeanne Hulit. “Our partnership with IFA on the VetFran strategic initiative is an important step forward as we work to make sure that veterans looking to start or grow a business know about the tools and programs that exist to help them harness their entrepreneurial spirit. We all share a passion for helping veterans, and I look forward to working together as we continue to serve those who have served our country so bravely. Together we will help our nation’s veterans grow businesses that create jobs and strengthen our economy for the long-term.”
Highlights of the Strategic Alliance Memorandum include:
IFA’s VetFran is a strategic initiative launched in 1991, and includes over 600 IFA member companies offering financial incentives, training and mentoring to veterans interested in small business ownership and/or a career path in franchising.