ASAE, the organization for association executives, this week honored the International Franchise Association with its Power of A Gold Award for the IFA’s Veterans Transition Franchise Program (VetFran) and Operation Enduring Opportunity (OEO) platforms.
OEO is a franchise industry-led effort to h.....
OEO is a franchise industry-led effort to hire and recruit 80,000 veterans and military spouses through 2014. Since Veterans Day 2011, when the program launched, more than 150,000 veterans have found careers at franchised businesses, with nearly 5,200 becoming small-business owners, the IFA said.
VetFran was founded in 1991 by The Dwyer Group founder and chairman Don Dwyer, and the initiative now includes more than 650 IFA member companies.
“Franchising provides an ideal structure to enable returning veterans to become productive participants in the U.S. economy,” Steve Caldeira, president and chief executive of the IFA, said in a statement. “It is expected that in the next five years, over 1 million military veterans will be transitioning into civilian life. The franchise industry is well-positioned to support these veterans, and while we have far surpassed our goal, we will continue our steadfast efforts to help veterans, military spouses and wounded warriors achieve their dreams of business ownership.”
The IFA also has received public support for OEO from First Lady Michelle Obama and the White House Joining Forces Initiative, as well as from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its Hiring Our Heroes program. The association was honored in April 2013 in an East Room ceremony at the White House.
VetFran began as a program to support veterans returning from the first Gulf War to ease their transition into the civilian economy, and today it still provides financial incentives, training and mentoring to veterans interested in small-business ownership or a career in franchising. Participating brands offer military members discounts on franchise fees, reduced royalties and credit for startup materials.
“Congratulations to the IFA for benefiting not just their own industry or profession, but also society at large,” Paul Pomerantz, chief executive of the American Society of Anesthesiologists and chair of the Power of A Awards judging committee, said in a statement. “This year, our committee had an exceptionally strong group of entries to consider, and it’s heartening to see so many organizations excelling in their work.”