Published on : Thursday, August 14, 2014
The International Franchise Association (IFA) has earned the 2014 ASAE Power of A Gold Award for its Veterans Transition Franchise Program (VetFran) and Operation Enduring Opportunity (OEO) initiative.
OEO is a franchise industry-wide effort to hire and recruit 80,000 veterans, military spouses and wounded warriors through 2014. Since Veteran’s Day 2011, there have been more than 151,000 veterans who have found career opportunities in the franchise industry, with nearly 5,200 becoming small-business franchise owners, significantly surpassing our goals in both of these areas.
The program is strongly-supported by the First Lady and the White House (where the IFA was honored in an East Room ceremony in April 2013 for its ongoing and measurable efforts) Joining Forces Initiative, as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its Hiring Our Heroes program. ASAE honored IFA for its efforts to support our nation’s veterans, which was the largest private-sector veterans’ hiring commitment at the time of its launch.
“Franchising provides an ideal structure to enable returning veterans to become productive participants in the U.S. economy,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira, CFE. “It is expected that in the next five years, more than one 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.”
IFA’s VetFran was founded in 1991 by the late Don Dwyer Sr. (USAF, Ret.), founder and chairman of The Dwyer Group, to support veterans returning from the Gulf War to ease their transition back into the civilian economy. Today, VetFran includes more than 650 IFA member companies offering financial incentives, training and mentoring to veterans interested in small business ownership and/or a career path in franchising. The program includes opportunities in employment, as well as business ownership through discounts, reduced royalties and credits for start-up materials. The Operation Enduring Opportunity campaign was launched in 2011 to support military veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
VetFran strengthened the OEO by partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program, supported by Capital One Bank.
“Congratulations to IFA for benefiting not just their own industry or profession, but society at large,” said Paul Pomerantz, CAE, CEO of the American Society of Anesthesiologists and chairman of the Power of A Awards Judging Committee. “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.”
ASAE’s Power of A (association) Awards, recognizes the association community’s valuable contributions on the local, national, and global levels. The Power of A Awards rewards outstanding accomplishments of associations and industry professionals for their efforts to enrich lives, create a competitive workforces, prepare society for the future, drive innovation and make a better world.