FranNet loves our nation’s veterans and wants to help them build careers that match their talents and character. Franchising is, in many ways, a perfect fit. Franchise businesses thrive with owners who are driven, passionate, self-starting and motivated — yet do well within a team environment and with detailed systems. Military service cultivates the same traits.
Next week, some of our folks will head to Detroit for an important event designed to put as many as 6,000 of our veterans in touch with great career opportunities. It’s the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veteran Hiring Fair and Open House, to be held June 26-28 at the Cobo Center.
We’ll have a booth there, along with hundreds of companies and franchise systems, and our goal is to enlighten veterans about how good a fit franchising can be for them. Few people realize that one of every seven U.S. franchises is veteran-owned, and the growing diversity and volume of franchise opportunities — and the sheer number of veterans returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan — means that percentage is likely to rise.
We want to do everything we can to steer these brave men and women to great opportunities in franchising, where they can build on the skills and character they developed during their service to create successful businesses.
And these folks need some help. Veterans on active duty after the war in Afghanistan began in September 2001 — Gulf War-era II veterans, as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics calls them — have had a hard time finding work. In 2011, the unemployment rate among these recent veterans was 12.1 percent, compared to 8.3 percent for all veterans and 8.5 percent nationwide.
It’s not an acceptable situation. So, thankfully, people are taking action. This year, President Obama included tax credits, tax cuts and other measures for veterans and businesses willing to hire them in the American Jobs Act, which Congress passed and the president signed in April.
The franchising industry has aggressively helped returning veterans in recent years; the International Franchise Association’s VetFran program offers support, information and franchise fee discounts, and the IFA’s “Operation Enduring Opportunity” is targeting 75,000 veterans and 5,000 “Wounded Warriors” as franchise owners by 2014. FranNet proudly supports VetFran and the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit that provides programs and services to veterans who have sustained severe injuries during combat.
So many of our nation’s finest are struggling to find work, and it doesn’t have to be that way. Please support us as we head to Detroit, and if you’re a franchise owner or prospective one, take a good, long look at people with military experience. They deserve more than just a handshake and thanks for their service — they deserve real opportunities to build solid foundations for their careers and lives.
For more information about us, see www.frannet.com.