Browse By

VetFran Partners With Hiring Our Heroes and Capital One

IFA, Hiring Our Heroes and Capital One set hiring goal at 500,000 veterans.

VetFran has strengthened its partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Hiring Our Heroes” program and forged a new partnership with Capital One Financial Corporation. The National Chamber Foundation and Capital One made an $80,000 financial contribution to the International Franchise Association, matching the association’s Operation Enduring Opportunity commitment to hire or recruit 80,000 veterans as franchise owners through 2014.

Since 2011, nearly 65,000 veterans, military spouses and wounded warriors have started careers in franchising, including 4,314 who have become veteran-franchise business owners.
As part of this partnership, VetFran exhibited at the March 15 Capital One-sponsored Hiring Our Heroes fair at the Washington, D.C. Convention Center. IFA President and CEO Steve Caldeira, CFE, and soon-to-be veteran franchise owner Wade Franklin, were interviewed during the event by a Washington-area country station with a large veteran audience.
IFA Coordinator, Research & Strategic Initiatives Kevin Blanchard and I manned a booth and spoke to veterans about ownership and employment in franchising. Blanchard, a recent veteran said, “It is an honor to be in a position of offering resources and explaining current franchising opportunities to other veterans.”

“We are grateful for the support of the Chamber and Capital One to recognize the proven track record veterans have as employees and franchisees in our industry,” said Caldeira. “These relationships with Hiring Our Heroes and Capital One will further our collective goal of getting America’s returning veterans back to work and reducing the veteran unemployment rate.”

“IFA has been one of our greatest partners and believers since Hiring Our Heroes began,” said retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Kevin Schmiegel, executive director of Hiring Our Heroes. Schmiegel singled out IFA in his remarks kicking off the March 15 event, thanking Caldeira for IFA’s commitment to veterans and VetFran’s leadership in the Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign.

“IFA galvanized its membership to make a significant commitment toward our Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign, and they will be a major factor in us getting there,” Schmiegel told the audience.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to work alongside IFA once again,” said U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue. “We share the important goal of helping the men and women who have served our country seek new opportunities in the next chapters of their lives. We hope this joint commitment will help thousands of veterans and military spouses pursue their dreams as franchise business owners.”

Capital One Financial General Counsel John Finneran shared that enthusiasm. “The IFA’s efforts to hire veterans and military spouses and to motivate many returning heroes to become new franchise entrepreneurs truly represents the spirit of Hiring Our Heroes. We are proud to support the IFA and the mission of Operation Enduring Opportunity. Together we are committed to helping ease transition of servicemen and women to the civilian work force and help other companies understand and leverage the unique skills and experience our veterans have to offer.”

IFA’s Operation Enduring Opportunity commitment represents a major component of the National Chamber Foundation and Capital One’s Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign, the largest initiative of its kind. The campaign, launched in March 2012, encourages businesses of all sizes to hire veterans with the goal of employing one-half million veterans and military spouses by the end of 2014.

Through this partnership, the campaign now claims commitments to hire 200,000 veterans, with nearly 100,000 already hired. IFA, Hiring Our Heroes and Capital One will work together toward the collective goal of hiring 500,000 heroes.

Franklin, one of the 4,314 veterans to become franchise owners since 2011, served seven years in the Navy including deployments to Japan, the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan. He dreamed of owning his own business saying, “One good thing about the Navy is it really taught me how to make good decisions and how to manage things, and I felt ‘Hey, I want to take a chance on myself.’”

Franklin learned that The UPS Store was waiving the franchise fee for veterans as part of Operation Enduring Opportunity, giving him the opportunity to open his own business. “I don’t have business experience, but in franchising they give you the support.” Franklin opened his Arlington, Va. UPS Store in April and hopes to begin hiring veterans.
With the support and partnership of Hiring Our Heroes and Capital One, VetFran will see many more follow Franklin’s footsteps.

Josh Merin is senior manager, research & strategic initiatives for the International Franchise Association. He can be reached at 202-662-0762 or

Read previous post:
Opportunities for Service-Disabled Veterans a Win for All

Franchises appreciate the value of veterans’ skill sets and want them in their systems. Service, sacrifice, dedication and honor are...