The National Defense Radio Show explores IFA’s VetFran Pavilion during Convention

The National Defense Radio Show was onsite during IFA’s Annual Convention last month in Orlando, exploring IFA’s new VetFran Pavilion.  IFA is concentrating its efforts on increasing job opportunities and programs available to Veterans, while building initiatives to get veterans into franchising at huge discounts.

Mary Thompson a Marine Corps Captain and now President of Mr. Rooter plumbing, knows she was lucky franchising found her and isn’t surprised that veterans make such good employers. “With a military background, veterans have been trained with discipline, leadership and have a strong work ethic.  Franchising allows veterans to excel in skills they have obtained from serving,” Mary told National Defense Radio while at IFA’s Convention.

More than 450 franchisors are offering their best discounts to veterans entering franchising through IFA’s VetFran program.  The UPS Store is adding to that by waiving the entire franchise fee to the first ten veterans.  Ted Price of The UPS Store says the company’s goal is to help veterans that are coming back to a bad economy integrate back into society.  “Veterans make great franchisees because they know how to follow a system and that’s really the heart of a franchise,” Ted told Randy, host of National Defense Radio show.

Also making its first appearance at IFA’s Convention was the Hero2Hired mobile job store truck, where SGM Bowser told National defense Radio their mission was simple, “to link employers to the job seekers.” 

With 1 out of every 7 jobs created by franchising, IFA has committed to hire and recruit 75,000 veterans and 5,000 wounded warriors by 2014 as part of IFA’s Enduring Opportunity campaign and the White House Joining Forces Initiative.  SSG Shilo Harris, a veteran himself, who stopped by the VetFran Pavilion is able to relate to the problems facing veterans that are coming home today and understands that “veterans have so much to offer and are able to utilize their skills learned in the military and IFA and franchising are giving veterans that chance to succeed and once again provide for their families.” 

For more information on IFA’s VetFran program or Operation Enduring Opportunity visit and to listen to the full interview click here.

IFA joins travel industry to make recommendations for National Travel and Tourism Strategy

The International Franchise Association today joined several other business groups in the Discover America Partnership asking the U.S. Department of Commerce to take more aggressive steps to boost the U.S.’s share of the international tourism market. IFA is a member of the partnership, with IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira serving on the board of directors of the U.S. Travel Association, which runs the partnership on a day-to-day basis.  

“The travel sector, always opportunistic, has continued to generate new jobs even during these difficult economic times,” said comments submitted to the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration. If the United States doesn’t get more aggressive in its outreach efforts, however, the nation risks a continued slide in its ability to attract international visitors just as world tourism ramps up.

“Travelers to the U.S. are significant customers for the nearly 825,000 franchised businesses in the U.S., including franchise business categories such as restaurants, hotels, retail products and services, business services and personal services,” said Caldeira. “Boosting travel to the U.S. will create jobs and increase economic output in the $2.1 trillion franchise industry, so what is good for the travel industry, is good for the franchise industry.” 

The comments come in response to President Obama’s recent executive order calling on his Cabinet to develop additional ideas, in partnership with the travel industry, to increase international inbound travel to the United States. These ideas will help form the National Strategy for Travel and Tourism. Specifically, the comments focus on:

  • Improving the visa process;
  • Expanding the Visa Waiver Program;
  • Supporting international travel promotion;
  • Improving the entry experience at our international airports;
  • Increasing student and youth travel to the U.S.;
  • Improving the air travel screening and security process;
  • Accelerating travel-related infrastructure projects;
  • Boosting visitation at national parks;
  • Improving capabilities to assist economic recovery following disasters; and others.

Worldwide travel will grow from 930 million visits to almost 1.3 billion by 2020, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. The partnership called on U.S. government officials to set a goal of recapturing a 17 percent share of the global long-haul international travel market, up from 12 percent today. Sustaining the 17 percent share through 2020 would bring an extra 98 million travelers to the United States.

The comments focused on improving the visa process by making online consular services more user-friendly, implementing mobile interviews for visa applications, and opening additional visa offices in Brazil, China and India. 

The Discover America Partnership web site contains more information about the steps the travel industry is taking to boost tourism in the U.S. 

Posted by Matt Haller, IFA Sr. Director of Communications

Virtual Hiring Fair for Veterans


IFA partner Hiring Our Heroes, a project of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, will join Monster/ to host a virtual career fair for transitioning servicemembers, veterans, and military spouses from March 27-29.  While veterans from anywhere in the world can attend, NBC’s Today Show this week is highlighting the extraordinary talents of our military community and the great efforts of the employers who hire them. Is your franchise involved? This virtual event will be held in conjunction with career fairs in Chicago, Ft. Hood, and New York City as part of Hiring Our Heroes’ one-year anniversary celebration.  In November, a Veterans Virtual Career Fair drew 14,000 veterans.

Veterans and spouses can use this link after February 24 to register.  Attendance is FREE.

Employers sign-up here. U.S. Chamber members receive a 15% discount.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce to Reach 100th Veterans Hiring Fair Milestone in Philadelphia

As Mr. Rooter President and VetFran Chair Mary Kennedy Thompson says, “Veterans are good for franchising, and franchising is good for veterans.” But how do you find the vets? Franchisors and franchisees can participate in hiring fairs co-sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with Hero 2 Hired (H2H), an online platform.  It’s all part of the  Veterans Employment Advisory Council effort, of which IFA is a member. The effort will mark its 100th hiring fair with “Hiring Our Heroes – Philadelphia” Friday, March 2.  To date, the fairs have connected 90,000 veterans and military spouses with more than 4,600 different employers.  More than 8,000 veterans have landed jobs. Find out more about the hiring fairs in your area here.

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