WIN Home Inspection’s Keith Mathias and IFA’s VetFran coordinator Beth Solomon took to the airwaves of Detroit’s FOX2 News to raise awareness about opportunities for veterans in franchising as the National Veterans Small Business Conference and Expo June 26-28 at Cobo Center gets underway, expected to attract over 10,000 veterans this week. With unemployment rates stuck over 16 percent in this region hard-hit by the recession, franchise leaders from 40 IFA member companies will participate in the first-ever Franchising Pavilion and the Conference’s Hiring Fair, where over 200 companies including the “big three” automakers will offer jobs.
“When they take off their uniform, some servicemembers are looking for a job, but others want to own their own businesses,” Solomon told FOX2 reporter Amy Adams. “Franchising lets them be in business for themselves — but not by themselves.” She noted that Aaron’s, FASTSIGNS, NAPA Auto Parts, WIN Home Inspection, Two Men And a Truck, Lenny’s, Home Instead Senior Care and The UPS Store are some of the franchise brands offering special incentives to veterans.
WIN Home Inspection’s Mathias told FOX2’s Adams that WIN has committed $1.2 million dollars in financing and created a “WIN for America” program waiving franchise fees. So far, about 25% of WIN’s franchisees are military veterans. Mathias and Marketing Director Jimmy Rocchetta estimate that 25% percent of the veteran franchisees have veteran employees. “Veterans hire veterans,” said Rocchetta.
The company has taken a grass-roots approach to marketing, combining earned media with making personal connections through veterans in their networks. WIN is also working with The Value of a Veteran on a Texas state program that provides funding for business training. “It’s no secret within corporate America that military training sets a career course, and most veterans excel in the workforce,” says WIN’s President Steve Wadlington. “Our military veterans regard core values, commitment, and teamwork, thus making them ideally positioned for success within WIN Home Inspection.”
Within an hour of Mathias’ appearance on FOX2, the company recorded five new leads at its Madison, AL headquarters.
“We’re getting high-quality leads,” said Rocchetta. “This is working well for us.” Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and White House Joining Forces Executive Director Brad Cooper hit the conference Thursday.