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Franchisors Help Vets Get Down to Business

Chip Skambis

Austin military veterans and Texas-based entrepreneurs have launched an online portal to connect vets and their spouses to openings in franchise employment and ownership.

The initiative aims to help improve the high unemployment rate among veterans, which has reached 7.2% in Texas.

The Texas Children’s Lighthouse LearningCenterand The DwyerGroupannounced their support and collaboration with the International Franchise Association in creating The Veterans Franchise (VetFran) Toolkit.

“As a society, we need to give our veterans opportunities. These franchise companies open doors for veterans,” said Steve Welch, a local U.S. military veteran who is now an attorney for the learning center. Welch was on hand today, on the steps of the Texas Capitol, to unveil the toolkit.  

The VetFran Toolkit includes a “Franchising 101” online course, a skills and attributes assessment, a finance assessment and several partner links, like landscaping franchise Grounds Guys.

“The process, tools and resources available through the Grounds Guys made a couple of fighter pilots into landscapers,” said Derek Paulk. He and his wife Maureen own Grounds Guys franchises in San Marcos.

U.S. military veterans and spouses will also be able to access the VetFran mentor network and be connected to franchise business leaders through the toolkit. The franchise leaders comprising the network will serve as an additional resource, sharing their knowledge of and experience in franchising with veterans.

The Austin Chamber of Commerce is also looking to connect businesses and franchisors with veterans. Over 6,200 veterans and spouses have started careers in franchising in the past year.

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