President Obama’s Commitment to Hire Veterans
Franchise.org reports that the current rate of veteran unemployment is at 12% and will drop with the signing of the Vow to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 by President Obama on November 21 at the White House. The new law encourages businesses to hire veterans by granting tax credits to these employers. The IFA thanked the President, First Lady and Congress for giving veterans the chance to be prime movers of the American economy.
Franchise business leaders and IFA President & CEO joined President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden at a White House bill signing ceremony today for the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, as the President recognized the industry’s commitment to hire as team members and recruit as franchise business owners 75,000 veterans and their spouses and 5,000 wounded warriors by 2014.
“We are honored to join President Obama and to thank him and First Lady Michelle Obama for their leadership to help our nation’s veterans access opportunities in the civilian economy that they so clearly deserve,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira. “We need to ensure that America’s sons and daughters, who have served the nation so bravely, now can transition to stable civilian lives in which they can and should become leaders in our nation’s economy.”
There are over 66,000 veteran-owned franchise small businesses employing over 815,000 team members, according to U.S. Census data. The IFA’s Operation Enduring Opportunity campaign seeks to grow those numbers.
The Vow to Hire Heroes Act creates tiered tax credits for employers who hire out of work veterans. Hiring a veteran unemployed for over a month yields a credit of $2,400; if they have been unemployed for over six months the credit is $5,600. The credit can rise as high as $9,600 for hiring a veteran disabled in a combat zone who has been out of work for more than six months. The bill also includes provisions for job training and puts state licensing requirements for technical jobs in line with the skills veterans learned in the military. The bill passed the House and Senate without opposition.
Joining IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira for the bill signing ceremony were David Nilssen, co-founder and CEO of Guidant Financial Group, Inc. and Greg Tanner, national director for franchising, Aaron’s Sales & Leasing. As part of Operation Enduring Opportunity, Guidant committed to enabling 500 veterans and their families to secure financing to become small business owners, while Aaron’s committed to hiring and recruiting 500 veterans and their families.
On Nov. 10, IFA launched “Operation Enduring Opportunity,” a campaign including the industry’s more than 825,000 franchise establishments, which support nearly 18 million jobs, to hire and recruit 75,000 veterans and 5,000 wounded warriors by 2014. The announcement, made by First Lady Michelle Obama as part of the White House Joining Forces Initiative, represents the largest industry veteran hiring commitment to date.