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The International Franchise Association VetFran initiative has strengthened its partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's "Hiring our Heroes" program and has created a partnership with Capital One Financial Corporation. The partnership is part of the IFA's Operation Enduring Opportunity, a campaign to hire as team members and recruit as franchise business owners 75,000 veterans and military spouses and 5,000 Wounded Warriors by the end of 2014.

As part of the partnership, the Chamber and Capital One made an $80,000 financial contribution to IFA. On Veterans Day, 2011 Operation Enduring Opportunity committed to hiring 80,000 veterans during an event with First Lady Michelle Obama. Since that announcement, more than 64,000 veterans, military spouses and wounded warriors have started careers in franchising, including 4,314 who have become veteran franchise business owners.

"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 Steve Caldeira, IFA president & CEO. "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's Operation Enduring Opportunity commitment represents a large component of the National Chamber Foundation and Capital One's Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign, encouraging businesses of all sizes to hire veterans. It was launched in March 2012 with the goal of employing half a million veterans and military spouses by the end of 2014.

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