As part of the franchising industry's support of the White House Joining Forces initiative, Steve Caldeira, International Franchising Association president and CEO, joined President Obama, Vice President Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden on Tuesday to mark the hiring of 290,000 veterans and military spouses who have been hired or trained since the launch of the initiative in 2011.

There are 562 franchised businesses that are part of IFA's VetFran strategic initiative. They were part of the first private sector commitments to the White House Joining Forces initiative on Veterans Day in 2011. IFA and its membership pledged to hire and recruit 80,000 veterans and military spouses by 2014, including 5,000 wounded warriors as team members and franchise small business owners. In the first year, nearly 65,000 veterans have started careers in franchising — including 4,314 as franchise business owners using discounts offered by VetFran member companies.

"With the war in Iraq over and the war in Afghanistan drawing to a close and more than one million service members are projected to leave the military in the next several years, franchise businesses have realized that hiring our veterans, military spouses and wounded warriors is not only the right thing to do, but it makes good business sense," Caldeira said. "With its rapid training opportunities, scalability, and need for operational execution and excellence in following proven systems, franchising provides an ideal structure to enable returning veterans to become leaders of and productive participants in the U.S. economy."

Read more about franchising efforts.

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