FASTSIGNS Partners with the International Franchise Association to Assist Veterans in Finding Small Business Opportunities

June 28 Dallas Event to Announce New Employment Tools for Unemployed Veterans

June 27, 2012 // Franchising.com // CARROLLTON, Texas – In November 2011, Dallas-based FASTSIGNS® committed to recruit nearly 200 veterans as part of a national hiring plan called Operation Enduring Opportunity, an industry-wide effort to hire 75,000 veterans and 5,000 Wounded Warriors by the end of 2014. On June 28, FASTSIGNS International, the worldwide franchisor of FASTSIGNS visual communications, signage and graphics centers, alongside the International Franchise Association, will announce an expanded initiative aimed at assisting veterans who are transitioning into civilian careers after military service.

Since the hiring initiative launched last year, more than 6,200 veterans and spouses have started careers in franchising. On June 28, FASTSIGNS will host a press event at 10:00 am CT, at a FASTSIGNS location in Downtown Dallas, Market Center, located at 7017 John W Carpenter Freeway. At the press event, CEO of FASTSIGNS, Catherine Monson, will introduce a new free online Veterans Franchise Toolkit and a new Mentor Network to help veterans connect with business leaders and employment opportunities.

“As we make strides to help our nation’s heroes transition into successful careers post retirement, we must continue to introduce tools that will make it easier for them to seek out opportunities and network with the people that will lead them towards employment opportunities,” Monson said. “With unemployment rates among veterans hovering around nearly 18 percent, continuous education is critical in helping veterans transition into a civilian lifestyle.”

Also speaking at the event will be several veterans who now own their own franchises. There to discuss their personal experiences as veteran franchisees will be Michael and Rebecca McMahon, owners of The Grounds Guys in Southlake, Texas; Ron and Jennifer Pierce, owners of Furniture Medic in Wichita Falls, Texas; and April Rose Jackson, owner of Abrakadoodle in Oklahoma City.

The Veterans Franchise (VetFran) Toolkit is designed to foster access to franchise employment and ownership opportunities for U.S. veterans and military spouses. The toolkit includes a Franchising 101 online course, a skills and attributes assessment, a finance assessment, and partner links. 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 Mentor Network will share their knowledge of and experience in franchising with veterans in addition to any other professional guidance they are comfortable giving.

“As we continue to work hard each and every day to extend career opportunities to our nation’s veterans, we commend our members who are participating in the VetFran Toolkit launch events and volunteering in the VetFran Mentor Network – they are setting the right example for our industry and our entire nation,” said Steve Caldeira, CFE, IFA’s President & CEO. “As we celebrate Independence Day, let us remember that our freedom comes at a price. Now we need to enable our nation’s veterans to fulfill their dreams and find career opportunities here at home.”

About FASTSIGNS®

FASTSIGNS International, Inc. is the worldwide franchisor for the more than 530 FASTSIGNS® sign, graphic and visual communications centers in eight countries including the US (and Puerto Rico), Canada, England, Brazil, Mexico, the Caribbean, Saudi Arabia and Australia (where centers operate as SIGNWAVE®). FASTSIGNS® provides comprehensive visual communications solutions to help customers of all sizes – across all industries – meet their business objectives and increase their business visibility through the use of signs, graphics, printing, promotional products and related marketing services. FASTSIGNS was ranked number one for the second year in a row in the sign and graphic category in the 2012 Entrepreneur Magazine annual Franchise 500®. The company was also selected as one of the Top 50 Franchises for Military Veterans by the World Franchising Network. For franchise information, contact Mark Jameson (mark.jameson@fastsigns.com or 214-346-5679) or visit www.fastsigns.com.

About The Grounds Guys®

The Grounds Guys is a commercial and residential landscaping management service with approximately 90 franchises throughout the U.S. and Canada. In addition to basic lawn care, fertilization, weed elimination, pest care and bed care, The Grounds Guys offers expert landscape management and enhancement services, irrigation system installation and snow and ice removal. The Grounds Guys is a subsidiary of The Dwyer Group, Inc., a Waco, Texas-based holding company of seven, service-based franchise organizations. For further information, visit its website.

Media Contact:

Stacy Rubenstein
Fishman Public Relations
847) 945-1300
srubenstein@fishmanpr.com

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