White House Workforce Development Lunch


Cresanti Brings Franchising to the Table

Check out that smile on IFA President & CEO Robert Cresanti's face (front left) as he works to move franchising forward at a meeting at the White House on May 9. Across from him, you'll recognize Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump, and to his left is Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta -- not your every day lunch group. Other executives who received this sweet invitation were National Association of Manufacturers CEO Jay Timmons, Dow CEO Andrew Liveris, Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Bush and Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson. 

The topic of the hour was workforce development -- how to increase apprenticeships and work-based learning opportunities across the private sector. Cresanti stood up for franchising by sharing valuable information about how millions of Americans got their first career education in franchised businesses, significantly in the service sector where much of the job growth is occurring in today’s economy. Inherent within the business model are the basic, fundamental apprenticeship programs that prepare unskilled and lower-skilled Americans to move up the ladder to middle-class jobs. Because of this, franchising plays a huge role in workforce development and being able to discuss this with the Secretary of Labor and the President's Advisor is a significant step in enhanching, protecting, and strenghtening the franchise community.

With these foundational workforce skills in play, many workers are able to rise the entrepreneurial ladder from management to even starting their own franchise brands. In fact, according to a 2017 study of 1,600 new franchise concepts, 25% of the company's founder had previously worked in franchising. With proven success like this, what could go wrong?

Joint employer.

Franchisors like the Dwyer Group have been forced to back off in providing traditional training and workforce development support to franchisees out of fear they will be considered a joint employer. Franchisors are also cutting back on giving training to technicians, helping franchisees find new employees, and providing point of sale software to franchises. The new joint employment standards have changed how franchisors train, who they train, and made it considerably harder for them to best support franchisees and their franchisees.

Cresanti was able to promote the positive impact of franchising on the economy, share concern for the future of franchising under a new joint employment standard and build relationships with the people who attended this important lunch event. The IFA will continue to fight for a permanent legislative solution to return to the previous definition of joint employer that will give franchises their independence back and ensure the industry can continue to create jobs and contribute to the economy.

You can help protect the franchise business model by attending IFA's Franchise Action Network Annual Meeting in the nation's capital this September 4-7. Come and meet with your representatives in Congress and share everything that Cresanti spoke about during the Workforce Development Lunch and help move franchising forward. Registration is open, so sign up today!