Franchising’s Role in Apprenticeship Expansion

Franchise Business Outlook

By Robert Cresanti, CFE

Franchise businesses and individuals working for franchise companies will benefit from President Donald Trump’s Executive Order signed June 15 as part of Workforce Development Week. The apprenticeship initiative seeks to “make it dramatically easier for employers, industry groups and unions to create exciting new apprenticeship programs that place students into high-paying careers,” President Trump said after an unveiling ceremony with U.S. Department of Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and SBA Administrator Linda McMahon. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) also attended the launch.

President Trump met with state governors and CEOs of major companies about expanding apprenticeship programs leading into the June 15 ceremony. A day earlier, representatives from IFA member companies took part in a group of around 30 apprentices for a roundtable discussion at Department of Labor headquarters. Included in the group were franchisee Jay Van Deusen and his apprentice Kevin McShane with Dwyer Group brand Rainbow International Restoration; The UPS Store’s Northern Virginia area franchisee Julie Sterling and former apprentice/current franchisee of the Great Falls location Marlon Barrera; and Adrianna Gray, an assistant manager who participated in the apprentice program at ServiceMaster’s Merry Maids. IFA extends its appreciation to Adrianna, Jay, Julie, Kevin and Marlon for taking part in this important event!

Acosta pointed out that despite the numerous benefits of vocational training, apprentices make up only 0.3 percent of the American workforce, largely in the construction sector. He also noted that 95 percent of executives reported problems finding qualified workers. CEOs across the financial, information technology and business services industries have expressed interest in expanding the apprenticeship model. Trade groups such as IFA and the National Restaurant Association have also expressed support for the effort to help fill the skills gap with apprenticeship programs.

The backing of CEOs and industry groups comes as a survey released in June by Morning Consult for IFA shows that franchise business owners and investors are more likely to invest in a new business today than prior to the 2016 Presidential Election by a 2-1 margin. The survey reveals an increased sense of optimism among small business owners, while more work remains to be done. Further evidence can be found in a recent FRANdata study of 1,600 new franchise concepts that started in the last five years. Founders at 25 percent of the concepts had previously worked in franchising, either as a franchisee or an employee of a franchisee or franchisor. These people went from working in a franchise system to starting their own franchise brands.

Many IFA member companies have apprentice programs in place. Visit to read about apprenticeship and vocational training programs at the following franchises:

- AAMCO: 300-plus courses via AAMCO University.
- ACE Hardware: Hundreds of strategic training initiatives.
BrightStar Care: Numerous career progression programs.
Christian Brothers Automotive Technicians: Two-year apprenticeship program.
Jiffy Lube: Training benefits and college credits.
Marco’s Pizza: Apprenticeship and recruitment programs.
Merry Maids (ServiceMaster brand): Four-stage apprenticeship program.
- Moran Family of Brands: Future Auto Tech internship program.
Mr. Appliance: Technician training and online video programs.
Mr. Rooter Plumbing: Online technician courses and classroom training.
Rainbow International Restoration (Dwyer Group brand): Technician and franchisee training programs.
The UPS Store: Apprenticeship and training programs through UPS Store University.

Read more about franchising opportunities at each company listed above by typing in the company name into the search box at the Franchise Opportunities section of Keep an eye on, Franchising World and IFA’s digital publications for more in-depth reports on apprenticeship initiatives at franchise companies. Have an apprenticeship program at your franchise? Send the details to and we’ll include your franchise in our next report!

Robert Cresanti, CFE, is the President and CEO of the International Franchise Association.