Maid Brigade's new program helps veterans clean up


One of the most oft-cited benefits to military service is that it gives members training and skills that they can use in private life. But few companies seem eager to help veterans convert these disciplines to civilian employment. In fact, a stint in the military is often not a career salvation but a job killer.

A couple of months ago, I wrote about Leon Batie, an Army reservist and Subway restaurant franchise owner who lost his shops while serving in Afghanistan.

Although many deserve some blame for the loss of Batie's business and his credit rating -- including his brother and his business partner -- the fact that one Subway executive pocketed $100,000 from the sale was more than a little disturbing.

So I was reassured by the story of Maid Brigade's Veterans Franchise Giveaway program. Between now and November 11, the Atlanta-based cleaning company is waiving its $14,500 franchise fee for qualified veterans seeking to open their own business. At the same time, it's running a contest for new veterans looking to go into business; the grand prize is a full franchise, valued at $45,000. Second and third prizes are similar packages, worth $27,500 and $17,000.

Don Hay, Maid Brigade's president, explained why the chain is so eager to recruit former soldiers: "We've had good experiences with veterans. They have good training, and know how to follow a system. Also, many are used to managing personnel."

Originally published