Franchises Offer Vets Tools for Job Creation
That was the case with George Hamilton, a 21-year Air Force veteran who served in Operation Desert Shield, Bosnia, the Second Gulf War, and Iraq before officially retiring just last month. Hamilton, 40, spent the last two years of his time in the Air Force carefully considering his next career move.
An aircraft mechanic, he considered employment with the airlines, but his wife is an international flight attendant, and he didn’t want both their paychecks to be dependent on the airline industry. Besides, he said, “I wanted to work for myself. I thought I’d make a pretty good boss.”
A story in Air Force Times about franchises giving veterans incentives led him to Snap-on, and a request to ride along with a franchise owner. His due diligence paid off in an opportunity to buy a franchise near his hometown of Chicago, just as his retirement kicked in last October (he was able to leave early because of saved leave time.)
“I know tools, I know cars, and I know how to talk to mechanics,” said Hamilton. "I think I would have taken this step even without the incentives, but the discount made it that much easier to make the decision.”
For Kosnitch, the incentives helped, but so did the memory of how Snap-on dealt with him as a customer when he was an 18-year-old mechanic starting out.
“The thing that made me feel me most comfortable, realizing I could do this, was remembering being that guy who needed to build a set of tools,” he said. “Without the Snap-on guy helping me work through a payment plan, I would never have made it as a mechanic.”
Now, he gets to be that guy, riding around in a truck full of tools. It couldn’t have worked out better, he said. “In the Army, I was doing something good for my country. Now, I’m building something for my family. It’s a great feeling.”