It was Veterans Day 2013, a chilly November morning, when John Way was approached by a young job seeker. The applicant was a veteran and Way, who owns two Jiffy Lube locations in the Baltimore area, immediately identified with him.
“I have a sign on my building that says ‘Veteran Owned and Operated.’ He felt that he would get a chance from me,” Way said. “I wasn’t going to create bad karma by not hiring a veteran on Veteran’s Day. He told me his story and absolutely, I helped him out.”
This experience led Way to launch a goal in January 2014, that at least 50 percent of his new hires would be veterans by the end of the year.
As Way continues to move toward his goal, he has joined forces with over 100 other businesses participating in Governor Martin O’Malley’s Operation Hire program, Maryland’s 100-day veteran hiring challenge. The challenge is working to raise awareness of veteran unemployment and available resources for companies and job seekers.
“If an average business owner like me can work harder to hire veterans, then anyone can do it. They just need the confidence to take that chance,” Way said.
Of course, according to Way’s employees, he is anything but “average.”