Travel Leaders Group and Nexion are introducing a new program aimed at providing scholarships for military veterans looking to become independent travel agents, executives told Travel Agent and other media on a press call. The program has been endorsed by AMVETS, a support and advocacy organization for military veterans.
Recipients of the Nexion Veterans in Travel scholarships will receive a full scholarship for Nexion’s Travel Leaders of Tomorrow Virtual Campus training program, an $1,800 value for all four modules. Additionally, recipients will have the opportunity to be reimbursed for the cost of materials, such as books and testing, through suppliers, and Nexion will waive the activation fee and monthly membership fees for up to two years for scholarship recipients who join the host agency. Finally, recipients who join Nexion will have access to the organization’s New Agent Coach, and Nexion is reaching out to current member agents who are veterans to garner support for a peer mentorship program.
“This is a win – win,” said Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko. “It’s an effort to give back to veterans and recognize their service to the country, and it gives travel agencies access to a new pool of talent.”
Nexion President Jackie Friedman said that becoming an independent travel consultant is an appealing opportunity for veterans.
“It is very much a growing segment of our industry, and it’s an ideal place for veterans who want flexibility in how they run their business,” Friedman said.
Sherman Gillum, Jr., chief strategy officer for AMVETS, noted that hiring initiatives for veterans remain important, even as the overall economy has improved.
“With overall unemployment now dropping and our country enjoying better economic times, corporate America seems to have taken its eye off the ball and moved on,” Gillum said. “Even when ample jobs are available, veterans who face transition stresses, such as service-incurred disabilities, family issues and the consequences of combat, simply want a fair shot at gainful employment. In some cases, that best shot is entrepreneurship.”
Independent travel consultants who join the Nexion host agency network will also gain access to additional benefits and services, including ticketing, operations and fulfillment support, along with technology, marketing and continuing education.