After eight years in the Army, Joshua Schaefer’s dream of becoming a business owner came true by starting a company that could create jobs for veterans while helping keep communities organized.
Schaefer is the owner of the JDog Junk Removal and Hauling franchise in Flugerville.state enterprise teeth Dedicated to helping veterans run their own franchises and hire fellow veterans.
In October, the US Department of Labor announced that the national veterans’ unemployment rate was 2.7%. JDog officials say he hopes to bring this number down to 1%. Schaefer said it’s great to be part of a company whose goal is to reduce unemployment among veterans.
“There are other goals besides making money,” Schaefer said. “I think it’s a bigger mission.”
In Pflugerville, JDog Junk Removal and Hauling also offers carpet, upholstery, tile and hardwood floor cleaning. Schaefer’s company serves Kyle, Dripping Springs, Elgin, as well as Austin. The national chain also has locations covering Williamson County, New Braunfels, and San Antonio, according to its website.
The business has one veteran employee and has been open since November, with a grand opening planned for spring, Schaefer said. Business has been slow since opening, but he attributes that to the holiday season.
Schaefer served eight years in the Army, four years at Fort Hood and four years in the reserve. He said it was important to give veterans job opportunities, especially where they could work together to help them transition to civilian life. He said he finds being a resource “completely satisfying and fulfilling” for them as they learn to navigate life.
“It’s hard to find a way for them to get back into civilian life,” he said. “It can feel like a comfort to have someone you’ve served and to be around each other.”
Schaefer says the work they do is “not for the faint of heart” and requires a lot of endurance, but the camaraderie and teamwork he and his employee, Miguel Zamaron, have created In addition, he said that seeing and hearing reviews from customers makes everything better, especially when it comes from “thankful work.”
“Helping each other and working like oiled machines is what the military teaches us all,” he said. “This is a job that most veterans can relate to, and accepting the nasty is definitely a term that comes up from time to time.”
To recruit veterans, Schaefer relies on VA employment services and online job search sites. Schaefer said he is actively trying to recruit more veterans.
Zamaron, 22, said it was a miracle he found the job. He served in the Army on active duty for three years, stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
Zamaron said that when he started looking for a job, he did not expect to find many options because his infantry duty was not a skill that could be used in most civilian jobs. He said it was beneficial to work with someone who had served in the same way and who could empathize with the life of service.
“It’s so cool to have someone who knows what it’s like to be in the military. I have something I want to talk to you about. I don’t feel like I’m the only one.”