GNC partners with University of Health & Performance to recruit more veterans

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

Getty images / miguel curiel mena
Getty images / miguel curiel mena

Related tags Gnc Sports nutrition

While GNC already has 90 stores on military bases and employs veterans across the country, the company said it's diversifying its talent pipeline even further to support the military community.

The nutritional company is investing in its commitment to the military community by launching a US-based partnership with the University of Health & Performance to form a dedicated veteran hiring initiative. The goal of this new collaboration is to hire over 1,000 program participants over the next two years.

GNC said that this relationship will complement GNC's existing engagement with Jay Glazer's Merging Vets and Players.

Business blueprint

Founded by CEO Matt Hesse, a former GNC associate, franchise operator, Army Veteran and the Founder and Former CEO of PERFORMIX (a sports brand sold at GNC), the University of Health & Performance leverages his four-dimensional, integrated curriculum, ‘The Purpose Blueprint’, to support the distinct needs of Veterans, empowering them to discover a new purpose and way to serve, though fitness and health.

“When Matt created the University last year, we immediately saw the potential and an opportunity to deepen our commitment to the military community,” ​said Nate Frazier, Chief Operating Officer, GNC. “While the foundation of the work is built upon Matt’s ‘The Purpose Blueprint’, we’re coupling that with GNC’s commitment to grit, innovation, and transformation to create a pipeline of talent for the future.”

Last May, Frazier and several other GNC team members visited UHP’s main campus in Bentonville, Arkansas, to see the programming in action. During the trip they had a chance to talk and train with vets transitioning into civilian life. Frazier said the stories, commitment to personal improvement and passion for wellness struck a chord with the team.

“We see GNC as a place where veterans’ skills and passions align really well with what we do and want to do our part to help ensure their transition into new careers in a community-centric organization like ours,” ​Frazier told Nutraingredients-USA.

Core competencies

As part of its affiliation, GNC is working with the University of Health & Performance to craft custom programming to equip graduates with the skills necessary to join the company as associates following graduation. Together, the organizations are aligning on core competencies, training opportunities, and leveraging the University's coaches to help develop and position potential candidates for success at GNC via a formal veteran recruitment pipeline.

In addition to Hesse, the University of Health & Performance boasts a strong coaching staff comprised of experts including former Army Special Forces coach, Hunter Schurrer, former Head of Mental Performance for the Toronto Blue Jays, Ben Freakley and former Director of Whole Health Education at the Department of Veteran's Affairs, Kelly Howard, as Head of Education.

Hesse told NutraIngredients-USA that he credits GNC as a key player in his transition after service. "GNC was a foundational piece in my own personal journey in business after the military. In combination, GNC’s dedication and commitment to Live Well aligned with our focus on creating coaches from the military that seek to continue to serve others through the gift of empathy, fitness, and health. For students graduating from University of Health & Performance, they will enter a preferential hiring pipeline at GNC, with the goal of accelerating their employment at the company.”

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