Will a Franchise Mannequin Develop Therapeutic massage Remedy College Numbers?

The Alpha School of Massage’s staff (from left): Adison, Adam, Jamie, Ed and Christopher Driggers. Courtesy of Alpha School of Massage
The Alpha College of Therapeutic massage’s employees (from left): Adison, Adam, Jamie, Ed and Christopher Driggers. Courtesy of Alpha College of Therapeutic massage

The Alpha College of Therapeutic massage, headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, is addressing the issue of fewer-than-needed therapeutic massage remedy faculty graduates by providing a franchise mannequin of its profitable academic program.

There are usually not sufficient therapeutic massage remedy faculty graduates to satisfy the demand for therapeutic massage remedy within the U.S. The labor scarcity within the therapeutic massage and spa business has resulted in additional than 21,000 therapeutic massage therapist job vacancies at spas alone, in accordance with ISPA.

The variety of massage-school graduates started falling earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic, however the pandemic exacerbated the issue as therapeutic massage remedy colleges, together with practices, shut down for a lot of months starting in 2020. When the shutdowns have been mandated, many faculty homeowners retired or modified careers. The variety of therapeutic massage colleges presently hovers round 700, a 23% lower from the 915 colleges working in 2021.

But, satirically, the pandemic resulted in additional individuals understanding the significance of self-care, hungry for wholesome contact after the lengthy interval of isolation, and realizing the advantage of therapeutic massage for aid from despair and anxiousness—all of which have pushed up the demand for therapeutic massage.

The Therapeutic massage Remedy College Franchise Mannequin

The Alpha College of Therapeutic massage’s proprietor, Adam Driggers, spoke with MASSAGE Journal through video name to elucidate his faculty’s academic program and the way his faculty’s franchise program can grow to be a conduit that flows graduates from colleges into open jobs. (This interview was frivolously edited for circulation and size.)

The Alpha College of Therapeutic massage is a household operation, with 5 campuses all through Florida and Georgia: with Adam Driggers’ father, Ed Driggers, serving as an teacher on the faculty, having graduated from the varsity in 1996; Adam Driggers’ spouse, Jamie Rhoden Driggers, serving as treasurer; and sons Chris and Adison, serving, respectively, as enrollment officer and operations supervisor.

Karen Menehan: Why does the therapeutic massage discipline want a franchised massage-program mannequin proper now?

Adam Driggers: The thought was for us to create one thing that might assist individuals repair their greatest downside—and proper now in our business, the largest downside is lack of therapeutic massage therapists. That downside is definitely rising. It’s not getting higher but.

What we are attempting to do with the franchise is attain out to the spa homeowners who’re hurting. We all know there’s loads of them as a result of we always get requests to come back recruit college students and are available discuss to college students or be placed on a job board, as a result of they’re actually on the lookout for therapists. They want them badly.

The franchise endeavor is brand-new. We’re solely so huge, and we’re attending to the purpose the place we’re simply not in a position to proceed to open our personal campuses—so this franchise alternative will enable individuals to take our mannequin that has been profitable and open it for themselves with our assist.

KM: Who’re the individuals eager to know extra about your franchise program?

AD: They’re therapists, who may personal their very own smaller or one-off spa, or they may personal a franchise, and there are some greater franchise employers.

KM: In Alpha College’s program, I noticed you have got a digital format that includes in-depth movies. Is that this a hybrid program, with some programs on-line and a few stay?

AD: The entire hands-on therapeutic massage idea and the entire therapeutic massage modalities are taught stay. We absolutely imagine in that. We don’t assume therapeutic massage schooling ought to ever be 100% on-line. It is not going to do the business any good for that to occur.

On-line programs are on matters like anatomy and physiology, some therapeutic massage idea, legal guidelines and ethics. The scholars can nonetheless be taught very properly. Alpha College’s MBLEx move charge has elevated by over 10% to date this 12 months since going 100% on-line for these topics.

What we’ve been discovering is that with a broader acceptance of on-line schooling, we’ll draw extra individuals into the business. We’re seeing that at Alpha. Our enrollment is up as a result of on-line schooling makes therapeutic massage faculty simpler to attend.

KM: The therapeutic massage remedy discipline attracts many individuals who need to work as unbiased practitioners in their very own enterprise. Does your faculty curriculum embrace enterprise coaching?

AD: Sure, it does. Issues like zoning points, and enterprise license points, and what license it’s worthwhile to must function by yourself.

KM: Along with serving to employers join with therapeutic massage faculty graduates, how does Alpha College of Therapeutic massage help with the franchise mannequin?

AD: We assist you promote based mostly on the info that we’ve gained over the years. We stroll you thru the regulatory course of. We grow to be the specialists in your state, even when we’re not in your state already.

We be taught the principles from the Division of Schooling. We be taught the board of therapeutic massage guidelines. Then we frequently observe these guidelines to ensure we’re adjusting to any modifications which may occur in your state. We’re those doing all of that.

We supply the burden of regulatory compliance for you, as a result of that actually is the tough a part of proudly owning a therapeutic massage faculty—ensuring you’re in compliance with all of the regulatory boards, they usually’re completely different from state to state.

KM: What if laws in a state change? How would you reply to that?

AD: Our curriculum is a residing curriculum. In different phrases, we will change it. In case your state goes from 500 to 650 hours, we will modify to that. We are able to take a 500-hour program and switch it right into a 650-hour program or a 700-hour program, even a 1,000-hour program.

KM: When you consider the dual challenges within the therapeutic massage discipline—an elevated demand for therapeutic massage and a scarcity of latest graduates—what’s your imaginative and prescient for what franchising can in the end do for the therapeutic massage business?

AD: Our concept is, “Here’s a profitable program, and we might help you reproduce this in your space.” We’ve got years of information for promoting, for recruiting. We’ve got years of expertise studying what does work and what doesn’t work. We’re placing all of that have into our program.

We’re principally saying, “As an alternative of attempting to determine this out by yourself, here’s a system that works, and we might help you set this in place and assist you grow to be the reply to your personal downside.”

Karen Menehan

In regards to the Creator

Karen Menehan is MASSAGE Journal’s editor in chief–print and digital. Her articles for this publication embrace “That is How Variety, Fairness & Inclusion Practices Make Enterprise Higher,” one of many articles within the August 2021 problem of MASSAGE Journal, a first-place winner of the nationwide 2022 Folio Eddies Award for editorial excellence.

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