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On Military Spouse Appreciation Day, National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Announces Partnership with Sodexo to Support Employment for Military Spouses

On Military Spouse Appreciation Day, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced its partnership with Sodexo, Inc. to better understand the employment needs of the nation’s 640,000 military spouses of active duty service members to improve their quality of life.

GettyImages-554372541_low.jpgWASHINGTON, DC – May 10th, 2019 – On Military Spouse Appreciation Day, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced its partnership with Sodexo, Inc. to better understand the employment needs of the nation’s 640,000 military spouses of active duty service members to improve their quality of life.

Employment is the second highest military-related quality of life issue for military spouses. It is also the greatest financial opportunity cost associated with military service, according to data from the Military Lifestyle Survey.

NRAEF and Sodexo seek to better understand the barriers military spouses face with employment and career advancement and identify programs, practices and tools employers can utilize to better support military spouses. To begin this process, the NRAEF and Sodexo will moderate focus groups with current Sodexo employees who are military spouses to better understand their experiences in seeking and applying for employment in restaurants and foodservice. The partnership will also bring light to the unique challenges military spouses and their families face.

“This partnership is a significant next step in the Foundation’s work to better serve our nation’s military servicemen and women and their families with the ultimate goal of connecting them to career opportunities in our industry,” said Rob Gifford, Executive Vice President of the NRAEF. “We are committed to supporting our military—and supporting military spouse employment is an integral part of that commitment.” 

The focus group findings will be included as part of the Foundation’s development of a guide on how to best support military spouses working in restaurants and foodservice. Last year, the Foundation joined the Department of Defense Military Spouse Employment Partnership, a larger collective connecting military spouses with more than 390 partner employers to serve spouses from all military services, focused on reducing unemployment.

“As the world’s 19th largest employer and the nation’s largest foodservice provider to the federal government and military, Sodexo is in a unique position to take a deep dive into the issue of military spouse employment,” said Brett Ladd, CEO, Government, North America, Sodexo. “By partnering with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation to take on this issue, not only do we have a significant opportunity to learn a great deal about the hurdles keeping military spouses from gaining meaningful employment, but we also have the networks and resources needed to make the industry take notice and get involved.” 

The Foundation’s military program seeks to help currently serving military, their families and all veterans transition into careers in our industry, bridging the gap between those serving our country and entering the workforce to reduce veteran unemployment. 

For more information about how the NRAEF is working to support our nation’s armed services, visit ChooseRestuarants.org/Military

About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the industry’s training and education, career development and community engagement efforts. The NRAEF and its programs work to Attract, Empower and Advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workforce. NRAEF programs include:  ProStart® – a high-school career and technical education program; Restaurant Ready – partnering with community based organizations to provide “opportunity youth” with skills training and job opportunities; Military – helping military servicemen and women transition their skills to restaurant and foodservice careers; Scholarships – financial assistance for students pursuing restaurant, foodservice and hospitality degrees; and, the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship Project – a partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association providing a  hospitality apprenticeship program for the industry. For more information on the NRAEF, visit ChooseRestaurants.org.

About Sodexo North America
Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 72 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. The company employs 160,000 people at 13,000 sites in all 50 U.S. states and Canada, and indirectly supports tens of thousands of additional jobs through its annual purchases of $19 billion in goods and services from small to large businesses. Sodexo is committed to supporting diversity and inclusion and safety, while upholding the highest standards of corporate responsibility and ethical business conduct. In support of local communities across the U.S., in 2018, Sodexo contributed over 159,500 in volunteer hours, and since 1996, the Stop Hunger Foundation has contributed nearly $34.5 million to help feed children in America impacted by hunger. To learn more about Sodexo, visit SodexoUSA.com, and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

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CONTACT:
Jasmine Jones
NRAEF
jajones@nraef.org
202-315-4101

Enrico Dinges
Sodexo 
enrico.dinges@sodexo.com
301-987-4393
 

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