National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Awarded $450,000 Grant from Lumina Foundation to Develop Registered Cook Apprenticeship

Grant part of larger initiative to build pathways to degrees and other credentials to validate non-institutional learning with a focus on improving equity outcomes for people of color

WASHINGTON, DC – September 30th, 2019 – The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) has been awarded a $450,000 grant from Lumina Foundation to develop a Registered Cook Apprenticeship Program (RCAP).  This grant is part of Lumina’s All Learning Counts initiative, a larger effort to build clearer pathways to degrees and other credentials for adults, especially for people of color and Native learners. Lumina’s support will enable NRAEF to ensure knowledge, skills, and abilities gained outside of formal higher education—through work, military, and other experiences—can be recognized and applied toward programs leading to credentials of value.  
The NRAEF received one of nine grants awarded nationwide from a pool of 78 applicants. Other recipients include District 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund, Mi Casa Resource Center, Minnesota State, Nicolet College, SUNY Empire State College, the University of Maine System, the University of Wisconsin System, and Virginia Community College System. 

As the only recipient representing an industry group, the NRAEF was awarded the grant to scale the restaurant management apprenticeship program by developing a new Registered Cook Apprenticeship Program (RCAP).
The Foundation’s restaurant management apprenticeship is focused on helping entry level employees advance into higher-paying management positions. RCAP will utilize the same model to help entry level employees build their culinary skills. Both the management apprenticeship and RCAP initiatives include competency-based on-the-job and related training to advance apprentices to the next level in their careers with a minimum of one pay raise.

“Through All Learning Counts, we are recognizing exemplars who want to ensure many more Americans will have skills they need to thrive by earning college degrees, certificates, and industry certifications,” said Haley Glover, the Lumina strategy director who will provide leadership for the grant program. “We need to think in new ways about the recognition of learning after high school. We must see that all college-level learning, regardless of how and where it is gained, can be applied toward meaningful post-high school credentials.”
“We are absolutely thrilled to be one of Lumina’s nine grant recipients,” said Rob Gifford, president of the NRAEF. “Developing a Registered Cook Apprenticeship program will allow us to expand apprenticeship and reach a larger and more diverse pool of entry-level talent.  This will lead to improved educational and employment opportunities for people from all backgrounds in the restaurant industry – it’s a win-win.”
Of the cook occupation in the restaurant industry, 41% are women, 34% are Hispanic or Latino, and 17% are African-American, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of the nearly 900,000 job openings in restaurants and foodservice, over 200,000 of those openings are for cooks.
About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s mission of service to the public 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 and previously incarcerated individuals 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
About Lumina Foundation
Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. The foundation envisions a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials. Lumina’s goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy.

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