The Coca-Cola Company Refreshes its Commitment to the Future of the Restaurant Industry

 Announces record-breaking $1.5 million pledge to the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation to help Attract, Empower and Advance the Industry’s Workforce

WASHINGTON, DC – June 8, 2017 – The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced today that the Coca-Cola Company has committed $1.5 million to support the Foundation’s efforts to attract, empower and advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice industry workforce.  Coca-Cola’s donation also marks the largest contribution by a corporation in the history of the Foundation.

Over the past decade, Coca-Cola has contributed more than $11.5 million to the NRAEF and its portfolio of programs, including ProStart®, the nation’s leading culinary and restaurant management training initiative reaching more than 137,000 high school students. During that time, the company has awarded scholarships to over 600 ProStart students to continue their education, receive additional training and pursue careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry.

Coca-Cola has been a proud supporter of the NRAEF since its inception – it is the incubator for our industry,” said Roy Jackson, senior vice president of business development and industry affairs, Coca-Cola Company. “We are excited to increase our level of support and partner with the Foundation on preparing and developing the next generation of talent for rewarding jobs and careers in this dynamic industry.”

Coca-Cola has been a long-standing champion of the Foundation and a global leader in creating opportunities for people from all backgrounds,” said Rob Gifford, executive vice president, NRAEF. “This significant contribution and Coca-Cola’s active involvement in the work of the Foundation are a testament to their commitment to the future of the industry and our mission to feed dreams and build futures.”   

With new restaurants, food concepts, dining experiences and innovative services launching every day, the demand for a well-trained and skilled workforce is greater than ever.  This year, the restaurant and foodservice industry is expected to reach $799 billion (4 percent of U.S. GDP) and the workforce will grow from 14.7 million to 16.3 million over the next 10 years.  For the past 30 years, the NRAEF has been on the front-lines of workforce development, offering restaurant and foodservice education, food safety, training and certification programs to millions of Americans. 
About The Coca-Cola Company:  The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, offering over 500 brands to people in more than 200 countries. Of our 21 billion-dollar brands, 19 are available in lower- or no-sugar options to help people moderate their consumption of added sugar. In addition to our namesake Coca-Cola drinks, some of our leading brands around the world include: AdeS soy-based beverages, Ayataka green tea, Dasani waters, Del Valle juices and nectars, Fanta, Georgia coffee, Gold Peak teas and coffees, Honest Tea, Minute Maid juices, Powerade sports drinks, Simply juices, smartwater, Sprite, vitaminwater, and Zico coconut water. At Coca-Cola, we’re serious about making positive contributions to the world. That starts with reducing sugar in our drinks and continuing to introduce new ones with added benefits. It also means continuously working to reduce our environmental impact, creating rewarding careers for our associates and bringing economic opportunity wherever we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we employ more than 700,000 people around the world. For more information, visit our digital magazine Coca-Cola Journey at www.coca-colacompany.com, and follow The Coca-Cola Company on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Coca-Cola JourneyHigh Schoolers Cook Up Successful Careers at 2017 National ProStart Invitational
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” 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.
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Jasmine Jones – NRAEF
202 315 4101
Robert Jefferies – Coca-Cola
404 676 4892
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