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Hospitality Opportunities for People (Re)Entering Society


Putting Justice-Involved Individuals on a Path to Employment and Independence

Using a Community Collaborative Model, the NRAEF partners with Departments of Corrections, Community-Based Organizations, and State Restaurant Associations to connect adults of all ages with current or previous justice-involvement to career opportunities in the restaurant, foodservice, and hospitality industry.

HOPES partners utilize the NRAEF’s Restaurant Ready training framework to equip individuals, 18 years of age and older, who are currently in correctional facilities, on parole/probation, or with former justice-involvement. Once a participant completes work-readiness and industry-specific training, HOPES helps them gain employment in a local restaurant and/or foodservice establishment. NRAEF works with employers and partnering organizations to help further the professional training and education of HOPES participants through connections to credentials and apprenticeship programs.

Program Partners

Learn more about the HOPES program partners at the links below.

Department of Corrections

The DOCs identify eligible candidates for the HOPES program and provide industry training and program engagement for candidates during incarceration.

Boston Department of Corrections

Illinois Department of Corrections

Virginia Department of Corrections

Community Based Organizations

The CBOs connect with candidates to conduct formal enrollment during correction-based industry training or in the community if already in reentry. CBOs provide coaching and case management, including: additional training, wraparound services, employment placement and 12 months of follow-up support.

Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD)
Boston, Massachusetts

Community Work Services
Boston, Massachusetts

Lawrence Hall
Chicago, Illinois

LOC Family Services
Farmville, Virginia

Safer Foundation
Chicago, Illinois

OAR of Richmond
Richmond, Virginia

State Restaurant Associations

The SRAs connect participants with employment opportunities through their employer partners and identify employers for recruitment. SRAs also play a critical role in educating employers on the HOPES initiative.

Illinois Restaurant Association

Massachusetts Restaurant Association

Virginia Restaurant, Lodging and Travel Association


Training and Employer Partners

Employers hire justice-involved adults and support opportunities for career growth. Employers work with partners during the 12-month follow-up period to ensure participant retention and skill development, as well as foster apprenticeship connections.





Our HOPES Program is expanding! 

The U.S. Department of Labor has awarded the NRAEF a $4 million grant to continue our efforts to train justice-involved individuals for jobs and careers in the restaurant industry. NRAEF will use these funds to expand HOPES to four new states: Delaware, Michigan, Ohio, and Texas.

Read the Press Release


HOPES Industry Skills Tour with MOD Pizza

Recently, participants from HOPES community-based organization partner Lawrence Hall attended a two-day “Industry Skills Tour” to learn more about opportunities in the restaurant industry and careers at MOD Pizza. Participants were joined by industry guests from MOD Pizza for a day of learning and visited a local MOD Pizza location for a behind-the-scenes tour.


Program Resources

Interested in learning more about the HOPES project? Download the program resources below.

HOPES Fact Sheet

Our Model: Community Collaborative Infographic

Current Partner Resources

Already enrolled in HOPES? Click below for resources for current partners.

Partner Resources


HOPES is 100% funded through two grants, in the amounts of $4,499,472 and $4 million, awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. This web page was created by NRAEF and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This web page content is copyrighted by NRAEF.

Get in Touch

If you'd like to learn more about the HOPES initiative or how to get involved, contact us at 202-331-5908 or send us an email:

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