Apprenticeship Creates Pathways to Advancement for Restaurant Workers

National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation celebrates U.S. Department of Labor’s National Apprenticeship Week

WASHINGTON, DC – November 5, 2020 – Starting Sunday, November 8th, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) will celebrate the U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) annual National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) by spotlighting multiple pathways for restaurant and hospitality workers, young adults and veterans to advance their careers through apprenticeship.

Launched in 2017, the NRAEF’s Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship (HSRA), developed in partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Foundation (AHLAF), offers two tracks: one for restaurant management and one for lodging management. Upon completion of these competency-based programs, participants receive a certification and typically see a 14 percent increase in wages.

The “earn-while-you learn” program currently has more than 2,500 apprentices with an 80 percent retention rate. HSRA is currently offered in 44 states at more than 300 different apprenticeship sites. The NRAEF was also awarded a $9.2 million multi-year contract from the U.S. Department of Labor to expand the program.

Since launching HSRA, the NRAEF has developed a new apprenticeship program for line cooks, made apprenticeship more widely available to the nation’s transitioning military service members through the Veteran Apprenticeship and Labor Opportunity Reform (VALOR) Act, and connected high school students and young adults to apprenticeship through a Youth Apprenticeship Readiness grant.


“As restaurant employment remains below pre-coronavirus levels across the board, we are continuing to prioritize the advancement of restaurant workers across the country,” said Rob Gifford, president of the NRAEF. “Through earn-while-you-learn programs like apprenticeship, we can provide career growth opportunities for individuals from all educational backgrounds, ensure the workforce is prepared for the jobs of the future, and support employers in their training and education initiatives to get the industry back up and on its feet.”

The NRAEF is celebrating NAW by showcasing different entry ways into apprenticeship across restaurants, foodservice and hospitality throughout the week. See below for upcoming highlights:

  • Sunday, November 8: HSRA – Journey from Apprentice to Restaurant Manager
  • Monday, November 9: HSRA – Journey from Apprentice to Lodging Manager
  • Tuesday, November 10: Appreciation for Line Cooks – Advancing Careers through Registered Cook Apprenticeship
  • Wednesday, November 11: Celebrating Veterans Day during NAW – Transitioning Military Service Members into Apprenticeship
  • Thursday, November 12: Future Focus – Connecting High School students to Apprenticeship with ProStart
  • Friday, November 13: Future Focus – Connecting Opportunity Youth to Apprenticeship with Restaurant Ready
  • Saturday, November 14: NAW Wrap-Up Celebration


For more information on NAW, visit and follow the NRAEF on LinkedInFacebook and Instagram.

To learn about starting an apprenticeship program, visit



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


Hannah Oliver
National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

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