National Apprenticeship Week Spotlights Pathways to Advancement for Restaurant Workers

National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation offers multiple accredited career development options under its restaurant & hospitality leadership center.


WASHINGTON, DC – November 15, 2021 – Starting today, 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.

As part of the NRAEF’s newly launched Restaurant & Hospitality Leadership Center, restaurant employers and workers nationwide can participate in the following accredited career development training and advancement programs:

Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship (HSRA): Offers four tracks – Restaurant Manager, Lodging Manager, Line Cook and Hotel Cook. 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 has more than 2,500 restaurant workers enrolled and is currently offered in 40 states at more than 300 different restaurant and hotel locations.

Restaurant Youth Registered Apprenticeship (RYRA):  Connects high school students and young adults ages 17-24 living in CO, DE, LA, and MD, specifically enrolled in the NRAEF’s ProStart or Restaurant Ready career readiness programs, to the training and education needed to begin restaurant management or line cook career paths.

Restaurant Manager SkillBridge Program and Veteran Apprenticeship and Labor Opportunity Reform Act (VALOR):  Supports transitioning military service members with direct entryways into restaurant management, and access to benefits including tax-free housing stipends and regular pay increases.


The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration awarded the NRAEF $9.2 million in funding to develop approved and standardized pathways to career advancement for restaurant and hospitality workers. These earn while you learn programs combine on-the-job training and coaching with classroom instruction.

“According to the National Restaurant Association, 75 percent of restaurant operators rated the recruitment and retention of the workforce as their top challenge,” said Rob Gifford, president of the NRAEF. “Our Restaurant & Hospitality Leadership Center addresses this challenge by developing new leaders and talent for employers, while giving employees the ability to advance their skills and increase their income.”

To learn more about the NRAEF’s Restaurant and Hospitality Leadership Center, visit RHLC.



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 justice-involved 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.  To learn more about the NRAEF and its work, visit


Tori Hyndman
National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

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