National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Awarded $5 Million Youth Apprenticeship Grant from U.S. Department of Labor

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced today it has been awarded a $5 million youth apprenticeship readiness grant by the S.S. Department of Labor.

WASHINGTON, DC – August 12, 2020 – The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced today it has been awarded a $5 million Youth Apprenticeship Readiness grant by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The grant will help the Foundation expand its Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship (HSRA) program and play a more active role in preparing the next generation of talent for careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry.

The NRAEF will work with four pilot states – Colorado, Delaware, Louisiana and Maryland – and link its ProStart and Restaurant Ready programs to the Youth Readiness Apprenticeship initiative. ProStart is a career and technical education program reaching 150,000 high school students pursuing careers in culinary arts and restaurant management. Restaurant Ready partners with community-based organizations (CBOs) to provide young adults, ages 16 through 24 who are out of school and out of work, with job skills training.

“The additional funding will help us grow our apprenticeship program and give young people the training and education they need to launch a successful career and build a better future for themselves,” said Rob Gifford, president of the NRAEF. “Apprenticeship is a win-win for both employers and employees. Through apprenticeship programs, employees have a clear pathway to advancement and a higher income.”


Joining the NRAEF in this work is a network of State Restaurant Associations (SRAs), education and training providers, State Apprenticeship Agencies and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) service providers. Out of the 120 organizations that applied for a Youth Apprenticeship grant, only 14 were selected. Among the 14 organizations, the NRAEF was the only trade association foundation selected.

The Foundation’s registered apprenticeship program has over 2,000 apprentices currently enrolled with a 90 percent retention rate. The program is now offered in 44 states at more than 300 apprenticeship sites.

The Restaurant Youth Registered Apprenticeship program is made possible through a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration which is financing 77% of the total program costs, of $6.5 million, with industry leveraged resources of 23%.

To learn more about how you and/or your company can get involved with apprenticeship, visit

Restaurant Youth Readiness Apprenticeship (RYRA)

  • 76.57% of the total costs of the program or project will be financed with Federal money
  • $4,999,478.40 million was awarded to the NRAEF from the DOL
  • 23.43% ($1,529,764 in leveraged resources) will be financed by non-governmental sources


About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation 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 justice-involved 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

Jasmine Jones

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