National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Puts Restaurant Worker Futures Back on Track

Constellation brands makes $1.75 million commitment to NRAEF’s “Restaurants Advance” Campaign

WASHINGTON, DC – Tuesday, April 6, 2021 – The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced today the launch of Restaurants Advance, a national fundraising campaign to help current and future restaurant workers access the education and training they need to put their job or career back on track.  Constellation Brands, a leading beverage alcohol company, has committed $1.75M to support the NRAEF and its Restaurants Advance initiative as the industry continues to rebuild and reopen after COVID-19.

Since March 2020, over two million workers have lost their jobs, salaries, and opportunities to advance. The National Restaurant Association reports that 110,000 or 17% of restaurants have closed permanently and or long-term, the vast majority of permanently closed restaurants were well-established businesses and fixtures in their communities.


Working alongside its partner organization, the Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance (MFHA), the NRAEF’s Restaurants Advance campaign focuses on three key support areas benefitting both restaurant workers and operators:

  • Restaurants Advance Futures – programs to attract, empower and advance diverse talent pursuing a future in the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry.
  • Restaurants Advance Communities – helping employers and communities create opportunities through first job skills training, apprenticeships and professional development.
  • Restaurants Advance Entrepreneurship – putting people from all backgrounds on a pathway to restaurant ownership and/or an executive level leadership position.

100% of every dollar donated supports the NRAEF’s mission to empower and advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant workers. The work of the NRAEF includes preparing high-school students for restaurant jobs and careers; offering scholarships to anyone building a future in restaurants; helping our military transition into the industry; providing apprenticeships and building pathways to independence for justice-involved youth through job skills training and mentoring.

“While the pandemic has caused historic pain for restaurants and restaurant workers, it has raised the public consciousness for just how important this industry is to the health and well-being of our society,” said Rob Gifford, President of the NRAEF.  “What we do now will shape the industry’s future and the lives of millions of people for years to come. We are grateful for the strong support of Constellation Brands as we kick-off Restaurants Advance and lead this vital industry and its workforce into a new era of hope and opportunity.”

“Many of our retail partners, particularly local restaurants and their employees, have been significantly impacted by this terrible virus,” said Bill Newlands, Constellation Brands’ president and chief executive officer. “We are proud to partner with the NRAEF and play a role in helping to rebuild the industry, and we believe that starts with the people who serve as its backbone. Our hope is to not only help rebuild the industry’s workforce with talented and diverse individuals to position it for future growth, but also to help bring financial security through enhanced employment opportunities to the thousands who have been impacted financially by the pandemic.”

Donations to Restaurants Advance can be made online at To learn more about the NRAEF and its work to empower and advance restaurant workers everywhere, visit

Editors note: For additional Restaurants Advance media assets, click here.


About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
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

About Constellation Brands
At Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B), our mission is to build brands that people love because we believe sharing a toast, unwinding after a day, celebrating milestones, and helping people connect, are Worth Reaching For. It’s worth our dedication, hard work, and the bold calculated risks we take to deliver more for our consumers, trade partners, shareholders, and communities in which we live and work. It’s what has made us one of the fastest-growing large CPG companies in the U.S. at retail, and it drives our pursuit to deliver what’s next.

Today, we are a leading international producer and marketer of beer, wine, and spirits with operations in the U.S., Mexico, New Zealand, and Italy. Every day, people reach for our high-end, iconic imported beer brands such as Corona Extra, Corona Light, Corona Premier, Modelo Especial, Modelo Negra, and Pacifico, and our high-quality premium wine and spirits brands, including the Robert Mondavi brand family, Kim Crawford, Meiomi, The Prisoner brand family, SVEDKA Vodka, Casa Noble Tequila, and High West Whiskey.

But we won’t stop here. Our visionary leadership team and passionate employees from barrel room to boardroom are reaching for the next level, to explore the boundaries of the beverage alcohol industry and beyond. Join us in discovering what’s Worth Reaching For.

To learn more, follow us on Twitter @cbrands and visit

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NRAEF Media Contact:
Mallory Domingue

Constellation Brands Media Contacts:
Mike McGrew 

Amy Martin 

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