National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Receives $12.2 Million Contract to Strengthen, Grow, and Diversify Hospitality Industry Apprenticeship

Multi-year contract is the largest in NRAEF history. Watch this video to learn about NRAEF apprenticeship programs. 

Washington, DC – July 31, 2023 The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) has been awarded a five-year $12.2 million contract by the U.S. Department of Labor to grow its Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship (HSRA) program by 5,000 participants. The award is the largest in NRAEF history and affirms its commitment to building a diverse hospitality workforce.

Chef from the restaurant kitchen is guiding his trainee how to cook.With a special focus on addressing barriers to historically underrepresented populations, the HSRA program will enroll 1,000 new apprentices annually across the hospitality industry over the next five years. Apprentices will receive on-the-job training, as well as nationally-recognized credentials to help them advance through the ranks, earn more, and ultimately build a long-term industry career. Awarded by the DOL’s Employment and Training Administration, the project aims to strengthen the Foundation’s ongoing industry-wide work to connect current and future industry workers with advancement pathways through apprenticeship. 

Apprenticeship is an answer to many of the workforce obstacles faced by the hospitality industry. More importantly, it is life changing to individual apprentices, offering them a path to better pay, industry skills, and a career,” said NRAEF president Rob Gifford. “This new DOL contract represents the next chapter of our work to change 5,000 lives, strengthen the hospitality industry, and ensure it reflects the diversity of the people we serve.” 

The HSRA program is housed in the NRAEF’s Restaurant & Hospitality Leadership Center (RHLC). Since establishing itself as the first recognized apprenticeship program for hospitality management, the HSRA program has grown to include line cook, hotel cook, kitchen manager, restaurant manager, lodging manager, and maintenance employee programs. All programs are no cost to both employers and their employees and help hospitality employers build and manage tailored curriculums that merge on-the-job experience with related training instruction. Learn more about restaurant and hospitality apprenticeship at

About The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) 

As the supporting philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the NRAEF’s charitable mission includes 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/HOPES – Partnering with community based organizations to provide people 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 Restaurant & Hospitality Leadership Center (RHLC) – accredited apprenticeship programs designed to build the careers of service professionals. For more information on the NRAEF, Click here for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s 2022 Annual Impact Report.


Hannah Oliver

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