Foundation pledges to help thousands achieve career goals



Sgt. Dustin Lewis, Ashley Owens and Rob Gifford at the pledge signing


In support of the Administration’s “Pledge to America’s Workers,” an effort to step up workforce development efforts across the country, the National Restaurant Association and its Educational Foundation announced a commitment to provide training and education to nearly 400,000 people seeking jobs and careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry over the next five years.


Representatives from both the Association and the Foundation joined other businesses and trade association leaders at the White House on July 19 for the signing of an Executive Order that promises to impact 369,975 people through a variety of workforce programs such as pre-apprenticeship, apprenticeship, certification, credentials and continuing education. The Foundation’s various programs ‑‑ ProStart, the U.S. Department of Labor Hospitality Sector Apprenticeship project, Restaurant Ready, and scholarship and military training initiatives ‑‑ were included in the pledge.


“We applaud the Administration for their continued commitment to workforce development,” said Rob Gifford, the foundation’s executive vice president. “The pledge fits perfectly with our mission to serve the public through education and training programs that create job and career opportunities for today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice leaders. As the nation’s second-largest private sector employer, the restaurant and foodservice industry plays a vital role in advancing the country’s workforce.”

Former ProStart student and NRAEF scholarship recipient, Ashley Owens, currently a restaurant management major at the University of Houston, and Sgt. Dustin Lewis, a former U.S. Marine who attended the NRAEF’s Armed Forces Forum for Culinary Excellence, attended the pledge-signing ceremony. Lewis is a chef at the White House.