The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation took the opportunity around Veterans Day to amplify the training and career opportunities our industry offers military personnel who have completed active duty and are returning to civilian life.

November 11 to 17 also coincided with National Apprenticeship Week, and apprenticeship opportunities are very much a part of the educational offerings for service personnel.

Here are some of the paths our Foundation and industry offer soldiers and their families as they return to civilian life:

Advanced Culinary Training Program. This quarterly training course allows service members to improve their understanding of and skills in the culinary arts and restaurant management. The coursework helps them develop the competencies and knowledge required to advance their careers in the industry once active duty ends.

Registered Apprenticeship Program. This competency-based, earn-while-you-learn initiative, the first of its kind for restaurants and hospitality, has a total enrollment of 2,000 at more than 300 sites across 44 states. Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, the 3-year-old program gives new and current restaurant and foodservice employees the opportunity to move into higher-paying management positions. So far, more than 50 employers, including Brinker International, participate in the program. It also has a 90% average retention rate, with apprentices receiving an average wage increase of 14% after completing the program.

The Hormel Heroes Scholarship. This program, in partnership with manufacturer Hormel Foods, offers financial assistance to service members pursuing careers in the culinary arts or foodservice management. Alisa McKinney, a retired U.S. Army veteran who served in the armed forces for seven years, including two tours in Iraq, and Marie Stimpson, a retired master sergeant who served in the U.S. Army for more than 30 years, are this year’s recipients. Each received $10,000 scholarships. McKinney, a student at Allegany College of Maryland, is pursuing degrees in culinary arts and hospitality. Stimpson attends Southwest Wisconsin Technical College, where she’s studying culinary arts and working towards becoming a chef.

To learn more about our Foundation’s commitment to supporting the nation’s veterans through training, apprenticeships, certifications and scholarships, go to ChooseRestaurants.org/Military.

Find out more about how you can benefit from the Registered Apprentice Program at ChooseRestaurants.org/Apprenticeship