The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation has joined forces with the Multicultural Foodservice and Hospitality Alliance. They will offer diversity and inclusion training to employers that participate in the Foundation's Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship program.

MFHA, which partnered with the National Restaurant Association in 2016, educates restaurant industry executives and employees in how to embrace diversity and inclusion in the workplace. As part of its work with the Foundation, it will assist in:

  • Developing an employer toolkit and in-person/online training that focuses on recruiting and hiring diverse populations.
  • Providing outreach and awareness of the apprenticeship program to minority-serving institutions.

The Foundation announced the partnership as Black History Month and Career and Technical Education Month continued. With MFHA’s goals to bring the benefits of diversity and inclusion to the hospitality industry and CTE Month celebrating the value of career and technical education programs around the country, the new partnership will help train apprenticeship employers on unconscious bias and similar topics.

Rob Gifford, the Foundation’s executive vice president, said the NRAEF was excited to work with MFHA on educating industry members on best practices in incorporating diversity and inclusion into the workplace.

“As apprenticeships help develop our industry’s growing workforce, we want to make sure that diversity and inclusion remain an integral part of that growth,” he said. “With MFHA’s comprehensive training and development for employers, we look forward to achieving that goal.”

“Recruiting more minorities and providing them with career opportunities is a huge part of succeeding at inclusion and business,” Fernandez said. “Working with the Educational Foundation on multicultural outreach efforts is not only exciting, it will also go a long way toward positioning restaurants as the ultimate industry of choice.”

The apprenticeship program debuted in 2016. Created in partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association, it was funded through a contract with the Department of Labor. By the end of this year, the HSRA program projects to have 1,500 apprentices registered.

The growth of apprenticeship programs as part of workforce development in our industry is evident in the work of two state restaurant association partners: Delaware and Massachusetts. The two successfully developed cook apprenticeship programs. Two more state associations plan to introduce cook apprenticeship programs within the next year.