November 09, 2020

Apprenticeship is a great way for employees to advance

Military foodservice professionals prepare dishes during the NRAEF’s Advanced Training Culinary Program, hosted quarterly. The NRAEF’s Valor program supports transitioning military service members with direct entryways into restaurant management apprenticeship.

It’s National Apprenticeship Week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s annual celebration of employee opportunity and advancement, and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation is putting the spotlight on the myriad pathways restaurant and hospitality workers, young adults and veterans can advance their careers through tailored apprenticeships.
Launched in 2017, the Foundation’s Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship program, developed in partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association Foundation, offers two tracks:

  • restaurant management
  • lodging management

After program participants complete these competency-based apprenticeship programs, they are certified and typically see a 14% increase in wages.

More than 2,500 apprentices are earning while they learn and the program boasts an 80% retention rate.

The hospitality program is available in 44 states at more than 300 apprenticeship sites. Recently, the Foundation was awarded a $9.2 million multi-year contract from the U.S. Department of Labor to expand the program.

Since launching HSRA, the Foundation has developed a new programs for line cooks, made the program more available to the nation’s transitioning military service members through the Veteran Apprenticeship and Labor Opportunity Reform (VALOR) Act, and connected high school students and young adults to apprenticeship through a Youth Apprenticeship Readiness grant.

“As restaurant employment remains below pre-coronavirus levels across the board, we are continuing to prioritize the advancement of restaurant workers across the country,” said Rob Gifford, president of the NRAEF. “Through earn-while-you-learn programs like apprenticeship, we can provide career growth opportunities for individuals from all educational backgrounds, ensure the workforce is prepared for the jobs of the future, and support employers in their training and education initiatives to get the industry back up and on its feet.”

The NRAEF is celebrating NAW by showcasing different entry ways into apprenticeship across restaurants, foodservice and hospitality throughout the week. See below for upcoming highlights:

  • Sunday, November 8: HSRA – Journey from Apprentice to Restaurant Manager 
  • Monday, November 9: HSRA – Journey from Apprentice to Lodging Manager
  • Tuesday, November 10: Appreciation for Line Cooks – Advancing Careers through Registered Cook Apprenticeship 
  • Wednesday, November 11: Celebrating Veterans Day during NAW – Transitioning Military Service Members into Apprenticeship 
  • Thursday, November 12: Future Focus – Connecting High School students to Apprenticeship with ProStart
  • Friday, November 13: Future Focus – Connecting Opportunity Youth to Apprenticeship with Restaurant Ready
  • Saturday, November 14: NAW Wrap-Up Celebration

For more information on NAW, visit and follow the NRAEF on LinkedInFacebook and Instagram. To learn about starting an apprenticeship program, visit