January 12, 2016

National Restaurant Association statement on 2016 State of the Union Address

Washington, D.C. -- The National Restaurant Association released the following statement regarding President Obama’s final State of the Union address:

“Much of the focus of the President’s State of the Union address centered on the economic challenges and opportunities the country will face in the last year of his Administration and in the years following his presidency.

“As the trade association representing the nation’s second largest private sector employer, the National Restaurant Association is proud of our industry’s continued role in strengthening the economy and creating jobs.

“We share the President’s goal of growing the economy and creating pathways to the middle class.  However, we differ with the President on how to achieve this goal.  A thriving economy requires pro-growth policies as well as a renewed focus on training and skill development.  Restaurants play an important role in training America’s workforce, providing a first job to one in every three individuals and teaching skills that benefit people throughout their careers. 

“Providing individuals with a path to upward mobility is a critical national issue with long-term economic implications.  Majorities of Americans believe that education and job training are the most effective strategies to achieve that goal. Our industry continues to be one of opportunity, and today provides jobs and careers to more than 14 million people.

“The restaurant industry is made up of hundreds of thousands of businesses – the majority of which are small - with a diverse set of business models. We need to avoid prescriptive mandates that do not make sense in a non-traditional workplace setting.

“We look forward to continuing to encourage the Administration, as well as policymakers from both sides of the aisle, to work with our industry’s businessmen and women to create and embrace policies that allow for  innovation and flexibility.”

About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 15.6 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We sponsor the industry's largest trade show (National Restaurant Association Show); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart). For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.