Multi-year contract is the largest in NRAEF history. Watch this video to learn about NRAEF apprenticeship programs. 

Washington, DC – July 31, 2023  The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) has been awarded a five-year $12.2 million contract by the U.S. Department of Labor to grow its Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship (HSRA) program by 5,000 participantsThe award is the largest in NRAEF history and affirms its commitment to building a diverse hospitality workforce.

With a special focus on addressing barriers to historically underrepresented populations, the HSRA program will enroll 1,000 new apprentices annually across the hospitality industry over the next five years. Apprentices will receive on-the-job training, as well as nationally-recognized credentials to help them advance through the ranks, earn more, and ultimately build a long-term industry career. Awarded by the DOL’s Employment and Training Administration, the project aims to strengthen the Foundation’s ongoing industry-wide work to connect current and future industry workers with advancement pathways through apprenticeship. 

Apprenticeship is an answer to many of the workforce obstacles faced by the hospitality industryMore importantly, it is life-changing to individual apprentices, offering them a path to better pay, industry skills, and a career,” said NRAEF president Rob Gifford. “This new DOL contract represents the next chapter of our work to change 5,000 lives, strengthen the hospitality industry, and ensure it reflects the diversity of the people we serve.” 

The HSRA program is housed in the NRAEF’s Restaurant & Hospitality Leadership Center (RHLC). Since establishing itself as the first recognized apprenticeship program for hospitality management, the HSRA program has grown to include line cook, hotel cook, kitchen manager, restaurant manager, lodging manager, and maintenance employee programs. All programs are no cost to both employers and their employees and help hospitality employers build and manage tailored curriculums that merge on-the-job experience with related training instruction. Learn more about restaurant and hospitality apprenticeship at