The National Restaurant Association’s Educational Foundation is working hard to create career pathways for restaurant, foodservice and hospitality employees, particularly through its new apprenticeship program.

We officially launched the apprenticeship program earlier this year, after the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeship awarded us a $1.8 million contract to help fund the project. We expect to enroll 450 apprentices by year-end.

For restaurateurs still undecided about hiring apprentices, it’s a lot easier than you may think. Follow these four easy steps, and we’ll take care of the rest:

  1. Contact John Shortt, the NRAEF’s director of program development, to set up your implementation consultation. Our program team will conduct a detailed telephone call to review our program’s competencies and standards with you. They will answer all questions and walk you through each detail of the program. The NRAEF will provide technical assistance and help manage administrative burdens to make implementation as simple as possible.
  1. Identify the locations where you think registered apprentices will work. Once we have the locations, we can help research state-specific and additional funding options available to you. This will prepare you for hiring apprentices and help keep additional labor costs in check.
  1. Make it official. Sign the following three pieces of documentation to become part of the program:
  • Our employer acceptance agreement: This form states that the employer has reviewed the standards and agrees to adhere to them. We recommend your legal team review the standards before you sign the document.
  • A commitment letter: This will identify how many apprentices you are bringing on; remember that apprentices can be employees who already work for you as well as new hires.
  • Memorandum of understanding with the NRAEF: This document will help you learn how to access employer-incentive funding and outline how employers can use those funds.
  1. Start signing up apprentices! Review the apprenticeship qualifications. Apprentices must be 18 years old, have a high-school diploma or GED equivalency and submit to drug screening before employment, depending on the employer’s policy. Once apprentices are recruited, complete and submit your apprentice applications to us.

Learn more about the apprenticeship program.