WASHINGTON, D.C.–Several leading restaurant and hotel management companies—including Golden Corral, FATZ Café, Firehouse Subs, Hilton, Wyndham, Hyatt—have committed to registering 475 restaurant and hotel apprentices, surpassing the goal for the industry’s first Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship (HSRA) program.
Developed by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), HSRA is an earn-while-you-learn apprenticeship program created for the nation’s restaurant, foodservice and lodging industries, which represent a combined total of 22.7 million employees.
NRAEF and AHLA have been actively recruiting companies to participate in HSRA and saw a spike in interest since the White House issued its Executive Order on apprenticeship in June. Several national companies have signed up to participate and to date, the program has surpassed its goal of 450 apprentices by year-end. The 450 goal was set by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
“We are thrilled to partner with these leading companies to surpass the number of apprentices for a program that is the first of its kind for our industry,” said Rob Gifford, executive vice president, NRAEF. “Apprenticeships will create more affordable job training and career development opportunities for the millions of Americans who work in restaurants, foodservice, and hospitality. This initiative is a win-win for both businesses looking for a well-trained workforce with standardized skills and those seeking certification across multiple middle-income or higher positions. Apprenticeship is also a big step in our mission to attract, empower and advance today’s and tomorrow’s workforce.”
The DOL awarded the NRAEF and AHLA a contract to develop HSRA in 2016. The agency has issued a letter of intent to renew the contract for 2018.
“Investing in employees is central to who we are as an industry, as they are our greatest assets. Embracing apprenticeship initiatives aligns firmly with our industry’s long-term vision to better attract and secure individuals and help them achieve the American Dream,” said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of AHLA. “Recruiting, training and retaining employees has never been more important given the growth of our industry and an increasingly competitive labor market. We look forward to continue securing and expanding apprenticeships throughout the industry.”
Apprenticeships are proven to reduce turnover costs, increase productivity, result in higher job satisfaction, and create a more skilled and competitive workforce. In June, the DOL officially approved and signed HSRA standards to ensure apprentices acquire nationally recognized credentials and are equipped to pursue a variety of high paying management level positions across the restaurant, foodservice, and hospitality industry.
Companies committed to HSRA include: B.F. Saul Company Hospitality Group, Chipotle, FATZ Café, Firehouse Subs, Golden Corral, Hilton, Hyatt, Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant, J. W. Ebert Corporation, OTO Development, Real Hospitality Group, Shakey’s USA, Spire Hospitality, Stonebridge Companies, Taco Mac, The Hotel Group, Vesta Hospitality, Westin Jekyll Island (New Castle Hotels and Resorts), and Wyndham Hotel Group.