The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced today it is available to establish collaborative partnerships with community colleges as called for by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration's Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) program. The fourth round of funding under TAACCCT was announced in mid-April, with applications due July 7, 2014.
A stated goal for TAACCCT is to expand job-driven training collaboration between community colleges and employers in high-growth industries, with incentives to applicants to partner with national industry associations and employers to implement quality education and training programs based on industry-recognized credentials and connected to labor market opportunities.
The foodservice and restaurant sector continues to be among the nation's leaders in employment growth, with April marking the 50th consecutive monthly gain in industry job creation. Driven by the recent gains, sector employment is up 3.2 percent on a year-to-date basis through April 2014, or nearly double the 1.7 percent gain in total U.S. employment during the same period.
The NRAEF is offering assistance to community colleges pursuing grants under TAACCCT to strengthen competency-based education. Specifically, for community colleges seeking strong employer and industry relationships, the NRAEF can:
- Serve as a Subject Matter Expert;
- Assist with curriculum design or review to ensure alignment with industry standards;
- Provide instructional support to faculty in order to integrate competency standards into new or existing community college programs;
- Engage local and national employers for job placement opportunities, work experience, such as internships or on-the-job training, and program review;
- Conduct labor market research to identify cross-industry occupations and opportunities for multiple industry collaboration;
- Conduct studies to assess the need for new credentials in the restaurant industry and build career pathways models that demonstrate upward mobility; and/or
- Develop competency-based assessment tools to align worker knowledge, skills and abilities to occupations in the foodservice and restaurant industry.
"The foodservice restaurant industry is multi-faceted and provides numerous opportunities for long-term career attainment," says Rob Gifford, executive vice president, strategic operations, and philanthropy, National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. "In fact, because much of the industry consists of small and medium-sized businesses, a primary component of the NRAEF's curriculum offerings, including ProStart and ManageFirst, teach skills needed for entrepreneurship and business management. We are eager to partner with community colleges to provide skills for increased employment and earning opportunities."
The NRAEF's ManageFirst program represents an example of the type of collaborative partnership that can be formed between community colleges and the restaurant industry. Created by the NRAEF and adopted by more than 350 colleges and universities nationwide, ManageFirst is a management development program that equips students with key competencies they need to begin or advance their management careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry.