National Apprenticeship Week Spotlights Restaurant and Hotel Industry

Monday begins the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) third-annual National Apprenticeship Week, offering workforce development leaders with the opportunity to highlight apprenticeship programs across the country. The week’s events include signing days, career fairs, conferences and more to demonstrate how apprenticeship offers pathways to advancement—but what exactly does it mean to be a hospitality apprentice?

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) have developed the nation’s first Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship (HSRA), an earn-while-you-learn apprenticeship program created for the nation’s restaurant, foodservice and lodging industries. NRAEF and AHLA are actively recruiting companies to participate in HSRA and have surpassed the DOL’s goal of 450 apprentices by year-end.

“This program is a shining example of how the government and the business community can work together to build a stronger workforce that meets the needs of American businesses and provides opportunities to the American worker,” says Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association (NRA), and Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of AHLA, in a recent op-ed in Morning Consult. Both Sweeney and Lugar have been appointed to the DOL’s Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion.

NRA, NRAEF and AHLA will be participating in various events and activities around National Apprenticeship Week, including:

  • Joining the “Celebrate Apprenticeship & Work-Based Learning” luncheon on November 9
  • Presenting on apprenticeship during the Council of State Restaurant Associations’ U.S. Restaurant Government Affairs Conference on November 9
  • Attending the first Task Force Meeting, scheduled for November 13

Since June, 20 restaurant and hotel companies have committed to registering 484 apprentices. The DOL awarded the HSRA contract to NRAEF and AHLA last year, and have renewed the contract for year two.

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