The Coca-Cola Company commits to preparing the next generation of restaurant leaders for meaningful jobs and careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry
The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) has announced that The Coca-Cola Company has committed US$1.5M/£1.12M to support preparing the next generation of restaurant leaders for meaningful jobs and careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry. Coca-Cola has been a major NRAEF donor for the past 18 years, contributing a record total of US$15M/£11.2M.
The centrepiece of the company’s involvement with the Foundation is ProStart, a career and technical education programme reaching 150,000 high school students pursuing careers in culinary arts and restaurant management. Each year, Coca-Cola helps the Foundation host the National ProStart Invitational and awards more than US$100K/£75k in scholarships to the winning teams.
Coca-Cola has also offered internships to ProStart students and hosted a first-ever virtual coaching session and competition this year where students showcased their presentation skills and competed for prizes.
Earlier this year, in response to the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on restaurant workers across the country, Coca-Cola generously donated to the NRAEF’s Restaurant Employee Relief Fund which raised over US$21.5M/£16.1M dollars to provide restaurant workers US$500/£375 grants during the pandemic.
“Our partnership with Coca-Cola has directly benefitted the lives of thousands of young people pursuing a future in our industry,” said Rob Gifford, president of the NRAEF. “Their renewed investment and support for our work, especially during such challenging times is truly remarkable. We look forward to continuing to work with Coca-Cola to open doors of opportunity for both today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant leaders.”
“The NRAEF is at the forefront of attracting, empowering and advancing our industry’s workforce,” said Kristin Bitter, Vice President, Industry Affairs, The Coca-Cola Company.
“Now more than ever, we need a well-trained, innovative and committed workforce that is prepared and ready to help the restaurant and foodservice industry get back on its feet. The Coca-Cola Company’s purpose is to Refresh the World and Make a Difference. In this, we share the NRAEF’s mission to change lives and uplift communities, and we are proud to be their top supporter.”