Using the restaurant industry as a platform, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) is opening new doors for disengaged young people through its Opportunity Youth-Restaurant Ready (RR) program.

Supported by a National Network grant, NRAEF’s Restaurant Ready program engages and empowers “opportunity youth” – the general term for the roughly 5 million people in the United States between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither enrolled in school nor working today – to jumpstart their careers and pursue a path to employment and life-long success.

In coordination with partners in locations across the United States, Restaurant Ready is providing training for young adults in work-ready competency areas that will serve them well while working in restaurants and throughout their careers, regardless of industry.

The program also establishes the restaurant industry as a supportive, welcoming starting point for young people looking to enter the job market, and it helps employers experience the value of hiring and retaining this untapped talent pool and connecting them with their highly-skilled workforce.

Recent studies show more than 75 percent of “opportunity youth” seek gainful employment to improve their quality of life. Through Restaurant Ready, NRAEF is providing a pathway for these young people to pursue their dreams – in the restaurant industry and beyond.

*Photo courtesy of DC Central Kitchen