This week's employer of the week wants you to go from a cover to a chef's hat

Elizabeth Howe
August 14, 2019 - 2:06 pm

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Our Employer of the Week series features one company each week that has made a commitment to hiring and supporting veterans. This week’s employer is the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

Roughly one in ten Americans work in the restaurant industry.  NRAEF educates, engages the community, and promotes career opportunities within the industry.  Founded in 1987, NRAEF provides culinary, management, food safety, and employability skills training to build a pipeline of talent. The nonprofit offers programs specifically for veterans. 

"There are so many different areas that military members are well-prepared for coming from the specialties that they worked in while wearing the uniform that can translate into quality jobs in the restaurant and food service industry," said Air Force veteran Ed Walden, director of military programs for NRAEF. 

NRAEF works closely with the active duty military community, awarding food service awards and hosting forums for culinary excellence — but the organization also has training programs geared towards transitioning service members and veterans. 

"For example, we're actually focused on working with restaurants like Chili's that want to hire our military members directly as they're transitioning out," Walden said. "We offer an apprentice program so they can become restaurant managers."

And, of course, working in the restaurant industry isn't limited to management. 

"Don't narrow it down to just the culinary field," Walden said. "It's more of a restaurant and food service as a whole. That allows individuals to become restaurant managers or work in supply chain with ordering and the storing of items or equipment. But there are so many positions — even IT — that would fall in the restaurant and food services industry as well."

To explore these opportunities and more, visit the NRAEF military programs webpage here

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