NRAEF ProStart program expands to 49th state

NRAEF ProStart program expands to 49th stateThe National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced today that Kentucky joins its ProStart Program as the 49th state to offer the two-year career technical education program to high school students.  ProStart features an industry-derived, competency-based curriculum that teaches culinary techniques and restaurant management principles and skills, coupled with real-life restaurant sector experiences, to help interest and direct young people to rewarding careers available in the restaurant and foodservice sector.


“Within the last year, we have seen ProStart expand into Pennsylvania, and now with Kentucky, it’s clear that ProStart is a sought-after program that provides tangible value to students, schools and the restaurant sector alike,” said Rob Gifford, executive vice president, strategic operations and philanthropy for the National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “We are thrilled that students in Kentucky  now have access to the ProStart curriculum and the upwardly mobile career paths that are hallmarks of the restaurant industry.”


“The Kentucky Restaurant Association recognizes the high standard of excellence that ProStart has set for students and the industry, and we are thrilled to be partnering with the NRAEF to bring ProStart into Kentucky schools,” said Stacy Roof, president and chief executive officer of the Kentucky Restaurant Association. “We are committed to supporting the future of the state’s restaurant industry by preparing our students for careers through ProStart’s proven curriculum.”


Kentucky schools that will begin to offer the ProStart curriculum to its students include:


  • Arvin Education Center, Buckner, Ky.
  • Grant County High School, Dry Ridge, Ky.
  • East Jessamine High School, Nicholasville, Ky.


Students who complete the full program requirements of ProStart are eligible for an industry-recognized certificate — the ProStart National Certificate of Achievement. To earn the certificate, students must pass two national exams, demonstrate foundational skills and work 400 mentored hours. Students who receive the certificate are eligible for NRAEF scholarship opportunities and course credits at more than 60 of the nation’s leading hospitality and culinary arts colleges and universities.


ProStart students also have the opportunity to apply for scholarships and compete at a national level at the annual National ProStart Invitational, the country’s premier high school competition focused on restaurant management and culinary arts. The 2015 National ProStart Invitational will be held at the Disneyland® Hotel in Anaheim, Calif., April 18-20, 2015.


Total restaurant and foodservice employment is projected to grow by 11 percent over the next 10 years and the NRAEF is committed to ensuring the development of a highly-trained and professional talent pool through scholarships and educational programs such as ProStart. With national and local support from industry members, educators, the NRAEF and state restaurant associations, ProStart is taught in to  students across 49 states, Guam and on Department of Defense military bases. For more information on the ProStart program, visit or find us on Twitter or Facebook.


About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation:

As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the NRAEF exists to enhance the restaurant industry’s service to the public through education, community engagement and promotion of career opportunities. The NRAEF works to attract, develop and retain a career-oriented professional workforce for the restaurant industry. The restaurant and foodservice industry comprises 980,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of more than 13 million employees, making it one of the nation’s largest employers. For more information on the NRAEF, visit


About the Kentucky Restaurant Association:

The Kentucky Restaurant Association is a non-profit organization, run by its members. A Board of Directors, all members of the KRA, runs the Association. Each year elections are held to elect a new Chair-Elect, and all other officers move up in their board position, with the current Chair moving to Immediate Past Chair. For more information about the association, visit