Training Youth – ProStart®

Training Youth – ProStart®

What is ProStart®?

ProStart® is a nationwide, two-year hospitality program that develops culinary techniques and management skills in high school students. ProStart’s® industry-driven curriculum links classroom learning with hands-on experience to develop the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice leaders. With support from community-minded industry members, Washington’s ProStart® program reaches more than 1,500 high school students per year.

Industry and Classroom Connection

ProStart® gives students a platform to discover new interests and talents, and opens doors for fulfilling careers in the hospitality industry. Industry operators serve as mentors and provide support for ProStart® students by helping them make a real connection to their goals and their future.

Making a Difference is Easy

From teacher to role model, mentors and ProStart® supporters play many different roles in the lives of ProStart® students. Support from local hospitality leaders results in educated, motivated and professional hospitality industry employees, and provides an example of how our industry continually gives back.

ProStart National Certificate of Achievement

The ProStart National Certificate of Achievement (COA) is an industry-recognized certificate awarded to students who have completed the requirements of the ProStart program. To earn the COA students must complete the two-year ProStart program, pass two national exams, demonstrate mastery of foundation skills and work 400 internship hours.  Students receiving their COA are eligible for National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation scholarship opportunities and course credits at more than 75 of the country’s leading hospitality and culinary arts colleges and universities.

Industry Involvement

The success of the ProStart program and the future of students in the industry depends on industry leaders like you. You can help create the leaders of tomorrow by supporting ProStart through:

How to Get Involved

There are many ways to support the ProStart® program on local and statewide levels:

  • Mentor—connect with local ProStart® students and educators to help advise classes, speak on industry-related topics, prepare a team for competition, host a field trip to your business and use your experience and knowledge to help our students succeed.
  • Donate—Assist ProStart classes by supporting their fundraising programs or by donating product, equipment or curriculum.
  • Sponsor—Sponsor one of the Washington Hospitality Association’s annual fundraising events.
  • Hire—Give ProStart students priority as ready-to-work candidates and help them gain the hands-on experience they need to succeed.

The opportunities to help are endless, so are the rewards your organization will receive in working with ProStart students and supporting their success. Contact us today to learn more about how you can get involved with ProStart.

Washington Hospitality Association Education Foundation Executive Assistant 877.695.9733, ext. 127 or


This article is an excerpt from the Handbook for Excellent Restaurant Operations (HERO), published by the Washington Hospitality Association.  Want a hard copy of the whole manual?  It’s one of the many benefits of becoming a member!  Find out more about joining the Washington Hospitality Association here.

View the Table of Contents

Categories: HERO