Restaurants a great place to ‘start’ career

Restaurants a great place to ‘start’ career

As students begin to head back to school, the National Restaurant Association is highlighting the industry’s successes in offering education and job opportunities to millions of young people around the country.

At a time when the nation’s youth unemployment rate stands at more than 20 percent, the restaurant industry is serving a critical need as the largest employer of teens, providing jobs to some 1.5 million people between the ages of 16 and 19. The industry employs one-third of all working teenagers in the United States.

“The restaurant industry trains America’s workforce, providing jobs that are valuable and flexible, and offer critical work experience that set young people on a path of advancement,” said NRA President and CEO Dawn Sweeney.

To showcase the triumphs and talents of the industry’s next generation, the NRA is launching “Where I Started,” a new multimedia campaign featuring profiles, videos, social-media content and more at

Sweeney noted that the restaurant industry offers skills-building and scholarship programs to assist its future workforce.

“Our industry has its own educational program – ProStart – that last year reached more than 118,000 students at 1,700 high schools across 50 states,” she said. “ProStart not only teaches high-school students skills that are useful for any industry, but also focuses on culinary techniques and restaurant management fundamentals.”

According to NRA research, one in four restaurant employees are students. Many young people who begin their careers by working in the restaurant industry often stay and advance. Nearly three in four employees ages 18 to 24 have landed more lucrative positions in the restaurant business after working their first restaurant jobs.

The NRA’s annual summer employment forecast projected that restaurants would add 522,000 jobs this summer. That would make this the third consecutive year that eating and drinking places added at least 500,000 jobs during the season.

(Source: National Restaurant Association)

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