WASHINGTON, April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The country's premier high school competition focused on restaurant management and culinary arts, the National ProStart Invitational®, begins Friday in Grapevine, Texas. Supported by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), ProStart® is a two-year career and technical education program focused on teaching culinary arts and restaurant management fundamentals through a combination of classroom and industry instruction.
This year's competition will feature 373 student competitors putting their skills to the test in front of culinary and restaurant business leaders, family, and friends. The top five teams from the culinary and management competitions will earn coveted educational scholarships to continue their restaurant or foodservice education at a college or university of their choice.
The event will kick-off with an Opening Ceremony, sponsored by TGI Fridays, on April 29. Among the industry leaders to speak at the event are TGI Fridays' President and CEO, Rob Palleschi, and Senior Vice President and Chief People and Culture Officer, Andrew Robinson.
"TGI Fridays is proud to sponsor an event that gives America's future restaurant and foodservice leaders the opportunity to showcase their creativity and advance their careers," says Palleschi. "We are continually impressed by the talent displayed at the National ProStart Invitational year in and year out."
"Nearly 140,000 high school students are enrolled in ProStart, making it one of the largest career and technical education programs of its kind," says Rob Gifford, executive vice president of the NRAEF. "And these young people are learning not just culinary and management fundamentals, but the skills they need to succeed in the workplace, such as teamwork and time management. Thank you to TGI Fridays and all of our partners for making it possible for us to change lives and give these students this amazing opportunity."
National ProStart Invitational activities begin April 29 with the Opening Ceremony, sponsored by TGI Fridays. Culinary and management competitions commence Friday, April 30, and the festivities conclude with an awards dinner honoring the winners on the evening of May 1. Outside of the competition, all competitors will have the opportunity to advance their career opportunities through direct engagement with industry leaders.
About ProStart® With national and local support from industry members, educators, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) and state restaurant association partners, ProStart® reaches nearly 140,000 students in more than 1,800 high schools throughout all states, Guam and at Department of Defense Education Activity schools in Europe and the Pacific. ProStart gives students a platform to discover and develop new interests and talents, while teaching employability skills like teamwork, professional behavior, time management and communication.
National ProStart Invitational® The National ProStart Invitational® is the country's premier secondary school competition focused on restaurant management and culinary arts. The finale of a nationwide series of state competitions hosted by partner state restaurant associations, the annual Invitational, now in its 15th year, brings together hundreds of student competitors to win scholarships to continue their restaurant/foodservice education at a college or university of their choice.
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. In 2016, the restaurant and foodservice industry is projected to provide a record 14.4 million jobs, making it the nation's second largest private-sector employer. For more information on the NRAEF, visit NRAEF.org.