Restaurant C-Suite Magazine | Winter 2020

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Q&A | NRAEF’s Susan Crystal-Mansour HOPES rehabilitation program The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) was awarded $4.5M in July by the U.S. Department of Labor—the largest grant in NRAEF’s history. The NRAEF is developing “pathways from the justice system to employment for young adults” through the historic HOPES program. HOPES stands for Hospitality Opportunities for People (re)Entering Society. Here, we receive more insights into this new program from Susan Crystal-Mansour, PhD, vice president, Program Impact, NRAEF. Restaurant C-Suite Magazine: Congratulations on the grant from the Department of Labor. Can you provide examples of how the HOPES program might impact the markets involved: Boston, Chicago, and the Richmond and Hampton Roads, Virginia areas? Susan Crystal-Mansour: The HOPES program officially began enrollment last Friday, November 15th. To prepare and train justice-involved young adults, we are actively partnering with Susan Crystal-Mansour departments of corrections, community-based organizations and state restaurant associations in the cities of Boston, Chicago, Richmond, and Hampton Roads. Each organization will utilize an NREAF training framework with individuals at participating correctional facilities as well as after release and during parole. Once a HOPES participant completes training, the individual will be placed in a local restaurant and/or foodservice position. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on our progress as we enroll individuals and help train them through this program. RCS: Restaurant owners have been known to provide second-chance foodservice RESTAURANT C-SUITE | Restaurant news that’s fresh, informed, inspired (by you) 6

The restaurant industry has incredibly strong potential to offer formerly-incarcerated workers the opportunity to re-enter society and accomplish their goals to become productive members of society. Stock photo courtesy of NRAEF.

careers. How will HOPES help accelerate the foodservice industry’s role in forging that path from correctional systems to sustainable restaurant careers? SC: The restaurant industry is an industry of first jobs and second chances. The goal of HOPES is to develop pathways from the justice system to employment for young adults through community partnerships by directly placing justice-involved individuals in restaurant careers. With the unemployment rate of formerly-incarcerated people nearly five times higher than that of the general U.S. population, we know there is a strong need to support these individuals looking to become productive and responsible members of society. The restaurant industry has incredibly strong potential to offer these individuals the opportunities they need to accomplish that. We also have countless success stories of justice-