involved individuals as well as the people committed to supporting them. For example, Karim Webb, a Buffalo Wild Wings Franchisee, is an incredible advocate for young justiceinvolved individuals whom he helps employ through his restaurants and works to train through his community engagement efforts. RCS: Can you provide some details of other programs created in concert with the DOL and describe their community impacts? SC: Another instrumental initiative we are working on with the USDOL is our apprenticeship program; in fact, we just finished celebrating National Apprenticeship Week with over 2,000 individuals enrolled in the nation’s first registered restaurant management apprenticeship program. The response from industry on apprenticeship has been tremendously positive: the program is advancing individuals in entry level positions towards salaried, management careers. It has proved beneficial for companies of all sizes, from small businesses to large restaurant chains, which has allowed us to establish training opportunities for restaurant employees in communities across the country. RCS: Please tell us if the program will be expanded to markets beyond what the grant covers thus far. SC: The NRAEF has the opportunity to receive additional long-term funding from the USDOL in 2020. Dependent upon the levels of additional funding and success achieved with the program, we would welcome the opportunity to expand the HOPES program to additional markets. Susan Crystal-Mansour serves as vice president of Program Impact, leading the implementation and execution of NRAEF’s portfolio of programs and research, including the HOPES grant. Dr. Crystal-Mansour oversees the Foundation’s programs, which include launching the firstever restaurant manager apprenticeship program for the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) and Restaurant Ready, a partnership with community collaboratives nationwide dedicated to teaching industry job and life skills to disengaged populations. Other programs spearheaded by the Foundation include ProStart, Military and Scholarships.
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