CRA Educational Foundation unveils FIT Initiative

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California Restaurant AssociationThe California Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (CRAEF) is pleased to present the Force in Training (FITâ„¢) program, a new student development initiative rolling out in Fall 2014. The FIT initiative is a first-of-its-kind program developed in partnership with leading California-based restaurant brands to address a critical and growing need amongst the industry’s emerging workforce.

The program will culminate in the FIT Day of Service onOct. 28, when restaurant executives and managers will deliver the curriculum developed in partnership with the Council of Hotel and Restaurant Trainers (CHART). The day will be an unprecedented, coordinated opportunity for restaurant brands to unite in giving back to their communities across the state.

CRAEF is calling for restaurant brands to come on board with the effort, officially kicking off at the Western Foodservice & Hospitality ExpoAug. 17-19at the Anaheim Convention Center. Irvine-based BJ’s Restaurants and San Diego-based Rubio’s are the first two restaurant companies to come on board, as Foundation officials aim to recruit 10 brands.

CRAEF supports the ProStart program, which is taught in 108 schools in California, and educates teens on culinary and management/operations basics and core competencies. FITâ„¢ will supplement the curriculum by focusing on the soft skills required for success.

On the FIT Day of Service, over the course of three educational modules and sharing personal anecdotes and advice, students will gain a better perspective on the professionalism, teamwork, workplace communication and leadership skills necessary for successful careers. Students who complete the course will receive a certificate.

CRAEF and the CRA will work to develop and execute educational campaigns for the restaurant industry and the public about the value of this training opportunity, as well as the benefits of bringing up an entry-level workforce.

For more information, go online atwww.calrest.org/fit.

About the California Restaurant Association Educational Foundation: CRAEF has awarded $1.5 million in scholarships and grants since its inception in 1981. CRAEF works to enhance education and training programs within the hospitality industry. ProStart is a two-year program designed to prepare high school juniors and seniors for exciting careers in foodservice.