National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Invests In The Restaurant Industry’s Future Workforce With The Coca-Cola Company

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced today it received a $420,000 donation from The Coca-Cola Company to support NRAEF’s various engagement programs in 2014, such as ProStart, which connects the industry and the classroom to train students in skills that will help them achieve exciting, rewarding careers.

Over the past decade, The Coca-Cola Company, the world’s largest beverage company with more than 500 brands, has donated more than $7.5 million to the NRAEF, including $2 million in scholarships benefitting nearly 1,000 students and educators.

“Coca-Cola has long been a leading example of what is possible when the industry invests in cultivating its workforce,” said Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO, National Restaurant Association and president and CEO, National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “Coca-Cola’s generosity, leadership and partnership enable the NRAEF to enhance the quality of life for all we serve, and help us promote the wide range of exciting and rewarding career paths within the restaurant and foodservice industry.”

The most recent donation from The Coca-Cola Company will also help support the NRAEF’s initiative to create a robust platform for ProStart alumni to connect with the industry and access career information, resources and contacts that will help further their advancement.  Funds will also support 2014 National ProStart Invitational Scholarships, which help students continue their career training at post-secondary educational institutions, as well as the 22nd Annual Ted J. Balestreri Leadership Classic, a hallmark leadership event for the NRAEF.

“Coca-Cola has been involved with ProStart almost from the beginning,” said Carlton Curtis, vice president of Industry Affairs, Foodservice & On-Premise Division of Coca-Cola North America. “It’s one of the most significant community investments that we make in support of the restaurant and foodservice industry, and unique in the sense that you can immediately see the results of your investment. We are proud to partner with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and remain committed to cultivating the next generation of industry leaders from among today’s best and brightest young minds.”

Total restaurant and foodservice employment is projected to grow by 11 percent over the next 10 years and the NRAEF is committed to ensuring the development of a highly-trained and professional talent pool through scholarships and educational programs such as ProStart. With national and local support from industry members, educators, the NRAEF and state restaurant associations, ProStart is taught in more than 2,200 schools to nearly 100,000 students across 48 states, Guam and on Department of Defense military bases. For more information on the ProStart program, visit or find us on Twitter or Facebook.

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. The restaurant and foodservice industry comprises 980,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of more than 13 million employees, making it one of the nation’s largest employers. For more information on the NRAEF, visit

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, the world’s most valuable brand, our Company’s portfolio features 16 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of more than 1.8 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world’s top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates. For more information, visit Coca-Cola Journey at, follow us on Twitter at or visit our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at