The Nevada restaurant association/educational foundation announced that Phillip Dell of Rancho High School in Las Vegas, has been named a 2016 ProStart National Educator of Excellence. Dell joined 31 other nationally-ranked ProStart educators from around the nation in Chicago, for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s NRAEF ProStart Educator of Excellence Awards Program and Dinner on May 19, associated with the National Restaurant Association Show NRA Show.

The ProStart Program is a two-year high school culinary training course, taken as an elective class. The program is 350 hours of instruction and 400 hours of an industry work experience. After passing the exams for Year 1, Year 2, and completing the competencies, students receive a certificate from the National Restaurant Association and an opportunity for scholarships. The Nevada Hospitality Foundation implements the program statewide in partnership with the Nevada Restaurant Association. Students learn topics such as: food safety, knife cuts, basic cooking techniques, baking, menu design, basic accounting, costing, and restaurant management.

The NRAEF’s ProStart Educator of Excellence Award recognizes exceptional ProStart educators who are nominated by the state restaurant associations. The award honors ProStart educators who demonstrate excellence in the classroom and passion, commitment and creativity in all aspects of the ProStart program, helping their students make the most of the opportunities that ProStart offers to them.

“ProStart unites the industry and the classroom to recreate a unique and unparalleled experience for students. Our dedicated ProStart educators statewide are making a difference every day, channeling young people to consider their future in the restaurant and foodservice industry—the second largest private sector employer in our nation’s economy,” says Nevada Restaurant Association, President and CEO, Katherine Jacobi.

ProStart is offered to nearly 140,000 high school students in 50 states, the territory of Guam, and in U.S. Department of Defense schools in Europe and the Pacific. The curriculum instructs students in culinary and restaurant business management theory and practice. A majority of ProStart students and educators say that ProStart also teaches critical employability skills, such as workplace communication, teamwork and professional behavior.

“We are grateful to all of our ProStart educators and are pleased to offer this award that salutes excellence in teaching,” said Wendi Safstrom, vice president, Programs and Administration for the NRAEF.

About the Nevada Restaurant Association Educational Foundation:

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 comprise more than one million outlets and a workforce of 14.4 million employees, making it the nation’s second largest private sector employer.