ProStart® student Madalenn Wilson. Photos courtesy Nevada Restaurant Association

Hospitality professionals are continuously looking for great workers in this industry. The National Restaurant Association has assisted the industry and 17 years ago developed the ProStart® Program. The concept behind this program is a training regimen developed by the industry for the industry. 

ProStart® is a nationwide, two-year high school program that unites the classroom and industry to develop the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice leaders. Our foundation supports furthering their education in the form of scholarships, mentoring opportunities and workforce readiness. The concept of uniting the industry with the classroom continues to gain respect today and is one of the most respected models for career and technical education around.

Nevada Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Michael Santos

As a restaurant manager, one of the keys goals is to successfully grow the business, usually through more customers, which means more revenue. To service an influx of customers, more experienced staff is needed. This program’s mission is to locate and train the hospitality workforce of the future. This two-year program now houses more than 2,500 Nevada students and we continue to educate those passionate about a professional hospitality career. 

Madalenn Wilson, a baking student from Desert Pines High School shares her sentiments about the program. “The cooking skills are awesome and I know it is going to help to further my path and where I want to go. ProStart® means learning, growing and meeting new friends who have the same passion as me.” Also, when asked how ProStart® is shaping her education and career she said, “I see myself with my own bakery. I have a name for my bakery already, the floor plans, and everything that I want on the menu. I was in a hospitality class that made me realize owning a bakery is my ultimate dream and I have laid the foundation by selling cakes and pastries to those in my community.” 

Adrienne Garcia from Las Vegas High School felt ProStart® has helped with his time management, a skill essential for the restaurant industry. “During the ProStart® state competition, I often felt I was short of time because there is always something missing or unprepared. Now I understand the importance of keeping things organized and planning ahead. I also learned how to take responsibility, because ProStart® is all about team building. We all need to be responsible for our actions to work and win together.” 

The Vice Chair of the Nevada Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Michael Santos, believes that patience, time management and good follow up are the most important skills to be successful in the restaurant industry. ProStart® educators and mentors continue to teach and enforce skills that will set them up for success and make hiring these students a no brainer.

“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.

The Nevada Restaurant Association continues to work to meet the challenge of workforce needs of our industry as a whole. Our 2,500 participating ProStart® students statewide have the opportunity to graduate ServSafe certified, making them immediately employable in our industry. ProStart’s® industry-driven curriculum provides real-world educational opportunities and builds practical skills and a foundation that will last a lifetime.