The American Culinary Federation Education Foundation’s (ACFEF) apprenticeship program with the U.S. Army was one of 70 apprenticeship programs nationwide recognized on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., by the U.S. Department of Labor as a 21st Century Registered Apprenticeship Trailblazer and Innovator.

The award was presented during a summit to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the signing of the National Apprenticeship Act. It honors apprenticeship programs that have demonstrated a commitment to excellence and had a significant impact on the needs of the U.S. industry and workforce in the 21st Century.

ACF was recognized for its partnership with the U.S. Army in creating the 92G Credentialing Apprenticeship Program.

ACF partnered with the U.S. Army five years ago to develop the apprenticeship program. It was registered with the U.S. Department of Labor in 2010. The U.S. Army transformed its foodservice program by incorporating the ACFEF’s apprenticeship program into the U.S. Army’s existing foodservice training program.

Through the partnership, the program has elevated the level of foodservice training for soldiers and modernized the U.S. Army foodservice program as a whole. There are more than 500 soldiers currently enrolled in the program, which operates in five pilot installations.

The apprenticeship program is expected to be offered Army-wide in the near future.

 “The fact that the partnership between the U.S. Army and ACF has been recognized is truly momentous,” says CW5 David Longstaff, CEC, AAC, U.S. Army foodservice advisor. “It validates the efforts of the U.S. Army and ACF, through this partnership, to train and certify soldiers within the foodservice program.”

Created in 1937, the National Apprenticeship Act was enacted to enable the U.S. Department of Labor to create and promote improved labor standards for apprentices. These programs provide education and training to individuals in various trades, including foodservice. Today, there are nearly 24,000 registered apprenticeship programs in the U.S. 

During the summit, U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis spoke to attendees about the importance of the apprenticeship program throughout the nation’s history. Following the awards presentation, attendees participated in a panel discussion about the future and cutting-edge issues of apprenticeship programs.