The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced 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,” says Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the NRA and NRAEF. “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,” says Carlton Curtis, vice president of the Industry Affairs, Foodservice, and 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.”

Charitable Giving, News