MOD Super Fast Pizza Holdings, LLC and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) today announced a new partnership to create employment opportunities and specialized job training for justice-involved young adults. The NRAEF’s HOPES Program (Hospitality Opportunities for People (Re)Entering Society) is a unique collaboration between businesses, state restaurant associations and community-based organizations, that provide pathways to success for individuals re-entering society. The partnership launches this month in Chicago area MOD locations, with plans for a nationwide rollout later this year.

Of the 650,000 people who exit the justice system each year, 52% will be reincarcerated within three years if they lack stable employment. Through a holistic approach, the HOPES program objective is a reduction in recidivism by focusing on supportive job placement, retention, and career advancement.

The wrap-around services provided by the program include:

  • Personalized Case Management
  • ServSafe Educational Support & Certificate
  • Legal Support
  • Health Services
  • Mental Health Counseling
  • Educational Support to complete high school degree
  • Temporary Housing Assistance
  • Transportation Assistance
  • Substance Abuse Counseling


“Ten years ago, when MOD opened their second store in Seattle, they gave me a second chance,” said Kory Harp, program manager of opportunity employment, MOD Pizza. “As someone who has personally navigated this journey, I recognize that a job is just the beginning. This partnership gives us the tools we need to help ensure more employees succeed.”

MOD practices opportunity employment across its entire system, providing jobs to individuals who face barriers, including opportunity youth (18-24 year-olds not working or in school), individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and those previously justice-involved. It is one of the many ways MOD works to makes a positive social impact in the communities it serves and help contribute to a world that works for and includes everyone.

“Over the years, we have seen first-hand the incredible opportunity that exists for companies to make an impact by providing jobs to individuals with barriers to employment,” says Ally Svenson, co-founder and chief purpose officer, MOD Pizza. “Now, through this collaboration, we can provide critical resources to help our Squads on their journey to stability and economic mobility. We are grateful to the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation for choosing MOD as their first national restaurant partner.” 

“MOD Pizza has set the standard for how restaurants can meaningfully and successfully work with justice-involved youth. This partnership will allow us to create pathways to long term success for dedicated employees who are often overlooked by society,” said Susan Crystal-Mansour, Ph.D., Vice President of Program Impact, NRAEF. “We are honored to have MOD as our inaugural partner in our life-changing HOPES program. We believe this partnership can be the gold standard for the rest of the industry.”

MOD has more than 8,300 company employees and offers industry-leading benefits, mentorship and training opportunities, and access to the “Bridge Fund,” which provides financial support for Squad members during times of need. To date, MOD has provided over $1.5 million in grants to help employees in crisis. For its efforts to create an inspired place to work, MOD is often recognized as a progressive employer, including being named by Fortune to its “Change the World” list and as a “Best Workplace” in several categories.

Charitable Giving, Fast Casual, News, MOD Pizza