The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) today debuted the NRAEF ManageFirst Program, a unique, competency-based certificate program developed for colleges and universities. Created with input from more than 200 industry experts, including academics, operators, trainers, hiring managers and executives, the NRAEF ManageFirst Program focuses on 12 topics deemed essential for management success in the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry. The program is being offered exclusively through a partnership with Pearson Prentice Hall and is made possible by the generous contribution of Founding Partner American Express.

“Our goal is to offer educators and students a flexible program that covers the right topics and helps build the right skills that employers are seeking,” said Mary M. Adolf, President and Chief Operating Officer of the NRAEF. “The NRAEF ManageFirst Program is unique in that it focuses on content specifically identified by the restaurant and foodservice industry as essential for success and enhances our industry’s position as the cornerstone of career-and-employment opportunities.”

The NRAEF ManageFirst Program includes 12 competency guides (published by Pearson Prentice Hall), exams, instructor resources, certificates, a new credential, and support activities/services. Each competency guide aligns with one on-campus course, and an NRAEF exam is written for each guide topic. The NRAEF furnishes a customized certificate to students who pass each topic’s exam. Students can also earn a new credential – the NRAEF ManageFirst ProfessionalTM – that designates their mastery of a set of core competencies in the NRAEF ManageFirst Program. For more detailed information on the program, please visit

“The NRAEF ManageFirst Program is an incredible resource for talent development within the industry, and American Express is proud to stand with the NRAEF in this critical effort,” said Hans Lindh, Vice President, Restaurant Industry, American Express Establishment Services. “Programs such as the NRAEF ManageFirst Program and the ProStart® Program are an important part of American Express’ strong commitment to the industry’s future.”

The NRAEF ManageFirst Program puts strong emphasis on management skills such as communication, financial and accounting skills, ethics and problem solving to better prepare students to meet career challenges. Educators also have the flexibility of pairing an NRAEF ManageFirst Competency Guide with the textbook of their choice. The NRAEF ManageFirst Program can be used at two- or four-year restaurant, foodservice, and hospitality programs, proprietary schools, and technical/vocational career education schools.

“We are excited about our partnership with the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation,” said Robin Baliszewski, President of the Career, Health, Education and Technology Division of Prentice Hall. “Through this partnership we are able to provide a full suite of curricular solutions to enhance the teaching and learning experience for both instructors and students, while at the same time preparing students for successful management careers in the hospitality, restaurant and foodservice industries. The NRAEF Manage First Program represents the gold standard in industry driven content, and we are proud to partner with the NRAEF in bringing this exciting new program to the marketplace.”

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