Effort to culminate in FIT Day of Service Oct. 28, BJ’s Restaurants and Rubio’s first brands on board
CRAEF is calling for restaurant brands to come on board with the effort, officially kicking off at the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo Aug. 17-19 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Irvine-based BJ’s Restaurants and San Diego-based Rubio’s are the first two restaurant companies to come on board, as Foundation officials aim to recruit 10 brands.
“BJ’s has been a strong financial supporter of ProStart for many years, and we see the value of the new FIT program, which addresses much-needed interpersonal skills required for both front-and back-of-the-house career success,” BJ’s Restaurants Foundation President Rob DeLiema said.
“We’re thrilled to have the support of BJ’s and Rubio’s in a unique program that has the potential to change lives and shape the overall industry landscape,” CRAEF Executive Director Alycia Harshfield said.
“We’re seeing some foreboding trends and research in entry-level opportunities for young people who are facing unprecedented hurdles today in securing jobs, job training and a career path. FIT™ was designed to be a part of the solution to this crisis, by delivering job-readiness training directly to the classroom.”
CRAEF supports the ProStart program, which is taught in 108 schools in California, and educates teens on culinary and management/operations basics and core competencies. FIT™ will supplement the curriculum by focusing on the soft skills required for success.
On the FIT Day of Service, over the course of three educational modules and sharing personal anecdotes and advice, students will gain a better perspective on the professionalism, teamwork, workplace communication and leadership skills necessary for successful careers. Students who complete the course will receive a certificate.
“At Rubio’s, the training and development of our team members is at the core of our business and we are proud to partner with the CRA Educational Foundation in support of the FIT initiative,” said Gabe Hosler, director of training and development at Rubio’s, and CHART board member.
CRAEF and the CRA will work to develop and execute educational campaigns for the restaurant industry and the public about the value of this training opportunity, as well as the benefits of bringing up an entry-level workforce.
For more information, go online at www.calrest.org/fit.
About the California Restaurant Association Educational Foundation: CRAEF has awarded $1.5 million in scholarships and grants since its inception in 1981. CRAEF works to enhance education and training programs within the hospitality industry. ProStart is a two-year program designed to prepare high school juniors and seniors for exciting careers in foodservice.