– High school culinary arts and restaurant management programs in Hawaii sponsored by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, luxury Four Diamond Resort –

HRA EF logoWASHINGTON, D.C. – March 29, 2017 – The Hawaii Restaurant Association has kicked off its Educational Foundation and expanded the reach of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s ProStart® program throughout the state of Hawaii with the support of local restaurateurs including Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac and other industry partners.

Hawaii now has 10 schools participating in ProStart, a two-year competency-based career and technical education program that teaches culinary techniques and restaurant management principles to junior and senior high school students. The program provides participants with community college credits, mentorship, and hands-on training, while teachers gain a support system including paid internship opportunities for graduates. Additionally, Hawaii’s world-renowned food and beverage industry is provided with a supply of qualified, ready-to-work applicants. Seven schools are participating on Oahu, with an additional two on Maui and one on Hawaii island.

Mick Fleetwood, British musician, actor and restaurateur best known for his role as drummer and co-founder of the rock group Fleetwood Mac, purchased the ProStart curriculum for students at both Lahainaluna and Maui High Schools, through his Maui restaurant, Fleetwood’s on Front Street.

Eric Waddell, general manager of Fleetwood’s on Front Street sits on the Hawaii Restaurant Association Board and has been a strong proponent of ProStart.

“We first learned about the ProStart program through the Hawaii Restaurant Association and knew right away that we wanted to get involved,” Waddell said. “We firmly believe in mentoring these young adults to help them develop the skills and passion necessary for this industry, and we look forward to a lasting relationship with them.”

The Fairmont Orchid, a 32-acre, AAA Four Diamond resort on the Big Island, has also supported the ProStart program by providing funding for textbooks and offering paid internship opportunities to students enrolled at nearby schools.

“We are pleased to partner with ProStart in Hawaii and delighted to contribute to the education, culinary exposure and growth of these students,” Fairmont Orchid Executive Chef Hubert Des Marais said.

“Hawaii Restaurant Association couldn’t be happier to be involved in this program,” said Gregg Fraser, Executive Director of Hawaii Restaurant Association. “We probably would not have the opportunity to be working this soon with these schools on Maui or the Island of Hawaii if not for the efforts of local hospitality businesses.”

Now offered on three islands, ProStart is gaining momentum and will soon reach more students interested in studying culinary arts and management careers. The Hawaii Restaurant Association Educational Foundation is looking to double the number of schools involved in the program.

For more information on the ProStart program, visit ChooseRestaurants.org/ProStart or on Twitter or Facebook.

About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation:

As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the NRAEF exists to enhance the restaurant industry’s service to the public through education, community engagement and promotion of career opportunities. The NRAEF works to attract, develop and retain a career-oriented professional workforce for the restaurant industry. In 2016, the restaurant and foodservice industry is projected to comprise one million outlets and a workforce of 14.4 million employees, making it the nation’s second largest private sector employer. For more information on the NRAEF, visit ChooseRestaurants.org.


Chelsea Pillsbury / (202) 315-4101 / cpillsbury@nraef.org

Ellise Fujii / The Harris Agency / (808) 358-5400 / ellisef@harris-agency.com


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