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Hospitality Opportunities for People (re)Entering Society

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $900,000)

Purpose: The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) requests $900,000 to support the expansion of the Hospitality Opportunities for People (re)Entering Society (HOPES) program to adults ages 25 and older in three communities: Chicago, Illinois and Richmond and Farmville, Virginia. NRAEF and its partners will service a minimum of 120 individuals during the grant period ($7,500 per participant). 

Primary Activities: HOPES is a hospitality sector strategy that uses a community collaborative model to deliver sequenced job readiness training, support services, occupational training, industry credentials, employment connections, and advancement opportunities.  The goal of the program is to create a seamless pathway for participants from correctional facility to community to employment. Collaborative partners include: 1) Departments of Corrections (DOCs) offering culinary and foodservice training and employment; 2) Community Based Organizations (CBOs) providing individualized pre- and post-release case management, job readiness training, and continued industry education; and 3) State Restaurant Associations (SRA) with a proven ability to link program participants with employers who support apprenticeship. NRAEF serves as an intermediary organization, connecting stakeholder groups in each of the target communities.   

Outcomes: Outcomes for HOPES include high enrollment and retention rates, increased training and measurable skills gain, increased employment placements, greater retention and earnings, and reduced recidivism.   

Service Area: NRAEF and HOPES partners will service individuals returning to three communities: 1) Chicago, Illinois (Cook County); 2) Farmville, Virginia (Cumberland County); and 3) Richmond, Virginia (Richmond County).  

Beneficiaries: The target audience is individuals who are ages 25 and older, returning to the service areas, and meet the eligibility and suitability requirements defined in the Proposal Narrative. NRAEF and HOPES partners will service a minimum of 40 participants in each of the service areas.  

Subrecipients: NRAEF will work with DOCs (Illinois Department of Corrections, Virginia Department of Corrections), CBOs (Lawrence Hall, LOC Family Services, OAR of Richmond), and SRAs (Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association Foundation) to service the three target communities.  Since 2019, NRAEF has worked with the identified partners to implement HOPES, with a focus on young adults (ages 18-24). 

Priority Consideration: NRAEF meets requirements for Category 2 program-specific priority consideration. Documentation of NRAEF’s eligibility for priority consideration can be found in the Proposal Narrative as follows.  



Local Demands Assessment 

 Pages 3-4 

Individualized Reentry Planning 

 Pages 7-8 

Connections to Local Employers 

 Pages 11, 13 

Track Employment Outcomes 

 Pages 18-19

Date Created: September 28, 2022