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Director, Professional Advancement

National Restaurant Association
District of Columbia, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Jun 21, 2023

Job Details

The National Restaurant Association and National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation are proud to be part of a highly respected industry, providing hospitality, opportunity, and quality of life. Much like the industry we represent, we have a dynamic, diverse, and inclusive culture, grounded in trust, hospitality, collaboration and innovation. These are the core values that inspire our work, and what we are looking for in a Director, Professional Advancement.

As Director, Professional Advancement, you will be responsible for the strategy, development, delivery and maintenance of comprehensive programs to advance individuals in the restaurant and food service industry. These programs primarily focus on industry-informed competency work-based training and include registered apprenticeship, youth apprenticeship and professional development grants. The position has direct responsibility for providing technical oversight and the management of federal apprenticeship contracts and grants and private foundation grants serving as the key point of contact for the NRAEF with all internal enterprise shared services, members of the federal, state and local workforce development community, federal officials and contract administrators, postsecondary education deans and department chairs, military as appropriate, external partners, subcontractors and vendors.

The Director, Professional Advancement is responsible for understanding the dimensions of existing enterprise, industry workforce, and transition development programs and their components, in the context of the business relationship between the Association and Foundation, and with State Restaurant Associations and Foundations. Partnering with National Restaurant Association Solutions, you’ll evaluate industry workforce needs and apply them to support target audiences with product development and marketing initiatives.

Ideal candidates bring progressive experience in development and fulfillment of Federal contracts and grants, including responsibility for the supporting internal and external systems, and past success leading and growing workforce advancement initiatives. Experience with development and implementation of Federal and State apprenticeship programs, as well as transition and pre-apprenticeship programs is highly desirable, as is experience with research and analysis of workforce data and creation, and development of competency based career pathways, registered apprenticeship programs and credentials. The individual must also be comfortable working across a broad range of populations including, but not limited to; underrepresented minorities, justice-involved, and military.

We are proud to offer our team members comprehensive benefits, designed to support their financial, professional, and personal well-being. In addition to outstanding healthcare coverage (medical, dental and vision), competitive salaries, generous vacation and leave time, we offer a matching 401(k) plan, a unique collection of corporate discounts and memberships, as well as programs to support career and skills development, including coaching, learning and tuition assistance, and so much more. Position may operate with hybrid flexibility out of our DC office, with a minimum of two - three days onsite. Remote candidates must live in the following states: CT, DC, FL, GA, MD, NH, NV, PA, RI, TX, VA, WI and must travel to our DC office monthly.


  • Works as part of the Program team to accomplish Foundation goals.
  • Assists VP, Programs Impact to accomplish Program team goals.
  • Supports all internal team members and departments following the Foundation and Association mission and values while promoting their culture.
  • Drives the strategy, design, creation and implementation of professional advancement programs of the Foundation.
  • Oversees the continuation and growth of the Foundation’s registered apprenticeship program with the US Department of Labor and ensures the success and fulfillment of all contractual and performance objectives:
  • Develop relationships with Department of Labor, Commerce and Education members.
  • Identify and help submit Federal and private proposals for program support and expansion.
  • Drives the continued development of professional development programs and initiatives.
  • Aggressively drives the Foundation’s programming ensure equity is delivered across all programs.
  • In partnership with The National Restaurant Association Business Services unit, evaluates industry workforce needs and applies them to NRAEF program development.
  • Designs and develops program standards and identifies program content needs.
  • Oversees the development, application process and fulfillment of federal contracts and grant requirements.
  • Ensures the utilization of internal infrastructure to support the compliance and reporting needs associated with the execution of federal contracts and grants. Works closely with IT and finance on project integration and data management.
  • With research partners, evaluates and maintains workforce data to identify and illustrate corresponding career pathways or career roadmaps of sequential positions, roles and wages.
  • In consultation with subject-matter experts and National Restaurant Association Business Services, builds position profiles to create distinctions among jobs in career paths by outlining core responsibilities, skills, and requirements and provide critical feedback in the development and maintenance of a robust web-based, interactive illustration of industry career pathways.
  • Links career paths to employee development by prioritizing position profile characteristics and identifying key competencies/experiences that employees should acquire as they move along the career path.
  • Collaborates with National Restaurant Association Business Services to identify subject matter experts, authors and reviews to guide the development of curriculum educator and trainer resources.
  • Works with communications staff to promote programs to national partners to publicize and promote emerging programs - understand the effectiveness/usage of print, digital, social media.
  • Ensures all external communication (collateral material, website, social media, and literature) is reflective of current program activity and metrics.
  • Engages and gains commitment from community-based organization partners, post-secondary institutions and employers.
  • Provides ongoing oversight, ensures quality control and consistency of participation and evaluation of programs.
  • Determines budget and criteria for program expansion and scalability to other cities.
  • Manages multiple projects and working groups simultaneously for all assigned products.
  • Develops and applies knowledge of the working relationship between the NRAEF and state restaurant associations/SRAEFs.
  • Demonstrates courteous, cooperative, and helpful behavior to all internal and external contacts.
  • May participate on an internal team, either through formal assignment, or on an ad hoc basis
  • Duties and responsibilities may be added, deleted, or changed at discretion of management.


  • Bachelor's Degree, and a minimum of ten years progressive professional responsibility with the development and fulfillment of federal contracts and grants, and development of the internal infrastructure and external systems to support fulfillment.
  • Experience with workforce program standard development and implementation.
  • Experience with research and analysis of workforce data, and the creation and development of competency-based career pathways, registered apprenticeship programs and credentials
  • Must have the ability to move from concept to implementation, market services both internally/externally.
  • Demonstrated past success in leading and growing workforce advancement initiatives and team members.
  • Broad fundamental restaurant industry, association management, and/or non-profit business knowledge a plus.
  • Experience with the development and implementation of Federal and State apprenticeship programs a plus.
  • Experience with the development and implementation of transition and pre-apprenticeship programs a plus.

Emotional Demands:

  • Able to make decisions quickly with flexibility to adjust as conditions/guidelines evolve.
  • Comfortable speaking publicly in federal, industry, and post-secondary settings
  • Must be able to work as an integral part of the Program team.
  • Maintain good rapport with all departments.
  • Must be able to make complex decisions for tough problems.
  • Must be able to cope within a fast-paced work environment; persevere with tenacity.
  • Able to manage multiple projects; separating mission critical from the non-strategic; with minimal supervision.
  • Fearless in tackling issues and challenges as they arise; doesn’t avoid confrontation.
  • Understand the importance of the position for the success of the business.
  • Able to accept change and be flexible, focusing on action, and outcomes.
  • Must be able to act with honor, character and integrity.



We are an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, age, disability status, genetic information and testing, family, and medical leave, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We strongly encourage women, people of color, people with disabilities and veterans to apply for our job openings. This commitment supports our policy of developing and capitalizing on the abilities of all our team members, as well as selecting, developing, and promoting those who are best qualified.



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