Partnering To Develop Iowa’s Hospitality Industry

Through the ProStart® program, high school students can learn career-building skills and get a taste for success in an industry that is hungry for talent. But they can’t do it alone! The success of ProStart and the future of the industry depend on industry leaders like you. Lending your time and talent can make an immediate difference on a student’s passion for a career in your industry.


As a mentor to a ProStart classroom, you can help students make a connection between the classroom and their future career path. As a mentor, you can provide students with a wide range of work experience, regular feedback, field trips, job shadowing and letters of recommendation to deserving students. Mentors experience great opportunities to give back to the community by working with students on culinary and management techniques, business aspects of the industry, field trips, events, and preparing and joining students for competition.

To get connected with a ProStart school near you, or to learn more about mentorship, contact the Iowa Restaurant Association Education Foundation at 515-276-1454 or


Workforce is the #1 concern for Iowa Restaurant and Hospitality industry operators. What draws people to our industry? Experience. Passion. Relationships. More than 1,100 ProStart students at 28 schools across Iowa need to hear from YOU! Help us build awareness of the vast and viable CAREERS in our industry, IGNITE their passion for the work we do, and EXCITE them about the endless possibilities that lie ahead. TELL THEM YOUR STORY!

CLICK HERE to sign up for our ProStart Classroom Speakers Bureau


One challenge restaurateurs face is finding qualified, highly-skilled employees… The Iowa ProStart Program can help. By hiring a ProStart student, you will gain a motivated, highly-trained employee that is focused on the industry as a career. You will also be contributing to the industry by helping create a high-quality labor pool. ProStart students enter the workplace ready to make an immediate impact. They have developed industry-specific and transferable skills that bring value to any hospitality establishment.

To get connected with a ProStart school near you, or to learn how to become a ProStart Industry Partner, contact the Iowa Restaurant Association Education Foundation at 515-276-1454 or


Invest in the future of the restaurant industry with an 100% tax deductible donation to the IRAEF. Due to COVID-19, Iowa’s hospitality workforce has taken a hit. Many highly-skilled hospitality professionals have found new career paths, The IRAEF is working to rebuild Iowa’s hospitality workforce the programs like ProStart, but we can’t do it alone. Your donation helps support our mission.


The volunteer opportunities within the Iowa ProStart Program are endless. Some opportunities include:

  • Culinary or Management Judge at the Iowa ProStart Invitational
  • Host Field Trips
  • Be a Guest Lecturer on a Topic of Your Expertise
  • Provide Culinary Demonstrations
  • Become a Competition Mentor

To get connected with a ProStart school in your community, visit the Iowa ProStart School Directory.