Prostart students

Welcome to the Education Foundation

Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association Education Foundation


Who We Are 
Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association Education Foundation (ORLAEF) strives to provide Oregonians with the resources, skills, and means to pursue meaningful careers in the restaurant, food service, hotel, and hospitality industries. 

As the non-political, independent 501c3 foundation of the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association, we engage in and support our industry’s philanthropic and social service efforts by supporting educational opportunities and job training programs that help ensure the vitality of one of Oregon’s largest economic drivers - the hospitality industry.  

Why What We Do Matters
The restaurant and hospitality industries in Oregon are in need of a skilled and diverse workforce, but lack a clear pathway from schools and training institutions into the workforce at large. Though the industry has a strong track record of offering career growth options to everyone, including minorities and those who come from socio-economic challenged backgrounds, more needs to be done to reach and educate these audiences.  

By advocating for internationally-recognized, high quality CTE-compliant educational programs in our high schools, post-secondary, and adult learning centers, we can help bridge that gap by providing support and mentors for teachers, and internships for students. 

Our Programs
ORLAEF serves as a gateway to many of the resources you’ll need if you are interested in a career in the restaurant, lodging, and/or hospitality industry. Curriculum and programs we support include the National Restaurant Association's (NRA) ProStart® and the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute's (AHLEI) Hospitality & Tourism Management Program, both school-to-work industry training programs for high school students.

A new customer service-focused program will be launched soon through a partnership between ORLAEF, Travel Oregon, and AHLEI. An enhanced opportunity for Oregon’s hospitality industry members to earn a Certified Guest Service Professional® (CGSP) designation, this program also provides the base for further certifications for industry members seeking training to help them advance their careers. For more information about AHLEI certifications go to AHLEI.org/Certifications/AHLEI-Professional-Certification.

For industry mandated training, visit ORLA's Training page, where you can find information and links for Food Handler Certification, Alcohol Service Permit, and ServSafe Manager Training & Certification.

We Need Your Support
We are committed to providing career education and resources for all who are seeking jobs in our industry and for those already employed and are seeking advancement. But we need your help to sustain our programs. We seek additional partners, mentors, sponsors, and volunteers to assist in our efforts. To find out how your organization can get involved, contact Wendy Popkin, Executive Director, 971.224.1505.
ORLA EF