CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Ecolab Inc. (NYSE: ECL) raised more than $128,000 for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) at a silent auction during the 10th Annual Ecolab Chairman's Reception. More than 800 foodservice operators and guests attended the event, which is held during the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago.
The contributions will support NRAEF's ProStart® program, including scholarships for students seeking professions in the restaurant and foodservice industry.
Over the last 10 years, Ecolab has raised more than $1.2 million for NRAEF and its ProStart program through this event. ProStart is a nationwide, two-year high school program that unites the classroom and industry to develop the best and brightest talent into tomorrow's restaurant and foodservice leaders.
"Every year, we are honored that so many industry leaders join us for this special event and show their support for the valuable educational and training programs the NRAEF provides," said Douglas M. Baker, Jr., chairman and CEO, Ecolab. "Effective education and training are critical to the long-term success of our industry, and we are proud to support the NRAEF and the dynamic workforce they are developing for the restaurant and foodservice industry."
Baker presented Xavier Teixido, chair of the NRAEF Board of Trustees, with the $128,750 donation on behalf of Ecolab.
"We are committed to developing the next generation of leaders that our industry needs, and are very grateful to Ecolab for their continued support of the NRAEF and ProStart," said Lynette McKee, executive director, NRAEF. "On behalf of the 90,000 high school students served by ProStart, thank you to Ecolab and the industry leadership for their contribution to help feed dreams and build futures."
The restaurant and foodservice industry's reach is extensive — nearly half of all food dollars in the U.S. are spent at restaurants. The industry is projected to employ 14.3 million by 2022, and fostering an educated workforce is vital to support the industry's growth. The NRAEF advances the prosperity of the restaurant industry by developing a stronger workforce and building the next generation of industry leaders. The Foundation's educational initiatives provide culinary, management, food safety and employability skills training to millions of Americans, building a pipeline of industry talent.
With 2011 pro forma sales of $11 billion and more than 40,000 employees, Ecolab Inc. (NYSE: ECL) is the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services that provide and protect clean water, safe food, abundant energy and healthy environments. Ecolab delivers comprehensive programs and services to the food, energy, healthcare, industrial and hospitality markets in more than 160 countries. For more Ecolab news and information, visit www.ecolab.com