CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Ecolab Inc. announced today that it raised $135,350 for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) at its 9th Annual Ecolab Chairman's Reception. The money raised during the silent auction on May 22 will support the NRAEF's ProStart® program including scholarships for restaurant and foodservice students.
"We are honored that so many of our customers and industry partners donated generously to this special event helping us continue to support the NRAEF, the leading provider of education and training for the restaurant and foodservice industry," said Douglas M. Baker, Jr., Ecolab Chairman, President and CEO. "Education plays a fundamental role in sustaining the vitality and long-term health of our industry. We are proud to continue our support of the NRAEF, particularly because its mission focuses on building a talented, dynamic workforce for the future."
More than 750 foodservice operators and guests attended the annual silent auction, which is held during the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show. Over the past nine years, Ecolab has contributed more than $1 million to the non-profit organization.
Baker presented Carlton Curtis, Chairman of the NRAEF Board of Trustees, with the donation on behalf of Ecolab.
"We thank Ecolab for once again proving to be a dedicated partner and stalwart supporter of the NRAEF," Curtis said. "Ecolab sets the standard for our industry by investing in programs with high impact, like our student scholarships and ProStart, which is uniting the classroom and industry to develop the best and brightest talent into tomorrow's restaurant and foodservice leaders.
"We are incredibly thankful for Ecolab's very generous donation and their long history of support of the NRAEF and the ProStart program," added Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association and NRAEF. "Ecolab, along with the many donors at Sunday's event, are critical to the success of the NRAEF, and these essential funds will help support the NRAEF Scholarship Program as well as the growth and enhancement of the ProStart program, which is creating opportunity for 90,000 high school students across the country."
The NRAEF has seen increased demand for its programs and services as the industry continues to grow and the U.S. economy relies upon the restaurant and foodservice industry as its economic engine. In 2011 alone, the industry will employ 12.8 million people, or nine percent of the U.S. workforce, and over the next decade, the industry expects to add 1.3 million more jobs. That is why a program like ProStart and offering industry scholarships is critical. Contributions from leaders like Ecolab and the attendees of the Chairman's Reception are key to our industry's future success.
About Ecolab Inc.
Ecolab Inc. (NYSE: ECL) is the global leader in cleaning, sanitizing, food safety and infection prevention products and services. Ecolab delivers comprehensive programs and services to the foodservice, food and beverage processing, healthcare, and hospitality markets in more than 160 countries. More news and information is available at www.ecolab.com
About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation
As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) enhances the restaurant industry's service to the public through education, community engagement, and promotion of career opportunities. The restaurant and foodservice industry is comprised of 945,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 13 million employees, making it one of the nation's largest employers. The NRAEF is focused on working with the Association to lead America's restaurant industry into a new era of prosperity, prominence and participation by providing the valuable tools and resources needed to educate our current and incoming employees. For more information on the NRAEF, visit www.nraef.org
Jennifer Kirscher, 651-293-2846