SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–MOD Super Fast Pizza Holdings, LLC (“MOD Pizza”, “MOD” or the “Company”) and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) today announced a new partnership to create employment opportunities and specialized job training for justice-involved young adults. The NRAEF’s HOPES Program (Hospitality Opportunities for People (Re)Entering Society) is a unique collaboration between businesses, state restaurant associations and community-based organizations, that provide pathways to success for individuals re-entering society. The partnership launches this month in Chicago area MOD locations, with plans for a nationwide rollout later this year.
Of the 650,000 people who exit the justice system each year, 52% will be reincarcerated within three years if they lack stable employment. Through a holistic approach, the HOPES program objective is a reduction in recidivism by focusing on supportive job placement, retention, and career advancement.
The wrap-around services provided by the program include:
- Personalized Case Management
- ServSafe Educational Support & Certificate
- Legal Support
- Health Services
- Mental Health Counseling
- Educational Support to complete high school degree
- Temporary Housing Assistance
- Transportation Assistance
- Substance Abuse Counseling
“Ten years ago, when MOD opened their second store in Seattle, they gave me a second chance,” said Kory Harp, program manager of opportunity employment, MOD Pizza. “As someone who has personally navigated this journey, I recognize that a job is just the beginning. This partnership gives us the tools we need to help ensure more employees succeed.”
MOD practices opportunity employment across its entire system, providing jobs to individuals who face barriers, including opportunity youth (18-24 year-olds not working or in school), individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and those previously justice-involved. It is one of the many ways MOD works to makes a positive social impact in the communities it serves and help contribute to a world that works for and includes everyone.
“Over the years, we have seen first-hand the incredible opportunity that exists for companies to make an impact by providing jobs to individuals with barriers to employment,” said Ally Svenson, co-founder and chief purpose officer, MOD Pizza. “Now, through this collaboration, we can provide critical resources to help our Squads on their journey to stability and economic mobility. We are grateful to the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation for choosing MOD as their first national restaurant partner.”
“MOD Pizza has set the standard for how restaurants can meaningfully and successfully work with justice-involved youth. This partnership will allow us to create pathways to long term success for dedicated employees who are often overlooked by society,” said Susan Crystal-Mansour, Ph.D., Vice President of Program Impact, NRAEF. “We are honored to have MOD as our inaugural partner in our life-changing HOPES program. We believe this partnership can be the gold standard for the rest of the industry.”
MOD has more than 8,300 company employees and offers industry-leading benefits, mentorship and training opportunities, and access to the “Bridge Fund,” which provides financial support for Squad members during times of need. To date, MOD has provided over $1.5 million in grants to help employees in crisis. For its efforts to create an inspired place to work, MOD is often recognized as a progressive employer, including being named by Fortune to its “Change the World” list and as a “Best Workplace” in several categories.
ABOUT MOD PIZZA
MOD Pizza is a purpose-led, people-first brand founded in Seattle in 2008 by serial entrepreneurs Scott and Ally Svenson. MOD serves individual artisan-style pizzas and salads that are made on demand, allowing customers to create their own pizzas and salads with any combination of over 30 toppings, all for one incredible price. With 490+ locations system-wide*, MOD is committed to creating not only a cool place to eat, but an inspired place to work. MOD recently earned a spot on the Fortune 2019 “Change the World” list, for its purpose-led culture and commitment to provide opportunities to individuals with barriers to employment. The Company has also been named America’s fastest growing chain restaurant by Technomic for four years running, named the most loved pizza brand by Foodable Network, and MOD Rewards was selected by Newsweek as one of America’s Best Loyalty Programs. MOD has earned a spot on the Inc.5000 list and has been recognized by Fortune as one of the “20 Best Workplaces in Retail,” a “Best Workplace for Women,” a “Best Workplace for Millennials,” and a “Best Workplace for Diversity.” For more information, please visit www.modpizza.com or connect with the brand via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
*The term system-wide refers to all company-operated and licensed store locations.
The trademarks MOD, MOD Pizza, and the MOD Shield, are owned by MOD Super Fast Pizza, LLC.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION
As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s mission of service to the public is dedicated to enhancing the industry’s training and education, career development and community engagement efforts. The NRAEF and its programs work to Attract, Empower and Advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workforce. NRAEF programs include: ProStart® – a high school career and technical education program; Restaurant Ready – partnering with community based organization to provide opportunity youth and previously incarcerated individuals with skills training and job opportunities; Military – helping military servicemen and women transition their skills to restaurant and foodservice career; Scholarships – financial assistance for students pursuing restaurant, foodservice and hospitality degrees, and, the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship project – a partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association providing a hospitality apprenticeship program for the industry. For more information on the NRAEF, visit ChooseRestaurants.org.
The HOPES program uses a Community Collaborative model to connect young adults, ages 18 – 24 with current or previous justice-involvement to career opportunities in the restaurant, food service, and hospitality industry, with the goals of developing work-readiness and industry-specific skills and reducing recidivism. NRAEF launched the program after receiving a grant in 2019 from the Department of Labor to increase restaurant and hospitality employment outcomes for individuals involved with the justice system and decrease recidivism.