Military Spouse Employment Focus of New Sodexo and National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Partnership

GAITHERSBURG, Md — Military spouse employment is a rapidly-growing concern impacting both the quality of life and readiness of today’s active-duty military members. Recently-released results from a military lifestyle survey conducted by the non-profit Blue Star Families organization, in collaboration with Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families, revealed that military spouse employment is the second biggest issue facing military families, trailing only military members spending time away from families, which topped the list.

To better understand the complex issue of military spouse employment, Sodexo, a food service and facilities management company, and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), an organization dedicated to enhancing the restaurant industry’s training and education, career development and community engagement efforts, today announced a partnership that will allow both groups to take a deep dive into the issue with a shared goal of supporting active-duty military spouses as they pursue employment.

“As the largest federal foodservice provider, an employer of more than 160,000 people throughout North America, and a partner delivering Quality of Life services to thousands of military members and their families on bases across the country every day, Sodexo is in a unique position to both see the real-world impact of military spouse employment while also supporting the stability of military families through job opportunities,” said Brett Ladd, CEO, Government, North America, Sodexo.

Through the partnership, Sodexo and the NRAEF will conduct nationwide focus group studies with military spouses, representing all branches of the military. These focus groups will concentrate on many facets of the issue, including the current landscape of employment opportunities for military spouses and the barriers they face when seeking employment. The results of these studies will then be analyzed and will help determine this partnership’s path forward.

“This partnership is a significant next step in the Foundation’s work to better serve our nation’s military servicemen and women and their families with the ultimate goal of connecting them to career opportunities in our industry,” said Rob Gifford, Executive Vice President of the NRAEF. “We are committed to supporting our military—and supporting military spouse employment is an integral part of that commitment.”

With more than 40 years of experience working municipal, state, federal and military clients, Sodexo’s Government segment and its nearly 3,000 employees improve the Quality of Life for the people it serves at more than 150 military and U.S. Federal Government locations in 26 states. Headquartered in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Sodexo provides a variety of integrated food and facilities management solutions and is the nation’s largest federal foodservice contractor – serving 45.6 million meals annually with a focus on wellness and nutrition.

About Sodexo North America

Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 72 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. The company employs 160,000 people at 13,000 sites in all 50 U.S. states and Canada, and indirectly supports tens of thousands of additional jobs through its annual purchases of $19 billion in goods and services from small to large businesses. Sodexo is committed to supporting diversity and inclusion and safety, while upholding the highest standards of corporate responsibility and ethical business conduct. In support of local communities across the U.S., in 2018, Sodexo contributed over 159,500 in volunteer hours, and since 1996, the Stop Hunger Foundation has contributed nearly $34.5 million to help feed children in America impacted by hunger. To learn more about Sodexo, visit and connect with us on FacebookInstagramLinkedInTwitter and YouTube.

Contact: Enrico Dinges, Sodexo, Inc., 301-987-4393,

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 organizations to provide “opportunity youth” with skills training and job opportunities; Military – helping military servicemen and women transition their skills to restaurant and foodservice careers; 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