Le Cordon Bleu Schools (LCB) in North America announce today that it will partner with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) as a platinum-level sponsor of the NRAEF’s ProStart program in 2010. ProStart is a two-year career-building program developed by the NRAEF for high school students who are interested in culinary arts and restaurant and foodservice management.

LCB and ProStart both emphasize foundational skills and fundamental culinary and management learning for students. Through the partnership LCB will provide extensive resources to the ProStart community in support of high school students and the two-year ProStart program. From access to demonstrations at its 17 North American campuses to up to $1.2 million in scholarships, LCB is dedicated to the advancement of this next generation of culinary and foodservice management experts.

“We’re proud to be working with an organization that shares our passion for maximizing the education and interest of high school students,” said Brian Williams, senior vice president responsible for the Le Cordon Bleu Schools in North America. “This partnership is a tremendous opportunity for us to open our doors to members that are eager to take in the experience of the classroom and the knowledge of our classically-trained Le Cordon Bleu chef instructors.”

Spanning two challenging and rewarding years, ProStart students experience classroom study, mentored work experiences, and local and national competitions. LCB will work with ProStart to provide in-classroom training, deliver hands-on demonstrations and act as a consistent resource.

“ProStart is fulfilling a vital need in the industry by preparing the next generation of restaurant and foodservice industry leaders,” said Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association and National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “We are honored to have the incredible support of Le Cordon Bleu Schools in North America. Together we can instill in students the passion, dedication and knowledge to take the next step in their education or career.”

Nationwide, 83,000 students in 47 states, territories and districts are served by ProStart and supported by the NRAEF and state restaurant associations across the United States. The career-building program teaches high school students the management and culinary skills needed to begin a career or further their studies in the restaurant and foodservice industry. When students meet academic standards, complete a checklist of competencies, and work at least 400 hours in the industry, they are awarded the ProStart National Certificate of Achievement that signifies they are well qualified to enter the industry workforce. For more information on the ProStart program, visit www.prostart.restaurant.org.

About Le Cordon Bleu

Le Cordon Bleu (LCB) is the largest provider of quality culinary arts education worldwide. Our network of 17 schools in the United States offers culinary students a hands-on education with faculty dedicated to providing students with the necessary skills, knowledge, support and guidance to pursue fulfilling career opportunities in the culinary arts. LCB does not guarantee employment or salary and is a member of the Career Education Corporation (NASDAQ:CECO) network of universities, colleges and schools. For more information about Le Cordon Bleu, go to www.Chefs.edu.

Le Cordon Bleu ® and the Le Cordon Bleu logo are registered trademarks of Career Education Corporation.

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 comprises 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.

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