About Us

The Wyoming Lodging & Restaurant Association Education Foundation believes strongly that the future of Wyoming’s hospitality industry is unlimited!  We work every day to enhance our industry’s service to the public through education, community engagement and promotion of career opportunities.  The Education Foundation has developed strong relationships with Wyoming’s Community Colleges, University of Wyoming, and many of Wyoming’s government entities including Department of Education, and Workforce Services.


Facts about the WLRAEF

We are the only statewide organization dedicated to servicing the interests of the Wyoming hospitality industry on the front lines and behind the scenes representing your in matters that are important to you!

We are Wyoming’s leader in providing hospitality industry skills and education to nearly 750 students in 29 high schools across Wyoming each year.  Our goal is to create a continual flow of new, skilled and enthusiastic young workers to enter Wyoming’s growing hospitality workforce.

We promote a positive message to our members, to teachers and students, and to the public about the hospitality industry and its’ workforce.  Expert knowledge, superb skills, customer service, food safety, management training and more are all just a part of that message.

Help us inspire a lifelong passion!


Mission and Vision

Mission Statement

The WLRA Education Foundation assists in providing educational and career opportunities for current and future hospitality industry employees.

Vision Statement

Our vision is to serve the educational needs of the lodging and restaurant industry in Wyoming by working to train, recruit and retain our valuable workforce, by offering programs and partnering with other institutions through educational and mentoring initiatives.


Accomplishments & Honors

  • First Annual Wyoming Hospitality Student Invitational competition held April 17, 2002. 72 students from nine high schools participated. More than $100,000 in scholarships was awarded.
  • More than fifteen Wyoming educators have been recognized as “Teachers of Excellence” by the National Restaurant Association and American Hotel & Lodging Association.
  • Approximately 250 Wyoming ProStart students have gone one to pursue postsecondary hospitality degrees.
  • More than 100 students have participated in paid, mentored internships since 2003.
  • Nearly two dozen Wyoming students have earned the prestigious ProStart national certificate.
  • April 2003: Wyoming wins 1st place at the National ProStart Student Invitational Culinary Competition in Denver, Colorado. They had competed against a dozen other teams from across the US.
  • April 2005: Wyoming places 2nd in the National ProStart Student Invitational Management Competition in Charlotte, NC. They were more than twenty teams competing.
  • May 2010: Wyoming places 7th in National ProStart Student Invitational Management Competition in Overland Park, Kansas.  They competed against three dozen other state teams.
  • May 2016: Wyoming places 14th in National ProStart Student Invitational Culinary Competition in Grapevine, Texas.  They competed against forty-seven other state teams.
  • The WLRAEF celebrated the 15th Annual Wyoming ProStart Student Invitational competition in March of 2017 with more than 75 students from fifteen high schools participating from across the state. More than $650,000 in scholarships were awarded to the winning students.
  • May 2017: Wyoming places 11th in National ProStart Student Invitational Culinary Competition in Charleston, South Carolina.  There were forty-eight teams competing from all across the US as well as Guam and DoD locations in Europe.