WSU Announces New ARAMARK Partnership

“Washington State University’s Hotel and Restaurant Administration program is expanding due to a newly created partnership with ARAMARK, a multinational managed service company.The recently announced partnership makes WSU the fifth university nationally to be named as a partner school with the $6.5 billion, Philadelphia-based company, according to WSU. The university joins Cornell, Michigan State, Penn State and Purdue universities.“I see strength building upon strength,” said WSU President Samuel H. Smith. “This makes ARAMARK and our university stronger.”Smith and university officials met last week with ARAMARK executives and employees on campus to announce the partnership and begin the company’s fall recruiting at WSU.“We feel that developing a close working relationship with selected leading universities can benefit both of us,” said Tom Gaval, human resources vice president for ARAMARK’s Sports and Entertainment division. “We selected WSU because of the quality of its programs, the enthusiasm of the faculty and the continued success of the graduates as ARAMARK managers.“We can help WSU by sponsoring events, assisting faculty research, and providing guests for classes and panels,” Gaval said. “WSU helps us by providing great interns and recruits for our food service and facilities management, uniforms and career apparel, and educational resources and child care initiatives.”By the end of the past academic year, 18 percent of WSU’s HRA graduates were placed in career positions with the company. Overall at WSU, 20 students reported taking jobs with the company in 1999.“While it begins with the hospitality program, we really see the partnership benefiting the entire university,” said W. Terry Umbreit, HRA director. “We are thrilled to be selected to become the first partner school in the West.”ARAMARK provides food and support services, uniform and career apparel, as well as childcare and early education programs. The company has over 150,000 employees serving 15 million people at 500,000 locations in 14 countries.WSU’s 67-year-old HRA program has 350 majors and minors, and is rated in the top 5 percent of 170 similar programs in the country. Placement of HRA majors upon graduation runs consistently around 95 percent, according to the university, with an average of 4.3 job offers per student, Umbreit said. HRA is part of the WSU College of Business and Economics.”