As a rising number of Americans pursue vocational careers, Smithfield Foods, Inc. has announced the expansion of its apprenticeship program will now include Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Neb.
The program, which addresses the country's growing need for skilled trade professionals, supports internal candidates, high school graduates and military veterans with hands-on electrical and mechanical training while earning their associate degree. Building upon Smithfield's introduction of the initiative in North Carolina last year, the company's new apprentices will train alongside experienced maintenance technicians at Smithfield's facilities in Iowa and Nebraska and receive free college tuition, salary and benefits as they progress through the program as full-time employees.
"We look forward to expanding our apprenticeship program to college campuses across the United States," says Schwanzetta Williams, director of talent acquisition for Smithfield Foods. "According to a report by The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte, there are more than 2.4 million unfilled jobs in manufacturing. It's critical to prepare the next generation of professionals with a wide range of necessary skills to ensure a successful career—and we're excited for our apprentices to build their careers at Smithfield."
Leveraging the power of partnerships with colleges across the country, the expansion of the apprenticeship program to Metropolitan Community College represents Smithfield's ongoing commitment to recruiting top talent and providing meaningful careers.
"This program combines both hands-on training and classroom experience, providing a valuable opportunity for individuals to develop a deep understanding of the electrical and mechanical fields," says Scott Broady, associate dean, industrial technology center for Metropolitan Community College. "We value our partnership with Smithfield Foods and appreciate their efforts in helping prepare highly skilled workers."
To launch the program, Smithfield hosted a signing ceremony to welcome the apprentices. In April, Smithfield will also attend the College's Sponsorship of Skilled and Technical Sciences Signing Day, joining apprentices and companies participating in apprenticeship programs.