GREELEY, Colo., – Today, Pilgrim’s Moorefield announced a partnership with Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College to provide free tuition to qualifying team members and their dependents.
The nationwide program, Pilgrim’s Better Futures, removes a major financial barrier to college attendance and stands to become the largest free community college tuition program in rural America. Pilgrim’s and Eastern advisors will also help team members – many from first-generation American families – navigate the application process, which can be a deterrence to people applying to college for the first time.
An open house will be held on Aug. 3 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Eastern’s main campus in Moorefield, where Pilgrim’s team members can learn more about the program opportunities and application process.
“Providing free college education for Pilgrim’s Moorefield team members and their children will open doors to better futures,” said Allen Collins, Pilgrim’s Moorefield complex manager. “Partnering with Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College is a win-win for our team members and for higher education in our region.”
As a large employer in many rural communities, Pilgrim’s believes providing free access to community college and technical training programs can help play a role in sustainably building rural economies and making a lasting and meaningful difference in people’s lives. The first class of students will be eligible for the upcoming 2021/2022 school year.
“This partnership is an exciting opportunity for both Eastern and Pilgrim’s. It demonstrates how organizations can create state-of-the-art agreements that benefit individuals seeking to advance their education and career pathways,” said Dr. Thomas Striplin, Eastern President. “Our vision for Eastern is to be the leader in innovative and collaborative educational partnerships in this region and beyond.”
The Better Futures program, announced in March, is part of the company’s Hometown Strong initiative announced last year. Strengthening the communities where Pilgrim’s team members live and work is an ongoing priority. Funding for Better Futures is in addition to the initial $20 million investment from Pilgrim’s for Hometown Strong. This investment will allow Pilgrim’s to continue advancing the commitment to its team members and people in communities across the country. To learn more, visit betterfutures.jbssa.com.
The Pilgrim’s Moorefield facilities employ 1,765 people with an annual payroll of more than $64 million. The production facility supports 126 growers, paying them more than $24 million per year for their chickens. Pilgrim’s anchors dozens of rural communities – operating more than 30 meat poultry and prepared foods plants and employing 31,000-plus people.
As a global food company with more than 56,000 team members, Pilgrim’s processes, prepares, packages and delivers fresh, frozen and value-added food products for customers in more than 100 countries. For more information, please visit www.pilgrims.com.
Eastern West Virginia Community & Technical College is an institution of higher learning accredited through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Nestled in the mountains of the Potomac Highlands, Eastern has been serving the educational needs of our communities throughout Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Mineral, Pendleton, and Tucker counties for over 20 years. To learn more, visit www.easternwv.edu.
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