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Hormel Foods To Provide Free College Education To Employees’ Children

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Austin, Minnesota-based Hormel Foods has announced it will grant two-year college degree tuition to dependent children of the company’s employees.

The Inspired Pathways program will begin later this year with the first class starting college in the 2021-22 academic year. It is open to all currently employed Hormel Foods team members in the U.S.

While the company does have a four-year college scholarship program through the National Merit Scholarship Corp., Inspired Pathways is not based on achievement of a certain test score or GPA. The only academic requirements are that the student graduates from high school and meets a community college’s entry requirements.

For Inspired Pathways, the company will be partnering with community colleges in cities where it has operations. It also will be creating mentorship committees to provide student resources, including assistance with applications. In addition, the program will work with students on internships and career development opportunities.

The program comes at a time when paying for college has become a hardship for a lot of people and as community colleges, the foundation of many U.S. communities, struggle with enrollment.

“We believe equality in education can be a game-changer, and we have decided to take on that challenge,” said Jim Snee, chairman of the board, president and CEO.

“When you think about how a college education can change lives and start a ripple effect that will be felt for generations, that’s the change-maker Hormel Foods wants to be.”

Snee went on to note that Hormel’s workforce includes “people from all backgrounds and cultures.”

“It is this diversity that fuels us and makes us the global leader we are in our industry,” he said. “In some cases, we have team members who never had the opportunity to attend college. This program allows them to give their children that opportunity.”

The program follows the Hormel Foundation Austin Assurance Scholarship, which benefits all high school students who live in Austin. Additionally, the company offers tuition reimbursement for current team members who go back to school while working at Hormel.

A global branded food company, Hormel’s many brands include Skippy, Spam, Hormel Natural Choice, Applegate, Justin’s, Wholly, Hormel Black Label, Columbus and Happy Little Plants.

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