March 16, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Public + Media Relations Manager
Smithfield, MCC partnership leads to vital apprenticeship training
OMAHA, Neb. — Smithfield Foods and Metropolitan Community College are partnering to provide a comprehensive apprenticeship program offering student apprentices an opportunity at a high-demand job while earning free college credit that can be used toward a certificate or degree. Ten Smithfield apprentices signed agreements on Friday, marking the beginning of their participation in the four-year program which provides three years of classroom learning through MCC’s electrical mechanical maintenance program and an additional year of hands-on experience with technicians at Smithfield’s facilities in Nebraska and Iowa.
Apprentices who complete the program receive a journeyman’s license, a federal U.S. Department of Labor certificate and free college credit toward a degree. Apprentices are also eligible for salary and benefits as they progress to full-time employees.
The ten apprentices are the second cohort of students that have started the program, with the first group beginning in 2020.
“The partnership with Smithfield Foods has been beneficial for both students and workforce development,” said Scott Broady, associate dean of Industrial and Automotive Technology at MCC. “Having industry partners like Smithfield creates opportunities for people to earn good paying jobs that can see them have a successful career while earning college credit. We hope that these students use their college credit to go on to earn degrees or certificates, continuing their lifelong education."
“Smithfield is proud to continue this partnership with MCC to support and develop the next generation to enter the engineering and maintenance trades,” said Schwanzetta Williams, vice president of talent acquisition and diversity and inclusion for Smithfield Foods. “We’re excited to welcome our 10 new apprentices in their careers at Smithfield and pleased to provide them with this rewarding career path.”
The students enrolled in the program will be taking advantage of the new Center for Advanced Manufacturing academic building, a project that was completed at the end of 2020 on the South Omaha Campus.
Metropolitan Community College, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, is a comprehensive, public community college that offers affordable, quality education to all residents of Dodge, Douglas, Sarpy and Washington counties. Founded in 1974, MCC has the largest enrollment out of six community colleges in Nebraska and is the second largest postsecondary institution in the state. MCC serves more than 40,000 unique credit and noncredit students.