Full- and part-time employees of Smithfield Foods are now eligible for up to 100% coverage of tuition and certificate program costs beginning on their first day of employment.

The initiative looks to build the company’s talent from within by providing opportunities aligned with Smithfield Food’s career pathway opportunities. More than 200 programs are available through a partnership with the continuing education platform, Guild.

Smithfield Food’s nearly 60,000 employees can pursue short-term learning opportunities including high school diplomas and certificates, as well as undergraduate and master's degrees within the partnership.

More than 80 certificate programs are focused on a range of topics. Courses of study like business leadership, operations and supply chain, and cloud computing can be completed in time frames ranging from a few weeks to a few months. An additional 40 undergraduate degrees can be obtained in agricultural science, finance, data analytics and other topics, along with more than 10 master’s program options.

Participating employees will also receive career coaching and one-on-one personalized educational support.

“Our employees drive our success,” said Shane Smith, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield Foods. “This new tuition-free program will unlock life-changing opportunities for our U.S. employees, and will continue to build a foundation for lifelong careers at Smithfield.” 

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All programs are flexible with online and self-paced courses at accredited universities including the University of Maryland Global Campus, Southern New Hampshire University, Purdue University Global and Wilmington University, to name a few.

Smithfield fully funds more than 140 of the programs offered. Others are partially funded up to $6,000 annually for undergraduate degrees and up to $7,500 for graduate degrees. Required textbooks and course fees are also covered.

Temporary and seasonal employees are not eligible for the program.

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