North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC), Smithfield Foods partner to bring award-winning maintenance technician apprenticeship program to Mason City area
From left to right: Jeston Ulmstead, Eric “Dezzi” Despenas, and Jay James
North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) and Smithfield Foods, Inc. have partnered to offer a new maintenance technician apprenticeship program in the Mason City area. The program provides hands-on engineering and mechanical training to Smithfield employees at the company’s Mason City, IA facility as they work toward an Industrial Maintenance & Mechanics (IMM) associate of science degree from NIACC. Three students have signed to the inaugural program as of Jan. 17.
Smithfield’s maintenance technician apprenticeship programs across the U.S. entail approximately three years of classroom learning and an additional year of hands-on training with experienced technicians at local Smithfield facilities. Student apprentices receive free college tuition, an associate degree, federal journeyman’s certifications and full-time salary and benefits as they progress through the program.
“Partnering with Smithfield to meet the needs of their workforce through NIACC training has been an excellent opportunity to support our local employers,” said Melinda McGregor, Director of Emerging Workforce Solutions at NIACC.
“We’re excited to partner with NIACC and continue our work to develop the next generation of manufacturing professionals in Mason City,” said Clarence Scott, Talent Acquisition Specialist for Maintenance & Engineering for Smithfield Foods. “It’s our pleasure to welcome these new apprentices to their careers at Smithfield.”
Smithfield’s inaugural apprenticeship program with Wayne Community College (WCC) in Goldsboro, N.C. was honored by the North Carolina Community College System last year for its innovative approach to supporting workers, businesses and local economies. The company has expanded the program to include partnerships with colleges near Smithfield facilities in MO, Neb., Iowa and Ill.
Additional career opportunities are available with the company at this link.
North Iowa Area Community College, founded in 1918, is a nationally-recognized, two-year college located in central North Iowa. With approximately 3,000 career and transfer students, the College has been recognized by the Aspen Institute as a leading community college in the nation. NIACC welcomes students from across Iowa, Minnesota, the nation, and the world. The College has served as a leader in student-centered learning, community engagement, and collaborative leadership for more than 100 years. Choose NIACC First. For more information, visit www.niacc.edu/.
About Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Headquartered in Smithfield, Va. since 1936, Smithfield Foods, Inc. is an American food company with agricultural roots and a global reach. Our 63,000 team members are dedicated to producing “Good food. Responsibly.®” and have made Smithfield one of the world’s leading vertically integrated protein companies. We have pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including our industry-leading commitments to become carbon negative in U.S. company-owned operations and reduce GHG emissions 30 percent across our entire U.S. value chain by 2030. We believe in the power of protein to end food insecurity and have donated hundreds of millions of food servings to our communities. Smithfield boasts a portfolio of high-quality iconic brands, such as Smithfield®, Eckrich® and Nathan’s Famous®, among many others. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
North Iowa Area Community College
Smithfield Foods, Inc.
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