Pilgrim’s, NW-SCC sign agreement for worker scholarships, professional development

Northwest-Shoals Community College has entered into an agreement with Pilgrim’s, a subsidiary of leading global food company JBS, to train its employees for associate degrees and technical certifications.

NW-SCC signed the agreement with Pilgrim’s representatives Feb. 1, committing to participate in the JBS/Pilgrim’s Better Futures program that offers free college tuition to Pilgrim’s team members and their child dependents.

Pilgrim’s offers to pay the remaining tuition balance, often called a last dollar tuition scholarship, for its workers to train in technical programs that help them succeed. The scholarship is effective after all other aid, including aid granted after completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is applied.

“It is common for Alabama’s business and industry to look to Alabama’s community colleges to train their workers, and it’s rewarding to reach agreements with companies and universities all over the state that deliver the whole-student approach in advising and student experiences, right alongside workforce development,” said Jimmy H. Baker, chancellor of the Alabama Community College System. “This agreement is among many that confirm our colleges’ dedication to the communities they serve. We welcome Pilgrim’s workers who choose our colleges and benefit from this agreement.”

Pilgrim’s employees are required to have worked with the company at least six months prior to becoming eligible for the tuition scholarship and to work for the company two years after graduation or completion of a certification.

Similar agreements for employee scholarships and professional development will be signed with Pilgrim’s at Snead State and Enterprise State community colleges. Each of the colleges is within a region where a Pilgrim’s facility is located.

“We are excited to partner with these colleges to offer this incredible benefit to our team members and their children,” said Corey Friend, JBS/Pilgrim’s Better Futures program manager. “This program will provide deserving individuals the opportunity to pursue their dreams for higher education and strengthen Alabama communities for generations to come.”

In addition to JBS/Pilgrim’s offering the last dollar tuition scholarship, NW-SCC committed to offering specialized advising, financial literacy and professional development to Pilgrim’s employees who choose to attend.

“We take great pride in adapting to the needs of our students and local workforce,” said Dr. Jeff Goodwin, president of NW-SCC. “We look forward to keeping an open dialogue with Pilgrim’s to make sure their workers and their families have success at Northwest-Shoals.”

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