OAKWOOD, GA. – Responding to a sustained shortage of skilled workers in the meat and poultry processing industry, Wayne Farms LLC announced it is working with the Alabama Community College System to create a state-accredited apprenticeship program. As part of earning a Mechatronics degree, the two-year program will equip students with the knowledge and experience required to fill many of the industry’s job openings, including mechanical and electrical positions.

The program is offered at Wallace State Community College and Enterprise State Community College (ESCC) and includes classroom instruction and hands-on experience at Wayne Farms’ facilities where paid internships will be offered to enrolled students. The company maintains 13 facilities across Alabama, including processing plants, hatcheries and feed mills.

 “Community colleges play a critical role in workforce development because we must see workforce needs and ensure our students are highly trained and certified to meet those needs,” said Matt Rodgers, president of ESCC.

According to Wayne Farms, recent investments in its facilities in southern Alabama have created opportunities for rewarding careers in skilled trades.

“The equipment and technology upgrades have transformed the facilities into modern, technology-driven operations, demanding a much deeper skillset than poultry plant maintenance work has traditionally required,” Wayne Farms said.