GREELEY, COLO. – JBS USA and Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. launched the Better Futures program on March 18 which will provide free two-year college tuition to employees and their dependent children.

The company said it will also help people navigate the application process since many workers and families are first-generation Americans. It is also promoting the initiative in multiple languages.

“Our Better Futures program removes the biggest financial barrier associated with going to college, and it gives our team members and their families the opportunity to reap the benefits an education can provide,” said Andre Nogueira, chief executive officer, JBS USA. “We will be delighted if some choose to build or continue their careers with us when they graduate. Yet our larger aim is to unlock rural America’s potential through free college education for our team members and their children.”

JBS said eligibility for the program requires an employee to have worked with the company for the last six months and remain in good standing during their educational pursuit. College tuition is paid by the company upon enrollment to ensure team members will not need to take out student loans.

“We believe in the power of education to improve lives, and the Better Futures program is an extension of our promise to offer opportunities for a better future to our team members,” said Fabio Sandri, CEO of Pilgrim’s. “Better Futures will open doors for our team members and their families to learn and grow as they work to achieve their dreams.”

As part of the initiative, JBS will establish long-term relationships with community colleges in parts of the country where it operates. The company said that providing free access to community college and technical training programs can help play a role to sustainably build rural economies and make a lasting and meaningful difference in people’s lives.

"We are so pleased to be able to provide quality educational opportunities to the outstanding employees of JBS and members of their families,” said Matt Gotschall, PhD, president, Central Community College. “This is definitely a win-win-win partnership between individuals, private industry and public higher education, which will make a positive difference for generations to come.”

The program’s college partnerships include:

  • Riverside, Calif. – Riverside City College, Norco College, and Moreno Valley College of the Riverside Community Council District
  • Greeley, Colo. – Aims Community College
  • Grand Island, Neb. – Central Community College
  • Omaha, Neb. – Metropolitan Community College
  • Hyrum, Utah – Bridgerland Technical College
  • Online partner – Rio Salado College

“We are excited to help JBS employees and their families build skills to get in-demand jobs and build rewarding careers,” said Leah L. Bornstein, PhD, CEO and president of Aims Community College. “This not only helps individuals advance their own quality of life, it advances the economic vitality of the community as a whole. That’s what Aims is all about.”

JBS said if there is not a college nearby, it would provide an online community college option. The first eligible students will be for the upcoming 2021/2022 school year.