GREELEY, COLO. – JBS USA and Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. announced July 21 that 1,286 workers and dependents have enrolled in community colleges in the United States as a part of its Better Futures initiative.

JBS introduced its Better Futures program in March in which the company provides free two-year college tuition to employees and their dependent children.

“The JBS USA and Pilgrim’s Better Futures program is off to an outstanding start, with 1,286 of our team members and dependents enrolling in the program in only four months,” said Andre Nogueira, chief executive officer, JBS USA. “The number of students attending college has been in decline for more than a decade, especially among minority communities and across rural America. We believe providing free access to community college can help strengthen rural economies and make a lasting and meaningful difference in the lives of people.”

JBS and Pilgrim’s partnered with 36 colleges in 22 states to provide free tuition to workers. The company said approximately 70% of the total enrollees work for JBS.

“When we launched Better Futures, we anticipated that the vast majority of enrollees would be the dependents of our team members,” said Corey Friend, Better Futures program manager. “We have been pleasantly surprised that so many of our team members have decided to take advantage of this opportunity to upskill and prepare themselves for the workforce of the future through education.  Better Futures is unlocking untapped potential across rural America and I could not be more proud of the great progress we have made in such a short amount of time.” 

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.

JBS USA and Pilgrim’s have established partnerships with the following schools to date:  

  • Athens & Elberton, Ga. - Athens Technical College
  • Beardstown, Ill. - Lincoln Land Community College
  • Booneville, Miss. - Northeast MS Community College
  • Brooks, Alberta, Canada - Medicine Hat College
  • Cactus, Texas - Amarillo College
  • Canton & Ellijay, Ga. - Chattahoochee Technical College
  • Carrollton, Ga. - West Georgia Technical College
  • Chattanooga, Tenn. - Chattanooga State Community College
  • Cold Spring, Minn. - St. Cloud Technical and Community College
  • Dalhart, Texas - Frank Phillips College
  • De Queen, Ark. - University of Arkansas Cossatot Community College 
  • Douglas, Ga. - South Georgia State College
  • Gainesville, Ga. - Lanier Technical College
  • Grand Island, Neb. - Central Community College
  • Greeley, Colo. - Aims Community College
  • Green Bay, Wis. - Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
  • Hyrum, Utah - Bridgerland Technical College
  • Live Oak, Fla. - North Florida College
  • Louisville, Ky. - Jefferson Community and Technical College
  • Lufkin & Nacogdoches, Texas - Angelina College
  • Marshalltown, Iowa - Marshalltown Community College
  • Marshville, NC - South Piedmont Community College
  • Mayfield, Ky. - West Kentucky Community and Technical College
  • Moberly & Centralia, Mo. - Moberly Area Community College
  • Moorefield, W.Va. - Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College
  • Mt. Pleasant, Texas - Northeast Texas Community College & Texarkana College
  • Omaha, Neb. - Metropolitan Community College 
  • Ottumwa & Fremont, Iowa - Indian Hills Community College
  • Plainwell, Mich. - Kalamazoo Valley Community College
  • Riverside, Calif. - Riverside Community College District
  • Sanford, NC - Central Carolina Community College
  • Souderton, Pa. - Montgomery County Community College
  • Sumter, SC - Central Carolina Technical College
  • Tolleson, Ariz. - Maricopa Community Colleges
  • Worthington & Pipestone, Minn. - Minnesota West Community & Technical College
  • Online - Rio Salado College