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Hormel Foods To Provide Free College Tuition To Kids Of All 16,000 Employees

Amy Pilkington 6 Sep 2020

One of the greatest socioeconomic divides right now centers on education. More and more entry level jobs require formal post-secondary education and meanwhile the cost of that education continues to grow.

For many families, that cost makes the whole idea of college impossible and those who do manage to go are saddled with debt that will take decades to pay back.

There isn't going to be an easy fix for this, but one large-scale employer in the US is taking a major step for their employees.

Hormel Foods, which is based in Austin, Minnesota, employs about 16,000 workers in the United States at more than 30 factory and office locations.

The initiative, called Inspired Pathways, is open to the dependants of every single one of those employees.

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The company will pay for two years of tuition at the community college of the student's choice.


Additionally, there will be no performance requirement to meet in order to be approved.

As long as they have graduated high school and been accepted to the college course, the tuition will be paid.

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Besides simply being a nice gesture, Hormel is making it clear that this is meant to help fight racial and economic inequality.

They know that it will likely be expensive to fund the program, but according to Jim Sheehan, the executive VP and CFO:

"Our goal is that it costs us a lot; we want as many people to go as possible."

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Many of the company's plant workers are new immigrants to the country.

Unsplash | Pang Yuhao

"A lot of these children will be first-generation college students — we’re excited about that," Sheehan said. "[We asked ourselves] how can we help those people who may not have the full opportunities others do? It’s through helping them educate their children. Let’s give them a step up."

h/t: Good News Network

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