A Minnesota-based food company announced last week a free college tuition program for the children of its employees.
Hormel Foods, which has about 20,000 employees worldwide, will pay tuition costs for the dependent children of its employees to attend two-year colleges beginning in the 2021-22 academic year, according to a news release. The company is working with community colleges in the cities where it operates 22 office locations.
The Inspired Pathways program will also include community mentorship committees to provide resources to students and help with applications.
Hormel has created tuition programs in the past, including the Hormel Foundation Austin Assurance Scholarship, which pays the tuition and fees for students in Austin, Minn., to attend the local community college. Current employees can receive tuition reimbursement for returning to college, as well.
It also offers a scholarship program for four-year colleges through the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The Inspired Pathways program is meant to broaden access, as it is not based on test scores or GPAs, according to the release.
“When you think about how a college education can change lives and start a ripple effect that will be felt for generations, that’s the change-maker Hormel Foods wants to be,” Jim Snee, chairman of the board and president and chief executive officer of Hormel Foods, said in the release. “Our inspired team consists of some of the most incredibly hardworking and dedicated people you will ever encounter. We have people from all backgrounds and cultures, and it is this diversity that fuels us and makes us the global leader we are in our industry. In some cases, we have team members who never had the opportunity to attend college. This program allows them to give their children that opportunity, creating a new generation of college students. They do so much for us, it’s truly a gift that we are excited to give to them.”