Wayne Community College in Goldsboro, North Carolina, and Smithfield Foods named finalist in the 'outstanding college/corporate partnership' category of the American Assn. of Community Colleges' Awards of Excellence

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GOLDSBORO, North Carolina , April 12, 2023 (press release) –

Wayne Community College and Smithfield Foods have been honored with a national award that recognizes exceptional work among community colleges.

They were presented a trophy as a finalist in the "outstanding college/corporate partnership" category of the American Association of Community Colleges' Awards of Excellence.

The AACC Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership Award honors local, regional and national collaboration between a college and corporate partner that has achieved demonstrable, multi-year success in advancing the mission of the institutions, the economic prosperity of a community, region or the nation, and the learning excellence of students.

The team was recognized for its apprenticeship model during the 2023 Annual Convention in Denver, Colorado last week.

WCC President Patty Pfeiffer, Smithfield Foods Talent Development Training Specialist Clarence Scott Jr., WCC Director of Apprenticeships Kristie Sauls, and Smithfield Foods Vice President of Community Development Steve Evans (l-r) accept trophies recognizing the two entities as a finalist in the Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership category of the American Association of Community Colleges 2023 Awards of Excellence.

"Ever since 2019, the partnership between WCC and Smithfield Foods has been nothing short of incredible. The recognition that has been bestowed upon us by the AACC is a true honor, but that pales in comparison to the honor of developing these men and women in the skilled trades and changing their lives for the better. I look forward to continuing this partnership for years to come," said Smithfield Foods Talent Development Training Specialist Clarence Scott Jr.

Within six months of the creation and implementation of the Smithfield Foods apprenticeship program at WCC, it turned into a model that has been replicated across the United States. There are now community colleges in seven states - North Carolina, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Virginia, and Kentucky - training maintenance technician apprentices for Smithfield.

Currently, 29 Smithfield Foods apprentices are studying at WCC in four Maintenance Technician cohorts (the first of which will graduate in May 2023) and a "Farm Leadership" apprenticeship for hog producers.

"We might not be as big as some community colleges but we are making waves and being recognized for the great things we are doing," said Apprenticeship Coordinator Kristie Sauls. "It was an honor to be on stage with WCC President Patty Pfeiffer, Smithfield Foods Talent Development Training Specialist Clarence Scott Jr. and Smithfield Foods Vice President of Community Development Steve Evans."

"I was honored to represent Wayne Community College at the AACC Awards Gala as a finalist in the Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership category," said Pfeiffer. "I thank our corporate partner Smithfield Foods for working so closely with WCC to develop an apprenticeship model that is a now a national model."

"The partnership we have developed with Smithfield Foods will positively impact the company's industrial maintenance needs while also providing student-employees with the opportunity to earn a college degree and journeyman's certificate," Pfeiffer said.

WCC was the only North Carolina community college honored in any category in the Awards of Excellence competition this year.

This is the fifth time that WCC has been honored as a finalist for an AACC Award of Excellence. The other times were in 2018 in the "student success" category for its completion strategies, 2019 in the "outstanding college/corporate partnership" category for its partnership with UNC Health Wayne and in the "student success" category for its Clearing a Path to Student Success (CAPPS) initiative, and in 2020 again for the CAPPS program, for which it won the award.

The team of Broward College (Florida) and Bank of America won this year's Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership Award.

The AACC's Awards of Excellence underscore the association's priorities and bring national visibility to outstanding practices among its member colleges. The winners were chosen by a select committee of the AACC board of directors.

About AACC

As the voice of the nation's community colleges, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), delivers educational and economic opportunity for the more than 10 million diverse students in search of the American Dream. Uniquely dedicated to access and success for all students, AACC's member colleges provide an on-ramp to degree attainment, skilled careers, and family-supporting wages. Located in Washington, D.C., AACC advocates for these not-for-profit, public-serving institutions to ensure they have the resources and support they need to deliver on the mission of increasing economic mobility for all.

About Wayne Community College

Wayne Community College is a public, learning-centered institution with an open-door admission policy located in Goldsboro, N.C. As it works to develop a highly skilled and competitive workforce, the college serves 10,000 individuals annually as well as businesses, industry, and community organizations with high quality, affordable, accessible learning opportunities, including more than 165 college credit programs. WCC's mission is to meet the educational, training, and cultural needs of the communities it serves. Connect with WCC at www.waynecc.edu.

About Smithfield Foods, Inc.

Headquartered in Smithfield, Virginia, since 1936, Smithfield Foods, Inc. is a U.S. food company that provides more than 60,000 jobs in seven countries and partners with thousands of American farmers. As one of the world's leading vertically integrated protein companies, we are dedicated to producing "Good food. Responsibly.(R)" to feed a growing world population. We have pioneered sustainability standards for more than two decades, including our industry-leading commitments to become carbon negative in our U.S. company-owned operations and reduce GHG emissions 30% across our entire U.S. value chain by 2030. We believe in the power of protein to end food insecurity and have donated hundreds of millions of food servings to food banks, disaster relief efforts and community outreach programs in all 50 U.S. states. Smithfield boasts a portfolio of high-quality iconic brands, such as Smithfield(R), Eckrich(R), Gwaltney(R) and Nathan's Famous(R), among many others. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at contentservices@htlive.com

(c) 2023 US Fed News (HT Digital Content Services)

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