JBS Provides Team Members Free Tuition to Minnesota West Community and Technical College

Press Release Jul 23, 2021
Better Futures

Today, JBS Worthington and JBS Pipestone announced a partnership with Minnesota West Community and Technical College to provide free tuition to qualifying team members and their dependents.

The nationwide program, JBS USA Better Futures, removes a major financial barrier to college attendance and stands to become the largest free community college tuition program in rural America. JBS and Minnesota West advisors will also help team members – many from first-generation American families – navigate the application process, which can be a deterrence to people applying to college for the first time.

“There are brighter and better futures ahead for our Worthington community,” said Brad Hellinga, JBS Worthington plant manager. “JBS Worthington is grateful for its partnership with Minnesota West to provide quality education opportunities for our team members and their children.” 

As a large employer in many rural communities, JBS USA believes providing free access to community college and technical training programs can help play a role in sustainably building rural economies and making a lasting and meaningful difference in people’s lives. The first class of students will be eligible for the upcoming 2021/2022 school year. 

“Minnesota West is proud to partner with JBS USA in connecting their talented team members and their families with our proven student-centered programs and services,” said Terry Gaalswyk, president, Minnesota West. “The JBS Better Futures program yields social and economic prosperity through education and training at Minnesota West -- 83% of our graduates stay, live, and raise their families in greater Minnesota and we are delighted to partner with JBS USA as they invest in the future of our region through generous financial scholarship of their talented employees and families.”

“Increasing higher education opportunities in rural America is important, and JBS Pipestone is proud to contribute to that effort,” said Diane Hamersma, JBS Pipestone plant manager. “We look forward to building on our partnership with Minnesota West and improving lives in our area.”

The Better Futures program, announced in March, is part of the company’s Hometown Strong initiative announced last year. Strengthening the communities where JBS USA team members live and work is an ongoing priority. Funding for Better Futures is in addition to the $70 million for Hometown Strong investments and will allow the company to continue advancing the commitment to its team members and people in its hometowns across the country. To learn more, visit betterfutures.jbssa.com

The JBS Worthington facility employs 2,108 people with an annual payroll of more than $120 million. The facility supports more than 275 producers, paying them more than $900 million per year for their pigs.

The JBS Pipestone facility employs 112 people with an annual payroll of more than $5.3 million.

JBS USA anchors dozens of rural communities – operating more than 60 meat, poultry and prepared foods plants and employing 66,000-plus people.