AUSTIN, Minn. — Hormel Foods Corp. announced on July 20 that eligible employees in the United States could receive a college degree or complete non-degree programs with the tuition paid for by the company.

The new program provides workers with the opportunity to receive a company-funded associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree with Capella University and Strayer University, and discounts on tuition at hundreds of other colleges and universities throughout the United States.

“This program is part of the extensive educational benefits offered to team members, including its already successful tuition reimbursement program, which has allowed thousands of Hormel Foods team members in the United States to continue their education after joining the company,” the company stated.

The program also includes access to more than 50 general education-level courses through Sophia Learning which could be transferred to other institutions of higher learning. 

“Hormel Foods has long supported education as an important investment in our people,” said Katie Larson, senior vice president of human resources at Hormel Foods. “Our team members are the most important part of our company, and we are excited to be able to offer them even greater access to education. It’s an opportunity for us to continue to make a real difference and further invest in the lives and careers of our people.”

Hormel said it was one of the first major corporations to offer the chance of free college tuition to dependent children of its workers. More than 1,200 students have used the benefit since the program started in August 2020, according to the company. 

For this new initiative, Hormel partnered with Workforce Edge, an employee education management platform powered by Strategic Education Inc., on this benefits expansion.

“Workforce Edge continues to be the education benefits administration platform of choice for many premier companies looking to gain a competitive edge by providing options for career mobility to their workforces,” said Karl McDonnell, chief executive officer of Strategic Education. “We are excited to begin our partnership with Hormel Foods and look forward to seeing the progress of its talented employees.”