WCC, Smithfield Foods Recognized at National Conference - Wayne Community College | Goldsboro, NC `

WCC, Smithfield Foods Recognized at National Conference

April 17, 2024

Wayne Community College and Smithfield Foods recently received an award for their partnership in a nationally recognized apprenticeship program.

They were presented a trophy as a finalist in the Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership category of the American Association of Community Colleges’ (AACC) Awards of Excellence during the annual conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

Representatives from WCC and Smithfield Foods attended the AACC’s Awards of Excellence Gala to receive a trophy as Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership Award finalists. Pictured from left to right are Smithfield Foods Vice President of Community Development Steve Evans, WCC Executive Director of Apprenticeships and Career Development Kristie Sauls, WCC President Patty Pfeiffer, and Smithfield Foods Talent Development Training Specialist Clarence Scott.

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 institution(s), the economic prosperity of a community, region, or the nation, and the learning excellence of students.

WCC and Smithfield Foods were honored for the apprenticeship model developed and implemented by the two in 2019. The model has since been replicated by Smithfield Foods nationwide with over 115 apprentices across the country participating in the program that began at WCC.

“This is an extremely rewarding program to be involved with,” said Smithfield Foods Talent Development Training Specialist Clarence Scott. “When these awards are given by a national association such as the AACC, it just reinforces to me that we are doing what is right and gives me even more energy to continue forward.”

Currently, there are 29 Smithfield Foods apprentices in four different cohorts studying at WCC. The first cohort of seven maintenance technicians graduated in the spring of 2023, and the sixth cohort will begin in the fall of 2024.

“Being recognized by the AACC for the outstanding partnership WCC has with Smithfield Foods just shows the value of working with our employer partners to meet the needs of our workforce and community,” said WCC Executive Director of Apprenticeships and Career Development Kristie Sauls.

“We were honored to be named a finalist for the AACC Award of Excellence in the Outstanding College/Corporate Partnership category,” said WCC President Patty Pfeiffer. “Having our apprenticeship model with Smithfield Foods recognized at a national level speaks volumes for the work that is being done to impact the current and future workforce needs.”

WCC was the only community college in North Carolina to be a finalist in the AACC’s 11 awards categories. This is the sixth time that WCC has been a finalist for an AACC Award of Excellence.

The team of San Jacinto College District (Texas) and LyondellBasell 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 promising practices among its member colleges. The winners were chosen by a select committee of the AACC board of directors.

About AACC
The AACC is the primary advocacy organization for the nation’s community colleges. The association represents more than 1,000 two-year, associate degree–granting institutions and nearly 12 million students. Visit aacc.nche.edu for more information.

About Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Headquartered in Smithfield, Virginia, since 1936, Smithfield Foods, Inc. is a U.S. food company that employs more than 54,000 people 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.®” 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®, Eckrich®, Gwaltney® and Nathan’s Famous®, among many others. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com and connect with us on Facebook, X, formerly known as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Threads.

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 around 10,000 individuals annually as well as businesses, industry, and community organizations with high quality, affordable, accessible learning opportunities, including more than 150 college credit programs. WCC’s mission is to meet the educational, training, and cultural needs of the communities it serves.