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MN-Based Hormel Foods Offers Free 2-Year College For Employees' Children

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Hormel Foods announced it will be offering tuition for two-year colleges for children of its employees beginning next year.

On Tuesday, the Austin, Minnesota-based company said it's providing the opportunity for college education at a time when paying for college has become a hardship for many, and while community colleges struggle with enrollment.

"We believe equality in education can be a game-changer, and we have decided to take on that challenge. Through a new program called Inspired Pathways, we are going to make the dream of a college education a reality for the children of our team members. 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," said Jim Snee, chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer, Hormel Foods.

The Inspired Pathways program will be open to all currently employed Hormel Foods team members in the United States. The company says it will be partnering with community colleges in cities where it has operations.

"While the company does have a four-year college scholarship program through the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, the Inspired Pathways program is designed to be inclusive of all dependent children of Hormel Foods team members and is not based on achievement of a certain test score or GPA," Hormel Foods said in a release.

The only academic requirements are that the student graduates high school and meets the community college's entry requirements.

The company is also offering tuition reimbursement for current team members who go back to school while working at Hormel Foods.

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