Smithfield Foods Donates $1 Million for NC Apprenticeship Program

Steve Evans, vice president of community development for Smithfield Foods, visited Wayne Community College on Nov. 16 to present a $1 million check to NCBCE to fund the SEED apprenticeship program.

Company has donated more than $7 million in cash and in-kind food donations in NC this year.

Smithfield Foods has donated $1 million to launch the Southeastern Education and Economic Development (SEED) apprenticeship program in North Carolina. A partnership between the North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE) and Smithfield Foods, SEED is a comprehensive youth apprenticeship program that will provide career pathways and college education for high school students in southeastern North Carolina counties.

Smithfield is strongly committed to making sure students have educational opportunities that will fuel their careers in the years ahead,” said Steve Evans, vice president of community development for Smithfield. “Our goal is to develop the next generation of leaders through supporting education in our communities, and the SEED program is a great way to help these students jump-start their early career development. This is just one of the many ways Smithfield supports our communities in North Carolina and across the U.S.”

“Today’s high school students are tomorrow’s workforce,” said North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. “Youth apprenticeship programs like the SEED initiative will provide students with an opportunity to learn valuable skills while getting on-the-job training. Our top-tier workforce is the reason North Carolina is ranked the best state for business for two years in a row and we need to ensure they graduate with the necessary skills to be successful in our growing economy.”

More information about the SEED apprenticeship program is available here. A press release from Governor Cooper is also available here.

Smithfield’s $1 million donation to NCBCE to support the launch of the SEED initiative is part of the company’s continuing investment in North Carolina. So far in 2023, Smithfield has donated $2 million and more than 1 million pounds of food valued at more than $5 million to more than 130 nonprofit organizations in North Carolina that support education, fight hunger, protect soil and water resources and assist U.S. veterans.

Some of the many organizations Smithfield supports in North Carolina include:

In addition to its support for local communities in North Carolina, Smithfield provides $2 million to the state every year to fund environmental projects through the North Carolina Department of Justice’s Environmental Enhancement Grant program, which began with a voluntary agreement between the Attorney General’s Office and Smithfield Foods in 2000.

Through Smithfield’s annual funding, the attorney general’s office has awarded nearly $43 million to more than 228 environmental projects across North Carolina that have funded the restoration or permanent conservation of more than 31,000 acres of land, wetland restoration, stormwater remediation, stream stabilization, and several environmental education and research initiatives.