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Tyson launches free education program for U.S. team members

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Team members can attain master’s, undergraduate, associate degrees, career certificates and literacy and technology fundamentals for free.

Tyson Foods has announced a milestone investment to provide free education for all U.S. team members. Beginning this summer, U.S. team members will have the ability to attain master’s, undergraduate and associate degrees, career certificates and literacy and technology fundamentals – all for free.  

Tyson is partnering with social impact company Guild to expand its existing Upward Academy program to include access to more than 175 programs from over 35 of the nation's top universities and learning providers. The four-year, $60 million investment will cover 100% of all tuition, books, and fees for team members.

“This commitment to our team members reinforces our belief that they are the lifeblood of our current and future success. Providing equity and opportunity to every single member of our team is part of our goal to make Tyson the most sought-after place to work,” said John Tyson, executive vice president and chief sustainability officer at Tyson Foods. “Providing education benefits will continue to lay a foundation for personal and career growth for our team members.”

The initiative expands Upward Academy, an onsite adult education program, which, since 2016, has provided free ESL, GED, citizenship, financial and digital literacy classes to frontline employees. Upward Academy is currently offered at 46 Tyson locations. With the addition of the online curriculum, team members at all U.S. locations will now have access to nearly 200 learning programs provided by dozens of institutions of higher learning.

“We are thrilled to partner with Tyson to further empower their team members to pursue career pathways that will help them open the doors to their dreams,” said Rachel Romer Carlson, CEO of Guild. “Tyson’s free education and upskilling program is enhancing its commitment to creating a top work environment and a workplace of growth.”

An online portal will provide Tyson team members access to curriculum and courses covering foundational skills, career certificates and academic degrees in the following areas:

Key business priorities

  • Foundation learning & core skills
  • Supply chain & operations
  • Agriculture
  • Manufacturing & automation
  • Sustainability

Foundational learning programs

  • English learning language
  • High school completion
  • Career readiness
  • Frontline management program

Executive education certificates

  • Leadership & management
  • Technology
  • Business

Free education is the latest example of Tyson’s efforts to invest in its team members. The company invested more than $500 million in wage increases and bonuses for its hourly workforce last year. In addition, it is piloting subsidized and onsite childcare, as well as seven free, near-site health centers. An increasing number of Tyson production facilities are also offering more flexible work schedules.

The company recently committed more than $1 million to support its many immigrant team members. The company’s U.S.-based workforce is comprised of team members from more than 160 countries who collectively speak more than 50 languages. The Tyson Immigration Partnership (TIP) serves 40 Tyson facilities in 14 states and helps provide team members with legal services needed to acquire U.S. citizenship.

TAGS: Business
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