Smithfield Foods Launches Apprenticeship Program to Recruit the Next Generation of Talent

GOLDSBORO, N.C. — Smithfield Foods, Inc. is pleased to announce the launch of its new apprenticeship program aimed at developing the next generation of experienced professionals for valuable skilled trades. The program provides internal candidates, high school graduates, and military veterans with hands-on engineering and mechanic training while earning their associate degree. Program participants receive free college tuition, salary, and benefits as they progress through the program.

“The workforce is changing rapidly, and we understand the importance of preparing the next generation of manufacturing professionals with an adaptable and diverse skillset,” said Lisa Swaney, chief human resources officer for Smithfield Foods. “Our new apprenticeship program provides a unique opportunity for emerging talent to develop a strong understanding of the field and, ultimately, a long and prosperous career with Smithfield.” 

Smithfield launched the apprenticeship program at Wayne Community College in Goldsboro, North Carolina, and plans to expand the initiative nationwide by partnering with colleges near Smithfield facilities. The program represents Smithfield’s continued commitment to recruiting top talent and providing fulfilling careers for its employees.

“With increasing automatization, both physical and digital, it is more critical than ever to have a workforce with the right skills,” said Howard Anderson, chief engineer for Smithfield Foods. “This apprenticeship program will be a key source of new talent for our organization.”

Apprentices will train alongside experienced technicians at Smithfield’s facilities in Clinton, Kinston, and Wilson, North Carolina. In addition to Wayne Community College, Smithfield also partnered with NCWorks, a resource for job seekers and employers in North Carolina, and ApprenticeshipNC, a platform that enables businesses to create flexible and effective training and hiring solutions.

“This program is a great example of how industry and education, when working together, develop a workforce,” said Craig Foucht, executive director of Wayne Business and Industry Center for Wayne Community College. “Through this apprenticeship program, individuals will learn theory in the classroom and practical application on the job. This is one of the best models for learning and will help develop a pipeline of qualified individuals for our partner.”

To celebrate the program’s kickoff, Smithfield and Wayne Community College held a Signing Day event today, where students accepted their apprenticeship positions. Smithfield is also working with Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Nebraska, to launch the apprenticeship program there next year. To learn more about Smithfield’s careers, visit

About Smithfield Foods
Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories. Popular brands include Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Nathan’s Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, Farmer John®, Kretschmar®, John Morrell®, Cook’s®, Gwaltney®, Carando®, Margherita®, Curly’s®, Healthy Ones®, Morliny®, Krakus®, and Berlinki®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit, and connect with us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Instagram.  

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 11,000 individuals annually as well as businesses, industry, and community organizations with high quality, affordable, accessible learning opportunities, including more than 140 college credit programs. WCC’s mission is to meet the educational, training, and cultural needs of the communities it serves.