At Pilgrim’s, we are dedicated to offering growth and development opportunities to our team members. We have numerous leadership and training programs in place to further develop incoming and existing leaders. We know that leaders are not born—they’re made—and we pride ourselves on employing and recognizing people who have the potential to be successful leaders.
Our team members have the opportunity to receive leadership training through many programs developed by the Culture and Talent team, which works across Pilgrim’s and our parent company, JBS USA, to maintain a continuous pipeline of talented team members.
The Pilgrim’s Internship Program provides current college students with an opportunity to gain practical industry experience while developing extensive leadership skills. This 10-week summer internship challenges approximately 70 participants each summer through hands-on learning experiences and meaningful projects that improve our business and provide personal education growth and valuable workplace experience. When selecting our interns, we look for college students with strong educational standing, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, exceptional communication skills and the capacity to thrive in high-pressure and fast-paced environments.
Once placed in either a production or corporate business unit role, interns are provided with mentorship from an experienced leader, offering them firsthand industry exposure and the opportunity to network with senior management. Not only are our internships paid positions, the program also allows students to receive class credit and an introduction to a potential future career, all while helping identify future Pilgrim’s leaders.
Recent college graduates looking to pursue their passion for building a leadership career in the animal protein industry can apply to our Management Trainee Program. This 12-month rotational program is designed for those ready to excel in our technical, cultural and leader-based work environments. Customizable rotations allow trainees to use and grow their project management, problem-solving and collaboration skills according to their own interests and career aspirations. In addition, our trainees participate in three to four week-long, formal and informal training sessions that further develop their knowledge and skillsets in the areas of leadership, process management and people management. Each year, we onboard nearly 35 trainees from the U.S. and Mexico. Orientation for this group focuses not only on learning how to be successful, but on contributing to our operations to help make us the best in all that we do.
Our Supervisor Development Program was created to identify driven hourly production team members who possess leadership abilities and develop those team members into front-line supervisors with potential for continued advancement within the company. The intent of this program is to invest in our driven, passionate and results-oriented team members by giving them the tools they need to accelerate their careers within Pilgrim’s. Totaling more than 45 team members per session, the program includes four months of rotational training in a Pilgrim’s facility, leadership skills training and the opportunity to meet with and learn from other leaders across the company. To deepen our team members’ understanding of how our departments and teams work together to produce high-quality products, we expose them to all parts of a facility during their rotations. At Pilgrim’s, we strive to create a successful company by helping our team members be successful in their own careers.
At Pilgrim’s, our goal is to create a culture that yields sustained excellence—a difficult task that requires every one of our team members to commit, by word and deed, to pursuing the Pilgrim’s Values in our personal and professional endeavors. Our Leadership Warehouse works to further equip our team members to do their part in the creation of this culture. This program is not a one-size-fits-all initiative. In fact, it outlines six different leadership development offerings, providing important developmental and educational opportunities to several levels of leadership. Our hope is that our team members find a program to further develop their own leadership abilities, as well as propel Pilgrim’s closer to its vision. Each of our Leadership Warehouse development programs are designed and facilitated internally allowing us to offer culturally relevant and company oriented leadership solutions.
Pilgrim’s also offers full tuition sponsorship for a wide array of coursework through JBS USA’s 10 year partnership with Colorado State University. This partnership includes executive MBA, online MBA, graduate certificate, professional certificate and online agribusiness degree completion programs.
hours of training provided through University of Pilgrim’s Mexico
team members trained through our Leadership Warehouse Program
hours of training provided through our Leadership Warehouse Program
frontline supervisors trained through our People First Program
hours of training provided through our People First Program
Our programs create a culture of excellence at Pilgrim’s and result in higher retention of graduates and higher job satisfaction among seasoned team members. In 2018, we experienced success across all leadership and development programs.
Each of our talent initiatives yielded impressive results in 2018:
Looking ahead, we are excited about and committed to supporting the growth of our interns, trainees and team members as they start or continue their careers in the food industry.
In 2018, through our Leadership Warehouse Program in the U.S., we trained more than 2,970 team members, Summit trained 11 high-potential leaders, Strategic Leadership trained 79 mid-level managers, Leadership Fundamentals trained 67 new managers and Elective Learnings trained 12 team members. In 2018, company facilitators trained more than 2,650 front-line supervisors through our People First Program in the U.S., and in the U.S. and Mexico provided more than 19,500 training hours through the People First Program. Through our survey analysis, we have seen improved confidence from our front-line supervisors in their ability to be effective leaders. They also have expressed that they feel more supported as leaders at Pilgrim’s, compared to before program implementation.
We are proud of our results and will continue to look for ways to strengthen all our team member engagement programs and efforts in 2019.