The Colorado Adult Education Professional Association (CAEPA) announced that Cargill has been awarded CAEPA’s inaugural award for Outstanding Organization Supporting Adult Education in recognition of the company’s support for Morgan Community College’s Workplace Education located onsite at the Cargill Fort Morgan beef processing facility that employs more than 2,100.

CAEPA provides leadership in the field of adult education and family literacy by offering opportunities for professional development, advocacy, and resource-sharing to improve the quality of life for all Coloradans. CAEPA members represent diverse adult education and family literacy programs from across the state for local community and faith-based organizations, community colleges, school districts, corrections facilities, workforce districts and libraries. In total, CAEPA affiliates account for almost 15,000 of Colorado’s students each year. CAEPA provides services for ongoing professional dialogue and sharing in adult education, including advocacy, networking, lobbying, research and programming, resources, policy development, in addition to coordination and collaboration with the Colorado Department of Education, Correctional Education Association and other public agencies.

Named for a military fort established along the Overland Trail in 1865, Fort Morgan, Colo., is home to Cargill’s Fort Morgan beef processing facility. The local economy is based on agriculture and related industries. The City of Fort Morgan is a home-rule municipality of approximately 11,000 residents located on the Eastern Plains of Colorado, about 80 miles northeast of Denver. It is the Morgan County seat and a commercial, industrial, and recreational hub for Northeast Colorado.

The Cargill beef processing facility opened in 1966 and was acquired by Cargill in 1987. It is the largest employer in Morgan county, with approximately 2,150 people. The facility’s 12 buildings comprise 630,255 square feet of the 85.75-acre property located on the southeast corner of the community. People who have immigrated from numerous nations are employed at the facility. In addition to the United States, employees working at the plant include those from Afghanistan, Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Columbia, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Puerto Rico, Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Sudan and Zimbabwe. Worldwide, Cargill employees 155,000 employees in 70 countries.

“Cargill is honored to receive this award and to be a part of Colorado’s adult education network. The achievements accomplished by the students of MCC’s Workplace Education located onsite at Cargill provide an example of education being a lifelong journey,” Tyler Luft, General Manager/AVP.

CAEPA will present the award to Cargill on October 23rd at the organization’s conference titled The 2018 Rendezvous. Brenda Zion, Employee Experience Training Specialist will be accepting the award on behalf of Cargill and the Fort Morgan facility’s past and present management team that has made the partnership with Morgan Community College (MCC) possible. Cargill applauds the efforts of past and present Workplace Education coordinators, directors, teachers and administrative staff and, most importantly, the students who have valued education and committed the time and self-discipline to learn, without whom the program would not have achieved success.

Since 1995 MCC’s Workplace Education program located at the Cargill plant has offered classes in English Language Acquisition; High School Equivalency exam; reading, writing and math tutoring; basic computer skills; advising and college prep; assessments; industry-specific ; U.S. citizenship preparation; and transition guidance to MCC’s on-campus for Cargill employees and their family members. In 2017, MCC’s Adult Basic Education program located on MCC’s main campus reduced its classes due to funding reductions. Cargill then expanded Workplace Education by offering the program to the public to sustain the services and help meet the community need. More can be learned about MCC’s Workplace Education at MCC’s website https://www.morgancc.edu/.

Further information about the award and ceremony celebrating Cargill will be shared following the event.

Posted by George O’Clair, Colorado Adult Education Professional Association (CAEPA) President.