Butterball, the US’s leading turkey producer, was presented the 2011 Governor’s Award for Excellence for an Innovative Partnership during a recent ceremony.
As part of the North Carolina Workforce Development Partnership Conference, Butterball was honored for the company’s involvement in establishing an ammonia refrigeration program at Sampson Community College in Clinton, NC. Partners in the development of the program include Sampson Community College, Triangle South Workforce Development Board, Golden Leaf Foundation, Prestage Farms and Smithfield Foods.
“At Butterball, we strive to be innovators in our industry, and it is an honor to be recognised by the governor of North Carolina for our efforts toward bringing a new ammonia refrigeration training program to North Carolina, ” said Rod Brenneman, president and chief executive officer of Butterball. “Training is essential in ensuring the safety of our associates, and we are thankful for our partners in this endeavor as well as the creative ideas from our own Gary Lenaghan, whose vision and determination led to the conception of this initiative.”
The partnership began in 2006 when Gary Lenaghan, vice president of human resources at Butterball, recognized a need for a training program that was currently unfulfilled by other ammonia refrigeration training centers. With many North Carolina companies in need of training for associates and only three existing ammonia programs in the United States, Butterball approached Sampson Community College with a plan to bring the vastly needed program to the state.
Since commencing operations in July 2010, the ammonia refrigeration program at Sampson Community College has provided training for approximately 120 students from locations across the country. With Butterball’s help in the program planning, design of the state-of-the-art training facility and by providing $100,000 in financial contributions, this initiative was able to become a reality.