New Delaware Tech Food Safety Program Receives $200,000 Grant from Arthur W. Perdue Foundation

GEORGETOWN - Delaware Technical Community College received a significant boost to its new Food Safety associate degree program as Perdue, through the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, awarded a $200,000 grant to help create a state-of-the-art lab and launch a unique curriculum this fall at the Jack F. Owens Campus in Georgetown.

"We are honored to present this grant on behalf of Perdue and the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation in support of Delaware Tech's new food safety program," said Bill Hetherington, executive director of the Foundation. "We are pleased to partner with them in helping those who want to pursue a career in food safety and quality assurance."

Delaware Tech President Dr. Orlando J. George, Jr. understands the importance of partnerships in responding to the expanding and emerging workforce needs of local businesses.

"By partnering with our friends at Perdue, we are better able to connect Delawareans with jobs in this growing field to help ensure that our food supply is safe for consumption. We thank Perdue for helping us launch what will be only the second food safety associate degree program in the nation," he stated.

Food Safety is one of several new programs that will be launched this fall to connect Delawareans with jobs in high demand areas.

Meeting the needs of the food industry

Dr. Ileana M. Smith, vice president and campus director at the Owens Campus, has led efforts to develop the food safety program.

"We are so thrilled that Perdue has taken a vested interest in this new and unique program that will ultimately benefit the entire industry and their company," said Smith. "We value our partnership with Perdue and have relied upon their invaluable insight to assist with development of the curriculum."

The program will provide a sound science curriculum coupled with hands-on practical training to prepare the workforce needed by the food industry. Through conversations with Delmarva's industry leaders, government officials and scientists, it's been determined that there is a growing need for technician-level employees with food safety knowledge and expertise to work for both food productions businesses and government regulatory agencies.

As Bruce Stewart-Brown, senior vice president of Food Safety and Quality at Perdue, explained, "We have a comprehensive industry-leading, farm-to-fork approach to food safety that requires people with the skills and training to ensure the safety, wholesomeness and quality of our products. The Delaware Tech program will serve as an excellent training ground for future food safety and quality assurance technicians not only at Perdue, but also at other poultry and food companies in the region. We value the opportunity to help them be successful and see this as a mutually beneficial partnership."

About Perdue and the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation

PERDUE® is the No. 1 brand of fresh chicken in the Eastern United States. Ranked as the third largest poultry company in the United States, Perdue is a leading international food and agriculture family of businesses providing quality products and services to customers in more than 100 countries. Privately held and family-run for three generations, the company employs more than 20,000 associates and partners with more than 2,200 independent farm families — all of whom share in the commitment to quality that has guided the company since its founding in 1920.

The Arthur W. Perdue Foundation is a tax-exempt charitable foundation established in 1957 by the founder of Perdue Incorporated. Grants are distributed for the improvement of life in the community through support of the arts, community development, education, health, human services and youth activities.

For more information, contact Julie DeYoung, Perdue spokesperson, at 410-341-2533 or visit www.perdue.com.