SMITHFIELD, Va., Oct. 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Smithfield Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Smithfield Foods, Inc., is pleased to announce a $50,000 donation to The Virginia Chamber Foundation to advance the group’s goal of strengthening the state’s business climate as well as directly supporting the HIRE VETS NOW program. HIRE VETS NOW provides access to transitioning service members and veterans with career opportunities with partnering businesses prior to re-entry into the civilian workforce.

“The Virginia Chamber Foundation is pleased to partner with Smithfield Foods on our continued work to improve Virginia’s economy and bring Virginia back to the top of national business climate rankings,” said Keith Martin, executive director of the Virginia Chamber Foundation. “This contribution to the HIRE VETS NOW program highlights our shared commitment to integrate our nation’s veterans into the business community. Smithfield’s investment in these initiatives underscores their commitment to leadership and service and we are grateful for their continued partnership.”

Smithfield’s donation will also provide direct support for the development of the Virginia Economic Dashboard. This resource will provide user-friendly, timely, and comparative economic data to allow decision makers to track Virginia’s progress on improving its business climate. Continual performance assessment on key economic indicators will signal to Virginia’s business community and policy makers available opportunities to strengthen the state’s economic competitiveness.

“We are proud to continue our support of this great business development organization here in our home state of Virginia, which also provides such a valuable resource to active military and veterans,” said Keira Lombardo, senior vice president of corporate affairs for Smithfield Foods and president of the Smithfield Foundation. “Part of Smithfield’s social purpose is to honor the service and sacrifice of American veterans and the HIRE VETS NOW program is the type of program that provides genuine career development support for our military community.” 

Smithfield has a long history of supporting veterans and military families through volunteerism, food and charitable donations, and partnerships. In 2016, Smithfield introduced two new veterans' initiatives — Operation 4000! and Smithfield Salutes. Through Operation 4000!, Smithfield is working to employ 4,000 veterans—10 percent of its U.S. workforce—by 2020. Smithfield Salutes is an employee engagement program that helps veterans working at Smithfield in their transition to civilian life. To learn more about Smithfield's support of veterans, visit smithfieldfoods.com/veterans.

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 with popular brands including 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 www.smithfieldfoods.com, and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

About The Virginia Chamber Foundation

The mission of the Virginia Chamber Foundation is to strengthen Virginia’s long-term competitiveness through implementation support for Blueprint Virginia 2025. The Foundation conducts research, provides metrics for the state’s progress and produces events on issues facing business. For more information, visit https://www.vachamber.com/foundation/about-the-foundation/.

Media Contacts:

Smithfield Foods, Inc.
Lisa Martin
lmartin@smithfield.com 
(757) 365-1980
Virginia Chamber of Commerce
Samantha Quig Moore
s.moore@vachamber.com
(804) 237-1457