Developing Leaders | JBS USA | Sustainability Report

Our Commitment

At JBS USA, we are dedicated to offering growth and development opportunities to team members. We offer leadership and training programs to team members to further develop incoming and existing leaders. We know that leaders are not born—they are made—and we pride ourselves on employing and recognizing people who have the potential to be successful leaders.

In 2020, our training format shifted primarily to virtual system delivery, which has since allowed for much greater access and increased training hours; in some cases, the training was specifically for new COVID-19 related interventions and topics.

Our Management Approach

Our team members have the opportunity to receive leadership training through many programs. Our leadership programs are tailored to the needs of each business unit with communication across units to share best practices and results.

Internship Program

The Internship Program gives college students an opportunity to gain practical industry experience and develop extensive leadership skills. This 10-week summer internship challenges approximately 160 participants through hands-on learning experiences and meaningful projects that improve our business and provide education and valuable workplace experience.

Interns are placed in either a production or corporate business unit role where they learn from experienced leaders who offer them industry exposure and networking opportunities with senior management. Not only are our internships paid positions, but the program also allows students to receive college credits.

Management Trainee Program

Recent college graduates looking to pursue their passion for building a 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 grow their project management, problem-solving and collaboration skills in line with their own interests and career aspirations. Each year, we onboard nearly 50 trainees from campuses across the U.S. The orientation curriculum empowers trainees to strive for individual success while contributing to JBS USA operations.

Mexico Trainee Program

The Mexico Trainee Program has more than 100 trainees each year and is designed to create a pipeline of recent college graduates from Mexico who will develop into future operations leaders. This 12-month rotational leadership development program is an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in multiple areas of a facility giving an in-depth understanding of how pieces of our business work together. The first six months of the training program are spent in Mexico at a Pilgrim’s processing facility. The last six months are spent in the U.S. with the intention of trainees being placed in a leadership role at that facility. Throughout the 12 months, trainees go through three leadership development training sessions to prepare them for an accelerated career.

Supervisor Development Program

Our Supervisor Development Program is designed to provide every newly hired or promoted Supervisor at JBS USA with the tools they need to be successful in leadership roles. These team members are supported by mentors in their facilities and participate in four vital training sessions and one in-person training session at the corporate office, where they are given the opportunity to network and learn from executive and front-line leaders across the company. Over 650 team members participate in this program every year.

Leadership Warehouse Program

At JBS USA, our goal is to create a culture that yields sustained excellence. Our Leadership Warehouse works to motivate team members to do their part in the continuation of JBS USA’s culture. The Leadership Warehouse Program outlines six different leadership development offerings, providing education opportunities to different levels of leadership. We provide team members with access to programs that further their leadership abilities and propels JBS USA closer to its mission. Each of the Leadership Warehouse development programs are designed and facilitated internally allowing us to offer culturally relevant and company-oriented leadership solutions.

People First
The People First Program creates a success framework for our leads and front-line supervisors. The program provides specific training to all frontline supervisors in four sessions throughout the year, focusing on leadership techniques and tools that build, maintain and uplift our teams. Program topics include building trust and respect, the cost of turnover, accountability, delegation and prioritization, communication and information sharing. To empower our team members, we identify and train internal team members to become facilitators of the People First Program.

Leading People First 
Continuous, annual training for high potential superintendents, and above. Program content builds on the foundation of People First concepts. Topics are focused on People Safety, Food Safety, and advanced leadership skills like coaching, motivating, engaging others and effective communication.


Elevated business acumen topics and leadership training for high potential superintendents and above. Topics are focused on providing participants with knowledge of corporate functions including Legal, Ethics and Compliance, Labor Relations, etc.


Summit is built for senior leaders who are interested in continued learning and growth. The program is open to all JBS USA and Pilgrim’s business units and brings together 30 nominated, high-potential leaders for yearlong education. The Summit introduces nominees to business concepts by partnering with executive sponsors and local business leaders to solve real-world problems occurring at local facilities. With exposure to JBS operations in the U.S., Australia and Brazil, Summit participants gain business knowledge from every unit of the company.


The Gateway Executive Leadership program is built for senior and executive leaders who have been identified as potential business presidents and future executive leaders within the company. The program is a part of the JBS USA’s broader talent mapping (succession planning) process to ensure readiness and increased capabilities within our highest level leadership roles. The program is focused primarily on technical, strategic business functions and provides participants with the opportunity to master these core business areas prior to moving into broader, executive leadership roles.

Individual Development

JBS USA also offers full tuition sponsorship for a wide array of coursework through our 10-year partnership with Colorado State University. This partnership includes executive MBA, online MBA, graduate certificate, professional certificate and online agribusiness degree completion programs.

University of Pilgrim’s, Mexico

University of Pilgrim’s is a training and leadership program designed to benefit all levels of team members. To date, we have been able to help more than 275 team members develop personally and professionally and obtain their High School Degree.

Moy Park Accelerate Future Leaders Program

The Accelerate Future Leaders program supports the development of our future senior leaders in the business by focusing on effectiveness, influence and awareness to better lead our teams to “Be the Best.”

Pilgrim’s UK Operational Leadership Trainee Program

The Pilgrim’s UK Operational Leadership Trainee Program was created in 2019 to identify internal and external early career talent, such as recent graduates or apprentices, who have the potential to become future operational leaders. It is a 24-month rotational program whereby trainees spend six-month placements at various UK facilities working on key operational projects.

Pilgrim’s UK Apprenticeships

The Pilgrim’s UK apprenticeship program supports and develop colleagues by combining on- and off-the-job learning to improve knowledge, skills and behaviors. Currently, colleagues are enrolled in apprenticeships across a wide range of disciplines including finance, project management, HR, food science and management. Our apprenticeships range from entry-level to MBA degrees.


JBS Australia

Senior Leaders

JBS Australia offers tailored leadership development opportunities for company executives and senior leadership. Offerings include the JBS USA Summit Program, Executive MBA programs, post-graduate individual placements, executive coaching and international secondments.


People First Program

JBS Australia debuted its People First Program in 2019. Modeled on the JBS USA People First, the program supports team members transitioning from an hourly role to a salaried position by giving them foundational leadership and management skills.

2021 Progress

Key Achievements


hours of leadership training and development programming provided

>$31 million

investment in leadership training and development


hours of training provided through University of Pilgrim’s Mexico and University of Pilgrim’s U.S.

At JBS USA, our programs create a culture of excellence and result in strong retention of graduates and high job satisfaction among seasoned team members. In 2021, we experienced success across all leadership and development programs.

Each of our talent initiatives yielded impressive results in 2021:

  • A record $31 million investment in leadership training and development
  • A record 429,000 hours of virtual and in-person leadership training and development programming
  • Our talent initiatives are garnering more and more attention worldwide, with applicants to our programs exceeding 10,000 in 2021
  • Our 2021 JBS USA Internship Program grew to 130 interns, and we maintained our strong intern conversion rates into full-time team members as either JBS USA trainees or direct hires
  • Our 2021 JBS USA Management Trainee Program on-boarded 40 trainees and enjoyed a 95% retention rate
  • In 2021, we graduated more than 75% of our 2019 JBS USA trainees into management roles at the superintendent level and above
  • Our 2021 Supervisor Development Program had an 88% retention rate and enjoyed turnover 8% below the average for managers at the same level elsewhere in the company
  • In 2021, we provided approximately 102,000 hours of training through University of Pilgrim’s Mexico and University of Pilgrim’s US.
  • Pilgrim’s Mexico assisted more than 275 team members with obtaining their High School degree
  • Pilgrim’s Moy Park trained 18 people through their Accelerate program
  • Pilgrim’s UK enrolled 2 trainees through their Operational Leadership Trainee program
  • In 2021, 163 JBS Australia team member leaders completed the inaugural People First program that provides participants with foundation leadership skills
  • In 2021, 12 women leaders in JBS Australia completed the Women in Leadership program that supports participants to develop their leadership skills and behaviors
  • We provided academic services for:
    • 25 undergraduate degrees in agribusiness
    • 20 online MBAs
    • Continued to budget for aggressive MBA participation and overall formal education figures

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.

We are proud of our results and will continue to look for ways to strengthen all our team member engagement programs and efforts in 2022.