Cargill continued their support of Project Impact and K-State by donating $1.2 million over the next four years; this is in addition to the $5 million the company has already given to Project Impact. K-State hosted representatives from Cargill, the corporate partner of Project Impact, Friday in the Town Hall room of the Leadership Studies Building.
Project Impact, according to the K-State website, is for the recruitment, retention, graduation and placement of multicultural students who are historically under-represented in certain areas such as agriculture, business and engineering at K-State.
“Cargill really understands how to interact with K-State,” said President Kirk Schulz. “We appreciate their long-standing commitment to the university.”
Schulz thanked Cargill for their commitment to creating a diverse workforce before handing the microphone off to Raymond Hall, the global director of inclusion and diversity for Cargill.
Hall expressed why the project is important to the company.
“Project Impact is a program for multicultural students to steer them towards greater self-efficacy and outstanding accomplishments in the halls of academe,” Hall said.
He said even though they cannot hire everyone who goes through the program, they are committed to helping students be the best they can be for the workplace.
Hall went on to say that diversity, respect and inclusion are important qualities for workers to have.
Hall explained that Cargill chose to partner with K-State because the university is a leader in education and diversity, one of the first universities to accept men and women equally and was the first university to allow African Americans into their veterinary medicine program.
Rick Calhoun, a Cargill employee and 1976 K-State graduate, presided over the panel discussion. The panel talked about qualities that are looked for when hiring, such as communication skills, innovation and conviction.
Cargill announced the newest donation in support of Project Impact, explaining that the program’s results have been impressive and expectations had been exceeded. The check for the donation was then presented and Myra Gordon, associate provost for the office of diversity, gave a speech on behalf of Project Impact.
“[This is a] gargantuan act of support,” Gordon said. “[Cargill] are in front of the ball, not on the ball. They understand future workforce needs, and diversity is the flavor of the future. They are creating inclusive excellence.”
One way Cargill’s partnership helps students at K-State is through providing job opportunities. Olivia Moore, senior in animal science and member of Project Impact, did an internship with Cargill in Milwaukee over the summer.
Cargill hires between 700 and 800 students each year in the fields of engineering, finance, marketing, IT and more. These positions range from internships and co-ops to full time jobs.