Hormel Foods opens childcare center

Hormel Foods opens childcare center

Hormel Foods is joining the growing list of employers who offer childcare for its employees with young kids.

(ABC 6 News) – Hormel Foods is joining the growing list of employers who offer childcare for its employees with young kids.

Hormel officially opened the doors to its first childcare center, the Inspired Beginnings Learning Academy, Tuesday afternoon in Austin. Along with a ribbon cutting ceremony, many also got a tour of the brand-new building.

Mower County is facing a shortage of around 500 childcare spots. This facility will ease that burden by offering 130 kids, from infants to 12-year-olds, a place to learn and play while their parents are at work.

“As people were transferring into the community of Austin or being hired into Hormel, there was a challenge understanding if there was childcare available when they needed it,” said Angie Bissen, Human Resources Manager with Hormel Foods.

Hormel and its partner Bright Horizons have worked for five years and spent $5 million to create Inspired Beginnings Learning Academy, and they’re thrilled to finally open its doors.

“To be honest, I haven’t decided whether I want to have more children just so I can send them, or if I just wanna quit my job and work here,” said Katie Larson, Senior Vice President of Human Resources with Hormel Foods.

Investing in high quality childcare is Hormel’s way of helping working parents at the plant and corporate offices find peace of mind, knowing their children are taken care of while they work.

The classrooms and play areas are focused around hands-on experience-based learning, and even includes a room dedicated to learning about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“There’s not as many toys like I have at home with my kids of screens and battery-powered things and lights and noises,” said Bissen. “They really are intentional in bringing that imagination and discovery-based play into the mix.”

The brand-new building and toys aren’t the only things setting the facility apart from other childcare centers.

“Yes, it’s a shiny, new building and it has fun toys and materials in it that are brand new, but I can tell you that the teachers that I have here in my center are what sets it apart from everyone else,” said Bryson McCargar, Center Director.

It’s the passion of everyone at Hormel and Bright Horizons that made this childcare center possible, to make the best experience for Austin families.

Hormel hopes this new facility will ease the burden on its working parents and draw even more families to the community.