BMW Manufacturing Co. announces BMW Scholars class

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Thirty students from Upstate colleges won’t have to worry about finding a job after graduation.

Spartanburg County-based BMW Manufacturing Co. on Monday announced the conclusion of its fifth BMW Scholars class.

The students have been hired as full-time associates and will work at the German automaker’s U.S. plant in one of four key areas, including production, automotive technology, logistics/supply chain management and equipment services.

“Developing the future workforce is critical to the continued growth and success of our company,” said Manfred Erlacher, president and CEO of BMW Manufacturing Co., in a statement. “The BMW Scholars Program plays a key role in keeping this plant competitive. Each one of these talented new associates will be important to the daily operation and long-term success of our company.”

The plant launched the program in August 2011 in partnership with Spartanburg Community College, Greenville Technical College and Tri-County Technical College.

The two-year program is similar to the traditional apprentice program found in Germany with the additional advantage of tuition and book assistance.

A total of 108 scholars have graduated since the program’s inception. All of them have been offered employment at the plant.

“We are grateful for the support and commitment of our technical college partners, who are vital to the success of the BMW Scholars Program,” said Johannes Trauth, vice president of human resources for BMW Manufacturing Co., in a statement. “This program continues to be an excellent example of how collaboration between the business and educational sectors can ensure that advanced manufacturing remains a key driver for our state in years to come.”

Students interested in program should contact one of the technical college partners in the Upstate, according to BMW Manufacturing Co.

The list of contacts includes:

-Jennifer Little, Spartanburg Community College: 864-592-4808

-Sandra Hartsell, Greenville Technical College: 864-250-8049

-Lori Hoyer, Greenville Technical College: 864-236-6470

-Cheryl Garrison, Tri-County Technical College: 864-646-1573

BMW Manufacturing Co. is the world headquarters of production for the automaker’s X model vehicles. The plant currently produces more than 1,400 vehicles each day and exports them to more than 140 global markets.

BMW has invested $1 billion to increase the plant’s capacity to 450,000 vehicles this year, increase employment to 9,000 associates and add production of the new X7 in the future.

For more information, visit www.bmwusfactory.com.

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