Good jobs are there, if you know where to look


By Eryka Cazenave, marketing and communications specialist, MAU Workforce Solutions

Looking for a new career or seeking a career change may seem like a challenge. Many believe that going back to school would be the best option. However, there are four jobs available throughout the Upstate that offer not only competitive pay, but on-the-job training. The most sought-after jobs with immediate openings are forklift operators, logistics trainees, mechanics, and production associates.

Technical schools provide excellent classes that prepare students for all kinds of career paths. However, major corporations such as MAU at BMW and BASF are one step ahead of the tech schools, offering paid, on-the-job training to potential employees as well as great benefits including major medical insurance and paid vacation time. Another reason to consider one of these four career paths is that most of the companies do not require a college degree. The only things applicants need are a high school diploma or GED and one year of stable work history.

Some may be thinking that this sounds like a great opportunity, but what exactly do the jobs entail? While the main focus of all four jobs is ensuring that production runs as smoothly as possible, each position holds different responsibilities. Mechanics, sometimes known as automotive technicians, have long-term opportunities with great potential for growth within the company. Employees are constantly being proactive in learning the new processes while on the job in order to improve the technical skill set. These positions are also considered the troubleshooters with employees that have backgrounds in a mechanical or electrical field.

While mechanics may require more experience than the three other positions, that does not mean that any job is less significant or valuable to the company. Logistics trainees do a little bit of everything. These positions are considered the problem solvers and require exceptional multitasking and critical-thinking skills. Employees may work within the stockroom, warehouse, or shipping and receiving, or help with the inventory. Logistics trainees should also be prepared to learn to operate a forklift or other powered industrial vehicles.

Forklift operators as well as production associates are two key jobs in the manufacturing industry. Forklift operators require a lot of the same skills as logistics trainees; however, those interested in forklift operations should have a keen eye for safety as well as organization skills. Production associates, on the other hand, are constantly ensuring that the company has the correct quality of materials and products from the manufacturer. Employees in this position oversee not only the quantity of products being produced, but the quality of production materials.

Looking through the jobs, you may assume that these companies are simply trying to fill spots and do not truly care for their employees. A main goal for corporations such as BASF, however, is to bring people together and create solidarity throughout the company. Building strong relationships within the workplace as well as gaining those relationships with customers is vital to a company’s success. Major manufacturing plants bring employees together through interdisciplinary and international projects, customer events, and social commitment, as well as a wide range of additional initiatives. Offering these incentives and providing a safe yet inspiring work environment helps motivate employees to excel at each job function.

While a career change may sound scary and uncertain at first, there are companies out there willing to make that transition a little bit smoother. MAU at BMW is helping interested applicants learn more about all four positions by hosting hiring events throughout the summer and fall months.

Eryka Cazenave is a marketing and communications specialist at MAU Workforce Solutions. For more information on the time and place of the events, visit


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