As the automotive industry remains in the midst of a fundamental transformation, BMW said its next logical step is a new 68,000-square-foot training center at its Greer plant.
It’s yet another facility that has joined the list of updates at the Greer factory announced this year that includes a new logistics building and a metal-stamping plant.
The training facility addresses the “goal of promoting creative learning, fostering innovation, and advancing technical skills in a rapidly changing automotive industry,” according to BMW.
“Our new training center will equip our associates with the skills to navigate the transformation … of the automotive industry,” said Robert Engelhorn, president and CEO of BMW Manufacturing. “We are committed to investing in our local work force and building our work force for a career — and not just a job.”
The training center will provide 40 functional learning spaces for hands-on vocational training with welding, metal fabrication and machine tools along with training for robotics and advanced equipment, BMW said.
In addition, those coming through the training center will be able to learn on new technologies like virtual reality, 3D printing and laser welding. It will also be the home for Plant Spartanburg’s high school apprenticeship program for students seeking an associate’s degree and a job at the plant in the future.
“For the people of South Carolina, it’s a statement by BMW that we will be part of this future,” said Harry Lightsey, S.C. secretary of commerce.
The facility provides an inviting area behind the building with an amphitheater, green space loaded with biodiversity and a walking trail, outside workspaces with wi-fi and 106 trees planted by associates.
“It brings to mind the three pillars of South Carolina prosperity: the economy, education and the environment,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “And all three of those you see on vivid display right here where we stand.”