BMW Increases Size of BMW Scholars Program
For the past seven years, BMW Manufacturing has offered an apprentice program, known as BMW Scholars, that educates and trains students to help them find employment in the advanced manufacturing environment. Now the company has announced that it is adding a fourth education partner — Piedmont Technical College in Greenwood, South Carolina — which will double the size of the program to 200 students.
BME Manufacturing began the BMW Scholars program in 2011, teaming up with three Spartanburg, SC-area technical colleges: Spartanburg Community College, Greenville Technical College and Tri-County Technical College. Participating students attend class full-time and work at the BMW Spartanburg plant for 20 to 25 hours a week, with BMW covering their tuition and book expenses, as well as providing healthcare benefits and paying for their hours worked at the facility.
In a press release, Ryan Childers, Department Manager for Talent Programs at BMW, noted, “Working with our education partners we are able to build the skilled workforce that BMW needs. Ten or more years ago, you might have a mechanic, an electrician and a robotics person all employed in a manufacturing environment. Now we need all those skills in one person. With advanced manufacturing and the new economy, that’s what the market demands.”