BMW announced today further investment in two new workforce programs and additional jobs. This announcement supports BMW’s commitment to America through sustainable growth at its South Carolina plant. Harald Krueger, BMW Group Board Member responsible for Human Resources, confirmed the company’s intention to hire 100 professional employees. The workforce programs include a new manufacturing recruitment program: BMW Scholars, and a $ 5 million Associate Family Health Center.
“These innovative programs and new jobs serve to exemplify how much we care about current and future generations. This is part of our long-term approach to sustainability,” said Krueger. “For us, sustainability is not just about building the most efficient vehicles in the most productive facilities. It’s also about accepting responsibility for decisions that affect the future development of our associates.”
These new positions will range from Engineers to IT professionals and Production Management associates. Additional jobs at the South Carolina plant confirm the company’s leadership position in premium automotive manufacturing and “reinforces the Southeast region of the U.S. as a vital job producer,” added Krueger.
The Governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, applauded the company’s latest announcement stating, “BMW is a perfect corporate example of manufacturing excellence in South Carolina. They understand what it means to take care of and invest in their employees. These quality improvements and hires are why their employees invest in the quality of their product and are loyal to the company. We are proud that they call South Carolina home.”
To launch the BMW Scholars program, the company is partnering with three area technical colleges, Spartanburg Community College, Greenville Technical College and Tri-County Technical College, to provide work experience to students interested in pursuing a career in skilled manufacturing. The new recruitment program provides tuition and book assistance, allowing students to attend classes full-time and work at the plant up to 20 hours per week. BMW Scholars expands on the hands-on benefits of a traditional apprentice program, while adding the value of a 2-year college degree and the potential to be considered for full-time employment by BMW. Related career paths include Automotive Technology, Robotics Technology, Machine Tool Technology, Mechatronics (Multi-Skilled Industrial Maintenance) and Production Technology.
“The BMW Scholars program is the perfect complement to our recruiting strategy. By investing in workforce programs that build a pool of qualified men and women, we are helping to sustain the future of BMW and skilled manufacturing in South Carolina,” explains Josef Kerscher, President of BMW Manufacturing.
The Associate Family Health Center will be a first-class facility, operated by an independent health care provider who will use the latest in healthcare technology. Use of the 20,000 – 25,000 square foot facility will be available to all BMW Associates, eligible retirees and their covered dependants. BMW’s existing onsite associate family pharmacy will be relocated to the new facility and joined by medical and primary health care services, as well as vision, dental, physical therapy and occupational health. The combination of cost savings and the benefit of having medical services all in one location provides the company’s workforce a new option in their overall healthcare management.
“Recruitment is vital to ensure we continue to manufacture the top-quality products you expect from BMW, but equally important are the health and wellness of our entire workforce,” said Annmarie Higgins, Vice President of Human Resources for BMW Manufacturing. “Our goal is to construct this new Associate Family Health Center to allow us to concentrate on the kinds of initiatives that matter most: health care education, early detection and prevention.”
In addition to these two, new workforce programs, the company also recently consolidated their fire, security management and equipment resources into one existing facility located on the west end of the 4-million square foot campus. To prepare the building to effectively service the company’s needs, renovations included: the addition of two new equipment bays, training rooms and office space. The addition of this building provides BMW with updated facilities in a more centralized location to respond easily to all on-site situations. Recently, an 80 percent expansion began on an existing logistics warehouse to help the company update its parts management processes. This will add more than 160,000 square feet to the warehouse.
In 2011, the plant will produce more than 260,000 vehicles for over 130 markets around the world. Sales of the vehicles produced at the plant have met with continued high demand. In October, the plant will begin operating on a six day production schedule to meet this global demand. This will also create new jobs for production associates.
For additional details and to apply for the new positions, visit www.bmwusfactory.com.