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BMW hiring again, adding health center


By Scott Miller
smiller@scbiznews.com
Published Aug. 3, 2011

BMW Manufacturing today announced a threefold investment in its Spartanburg County plant that includes more hiring, increased workforce training and the development of an on-site health clinic for employees, retirees and their eligible dependents.

The hiring, workforce development and health care programs are part of a $100 million investment that BMW Manufacturing President Josef Kerscher announced earlier this year.

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BMW adds $100M investment at Spartanburg County factory

Gov. Nikki Haley
Gov. Nikki Haley talks about the many impacts BMW Manufacturing has on the state’s economy. Haley attended an event today at the automaker’s plant in Spartanburg County as BMW announced it was hiring, launching a new workforce training program and building a health clinic for employees. (Photo/Scott Miller)
The automaker will hire 100 people, including engineers, IT professionals and production managers, said Harald Krueger, BMW Group board member responsible for human resources.

Additionally, BMW will build a $5 million Associate Family Health Center that will provide primary care, dental, vision and physical therapy services. BMW's existing on-site associate family pharmacy will be relocated to the new facility. The center, which will be 20,000 to 25,000 square feet, will be located next to BMW’s training center on Brockman-McLimon Road. Construction is to begin this year and the center should be fully operational by 2013, said Annmarie Higgins, BMW Manufacturing vice president of human resources. The health center will be operated by a third-party company that has not yet been selected.

The new, two-year BMW training program is a partnership with Greenville Technical College, Spartanburg Community College and Tri-County Technical College. The recruitment program provides tuition and book assistance and allows students to attend classes full time and work at the factory up to 20 hours per week. The BMW Scholars program expands on the traditional apprentice program by adding a two-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/multiskilled industrial maintenance and production technology. Up to 35 students per year can attend, or a total of 70 in the two-year program.

“Our associates are our most important asset,” Krueger said.

He said the U.S. market and the S.C. plant are hugely important to the BMW Group.

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 global demand. This will also create new jobs for production associates.

“We believe that future success depends on our associates,” Kerscher said.

For additional details and to apply for the new positions, visit www.bmwusfactory.com.

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