BMW hiring now for 100 professional jobs

AUGUST 3, 2011

BMW hiring now for 100 professional jobs

BMW Manufacturing announced Wednesday plans to hire an additional 100 professional employees and an unspecified number of production workers, effective immediately, and the automaker created a workforce program that will help train high school graduates in manufacturing skills.

These 100 jobs will be full-time permanent BMW positions, and they have begun the hiring process. If you're interested, you can apply online.

In addition, the plant has an increased production goal of 270,000 vehicles this year, said Harald Krueger, BMW board member responsible for human resource management. The $750 million expansion completed last year increased the plant capacity to 240,000 vehicles. Then BMW Manufacturing was asked to ramp that up to 260,000 vehicles.

An undetermined number of production jobs will be added as a result. The number of production jobs will be determined by demand. The production jobs are being added for Octobers shift model change. BMW is hiring for these positions now through MAU.
Also, the plant will begin construction of a $5 million associate family health center this summer to provide medical care for associates, their dependents and eligible retirees, said Krueger. The job creation and the human resource programs are part of a $100 million investment in the plant announced last March.

Gov. Nikki Haley and Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt attended Wednesdays announcement.

BMW is a perfect corporate example of manufacturing excellence in South Carolina. We are proud they call South Carolina home, said Haley. She then pointed at an X6 sports activity coupe built at the plant and said, This is not a German car. This is a South Carolina car.

Josef Kerscher, president of BMW Manufacturing Co., said, BMW was and is a product-driven company. BMW also is a people-oriented company. We believe that our future success depends on our employees.

The expanded work force and the new human resource programs are a result of the continued growth in demand for BMWs and to ensure that BMW has a supply of people with the high-technology skills needed by the company, he said.

Krueger said the professional positions include engineers, IT specialists, front-line supervisors, human resources professionals, financial professionals and others. Those positions will be full-time, permanent BMW positions, said Annemarie Higgins, vice president of human resources for the plant.

Production hiring is part of the earlier announced change in shift models, allowing more vehicles to be produced annually. Those positions, Higgins said, will begin as positions hired through MAU, the plants temporary staffing partner. She added that BMW has begun conversion of some temporary positions to permanent BMW positions.

She said candidates could begin apply for both the production and professional positions immediately. Production technicians can apply at www.mau.com/bmwjobs while those seeking professional positions can apply online at www.bmwusfactory.com.

The creation of new jobs and the new programs are part of our long-term approach to sustainability, said Krueger, whose first major project at BMW was to serve on the team planning the plant in South Carolina.

For us, sustainability is not just about building the most effect vehicles in the most productive facilities. Its also about accepting responsibility for decisions that affect the future development of our associates, he said.

Im personally a big fan of South Carolina and this plant. This is a tremendous success story, he said, adding that BMW is committed to future investment in the state. To date, the company has invested more than $5 billion in the state and has built 1.8 million vehicles since production began in 1994. Currently, BMWs 7,000 permanent and contract employees build 1,000 vehicles daily.

To ensure that South Carolina residents have the skills needed, the company began the BMW Scholars program, a partnership with Greenville Technical College, Spartanburg Community College and Tri-County Technical College to create a two-year program that combines education and working at BMW.

The colleges have set up programs in automotive, robotics and machine tool technology, mechatronics/industrial maintenance as well as production association technology. The goal is to select 35 students for the two-year program for a total of 70, Higgins said.

BMW Scholars is a new way to recruit and train local talent, Krueger said, and is an effort to deal with a growing shortage of skilled workers. It will give students an opportunity to gain real-world experience by working up to 20 hours a week at BMW.

Kerscher said South Carolina candidates have strong basic skills but they often need to be taught the technical skills and BMWs way of manufacturing.

Construction of the health center on Brockman-McClimon Road near the BMW training facility, is to begin this summer, Higgins said. Limited services will be available by January 2012. The facility, expected to be 20,000 square feet to 25,000 square feet in size, will be operated by an independent health care provider, who will serve associates, their dependents and eligible retirees. Services provided will include the pharmacy, relocated to the medical center; medical and primary care services as well as vision, dental, physical therapy and occupational health services.

Krueger said the Greer plant is one of our largest plants. Its very competitive. The Upstate facility is important to BMW because some 70 percent of its production is exported. The plant is BMWs sole producer of the X5, X6 and the new generation X3.

The X models are contributing to our growth, he said.

Originally posted August 3, 2011 on www.greenvilleonline.com. Written by Jenny Munro.