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SCC Embraces BMW Apprenticeship Expansion

August 10, 2021 by Molly Hulsey | GSA Business | 2021news

BMW's Rising Scholars gather onstage to take photos with Flor, Evette and Hardee
BMW's Rising Scholars gather onstage to take photos with Flor, Evette and Hardee. (Photo/Molly Hulsey)

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Fifteen rising high school seniors signed on as the inaugural BMW Rising Scholars in the halls of Spartanburg’s Zentrum, one of two workforce development programs the company launched today.

“Our local career centers do a great job in educating students,” Paul Sinanian, manager for talent programs and training at BMW, said in a news release. “These high school seniors were chosen because of their strong potential and their good problem-solving and math skills. Rising Scholars is a wonderful opportunity for them to acquire technical skills in an advanced manufacturing setting and get paid to learn.”

BMW Rising Scholars offers apprentices an opportunity to work 15 hours a week at BMW Manufacturing’s Training and Development Center alongside classes at their high school and a participating Career and Technical Education Center starting later this month.

An apprenticeship program registered with the U.S. Labor Department, BMW Rising Scholars will pay students $12 per hour.

The second initiative, BMW Fast Track, is a 40-hour-per-week “BMW Bootcamp” for recent graduates or experienced individuals with a related associate degree hired on to the manufacturing team.
“The Rising Scholars and Fast Track programs are additional tools that expand our workforce development strategy,” Knudt Flor, president and CEO of BMW Manufacturing, said in the release. “This new pipeline of talent will help us fulfill our long-term goals. With the digitalization of manufacturing technology, it makes sense for us to grow and recruit additional talent as we prepare for our future.”

Both initiatives follow in the footsteps of the BMW Scholars high school graduate apprenticeship program for manufacturing technology students, started in 2010. Rising Scholars graduates will automatically become candidates for the BMW Scholars program, which pays $1,500 toward tuition and books at four participating schools while students attend class full-time and work at BMW 20 to 24 hours a week.

Out of 331 graduates, almost every BMW Scholar has been offered a job with the company, according to the release. Participating schools include Spartanburg Community College, Greenville Technical College, Tri-County Technical College and Piedmont Technical College.

The first class of BMW Rising Scholars include Edward Falcon-Lugo from the J. Harley Bonds Career Center; Eric Escobar-Baltazar and Amaya Hines from the Donaldson Career Center; Richard Koppen, Caden Louk and Christian Shenton from the Enoree Career Center; Mitch Gray and Jorge Hernandez Jaco from the Golden Strip Career and Technology Center; Evan Morgan and Darius Thompson from the Daniel Morgan Technology Center; Kristopher Melton, Ethan Capizzo and Jaqueline Ocampo from the R.D. Anderson Applied Technology Center; and Chayanne Osorio and Javier Rodriguez from the Swofford Career Center.

Reach Molly Hulsey at 864-720-1223.