July 8, 2014
GREER — Twenty-eight students from Tri-County and Greenville technical colleges and Spartanburg Community College graduated from the BMW Scholars program in a ceremony held June 5 at the company’s Greer plant.
This is the third and largest class of scholars to graduate since BMW launched this workforce development program in 2011 for technical college students enrolled in various career paths related to manufacturing technology.
The BMW Scholars Program offers the workplace benefits of a traditional apprentice program found in Germany with the additional advantage of tuition and book assistance.
Four recent Tri-County graduates — Jacob Burgess of Easley (Mechatronics), Hampton Davenport of Anderson (Mechatronics), Jeremy Davies of Seneca (Automotive Technology) and Brian Ordonez of Easley (Mechatronics) — were offered full-time employment.
Davies chose to further his education and will pursue an automotive engineering technology degree at Ferris State University in Michigan.
The scholars program allows selected students to attend class full time while working part time at BMW.
The program allows students a chance to pursue their education, gain necessary hands-on experience, and become viable candidates for positions at BMW.
During this process, BMW assists with students’ tuition, books, and supplies. Students must be full time and maintain a minimum 2.8 GPA.
“The graduates are very highly skilled and ready for the next step,” said Ryan Childers, section manager, training and development at BMW.
Overall, the group maintained a 3.46 GPA; the average number of work hours was 2081; their average training hours was 335; their on-the-job training evaluation score was 3.59 out of 5; and their average training score was 4.5 out five.
As Greenville Technical College BMW Scholar Brad Peoples told the crowd in his speech, “This was more than a co-op, more than a paycheck. The BMW scholars program was an opportunity.”