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First class of BMW Rising Scholars graduates

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Spartanburg Community College graduates from the BMW Scholars program. (Photo/Fred Rollison)BMW Manufacturing held graduation ceremonies for its 11th class of BMW Scholars this week while 13 high school seniors completed the inaugural Rising Scholars program. 

Started in 2010 for high school graduates, BMW Scholars partners with Spartanburg Community College, Greenville Technical College, Tri-County Technical College and Piedmont Technical College. More than 360 scholars have graduated from the program over the years, according to a news release. 

The graduating scholars this week were offered full-time jobs at Plant Spartanburg after either working part-time at the plant while earning a two-year associate degree or by completing an “aggressive” year of training after earning an associate degree, according to the news release. 

“Developing and sustaining a skilled workforce is critical if companies want to stay competitive in the digitalization of manufacturing technology,” Sherry McCraw, vice president of Human Resources at BMW Manufacturing, said in the news release. “The BMW Scholars program allows us to recruit, train and grow our talent so these associates can make an immediate impact in the company.” 

Graduates will be able to apply what they’ve learned in the fields of automotive technology, equipment services like mechatronics, production, logistics and supply chain management and computer technology. BMW provides tuition assistance, health care benefits and payment for the Rising Scholars’ work. 

“Working with our education partners, we are able to build the skilled workforce that BMW needs,” Paul Sinanian, manager for talent programs and training of BMW Manufacturing, said in the release. “This is an exciting time for these students to know when they complete their education and training requirements, they have a well-paying job waiting for them.”

Reach Molly Hulsey at

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