September 25, 2014
BMW and MTU America have been named winners of the 2014 Manufacturers of the Year Awards presented by the S.C. Chamber of Commerce.
The awards recognize manufacturing excellence, positive economic impact, workforce development and community stewardship of S.C. companies. In addition, the S.C. Technical College System received the chamber’s manufacturer Partner of the Year honor.
BMW, which has been making cars in the Upstate for 20 years, received the chamber’s title for large manufacturers.
The Germany-based automaker, which has invested more than $6 billion in its Spartanburg County operations, produces the BMW X3 and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles and the X4 and X6 Sports Activity Coupes for customers in more than 140 countries.
The company is in the middle of a $1 billion expansion to increase production capacity by 50% to 450,000 units annually by 2016. The company currently employs more than 8,000 and will add another 800 jobs by 2016. The company also will add a fifth model to the S.C. plant’s lineup in 2018 with the debut of the crossover BMW X7.
Located near Graniteville in Aiken County, MTU received the chamber’s award for small- and medium-sized manufacturers.
MTU America, which relocated its production facility from Detroit in 2010, has invested $100 million and generated 300 jobs, while training students for careers in manufacturing.
In 2012, the MTU Aiken Plant Apprenticeship Program launched with six high school juniors. In 2013 the company completed a $40 million research and development center and invested an additional $22.5 million in a new expansion project.
The tech college system, which includes 16 schools across the state, offers two programs dedicated to building the state’s workforce: readySC and Apprenticeship Carolina.
The readySC program serves as the system’s flagship program.