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BMW Manufacturing broke ground on a new $20 million, 67,000 square-foot training center on February 22.


BMW breaks ground on new $20 million training center on Spartanburg campus

Officials of BMW Manufacturing, along with South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt, broke ground recently for a new $20 million, 67,000 square-foot training center on the BMW campus.  The investment is a continuation of BMW’s 2017 commitment to invest $200 million over five years into workforce training. When completed in the summer of 2022, the building will feature multiple classrooms for both professional development and technical training, an outdoor amphitheater, and a unique concept of outdoor meeting and workspace that includes wireless capabilities. 

“The most important investment for BMW is our people. Our associates are the key to BMW’s success,” said Knudt Flor, president and CEO of BMW Manufacturing. “The rapid pace of digitalization, electrification, artificial intelligence, and autonomous driving is transforming the automotive industry. Advancing the skills of our workforce is a priority for BMW. This training center will offer a learning environment that promotes creativity, fosters innovation, and improves technical training skills.”

“We applaud BMW for their continued investment in our state’s biggest asset – our workforce,” said South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “Since 1992, BMW has shown their steadfast commitment to not only South Carolina, but to our people as well. This new training center will ensure BMW technicians are highly trained and skilled in the latest automotive technologies and are prepared for the jobs of today and tomorrow.”

The new training center will be built across from the existing Campus Training Center (CTC). The idea is to connect recruiting, hiring, training and innovation all in one location. 

“Our recruiting and training concept is very stimulating and interesting,” said Christine Petrasch, vice president of Human Resources for BMW Manufacturing. “We want to create a ‘college campus’ atmosphere around the new building with pathways and meeting places. As newly hired associates walk out of the CTC, they see the new training center in front of them and behind that, they see the BMW plant where they will work. It will be very inspiring.”

The training center will also be home to BMW’s well-known apprenticeship program – BMW Scholars. 

“The technical training areas will have a flexible classroom design to adapt to multiple learning environments,” said Paul Sinanian, manager for Talent Management and Training. “Training robots identical to those inside the BMW plant will be placed on moveable pallets so they can be relocated depending on the learning situation. Classrooms will be equipped with the utilities and IT networking needed for teaching robotics, electrical, mechanical, engine and automotive training.”

The new training center will replace the current BMW Training and Development Center (TDC) on Brockman-McClimon Road, which has been in operation for more than 27 years. The TDC started as temporary office space for the first BMW associates in 1993.  The following year, the first production associates used the building to assemble BMW 3 Series vehicles for training. For more than two decades, the TDC has been used for both technical and professional training.

BMW Manufacturing currently produces about 1,500 vehicles each day, exporting more than two-thirds of its models to 125 global markets. The model portfolio includes five top-selling BMW X models, four Motorsport X models and two plug-in hybrid electric X models. The factory has a production capacity of up to 450,000 vehicles and employs more than 11,000 people.





Pall Corporation establishing operations in Duncan

Columbia -  Pall Cor-poration (Pall), a global leader in filtration, separation and purification, recently announced plans to establish operations in Spartanburg County. The company is creating 425 new jobs and investing $30.2 million into a new facility that will support the rapid development and production of vaccines and therapeutics, including a COVID-19 vaccine.

Pall serves the needs of customers across the broad spectrum of life sciences and industry and works with clients around the world to advance health, safety and environmentally responsible technologies.

Located at 816 Berry Shoals Road in Duncan, Pall's new facility will focus primarily on single-use technology such as the Allegro™single-use platform.

"Spartanburg County provides Pall with the diverse workforce we need to manufacture life-saving therapeutics and vaccines. We look forward to building our presence in this county," stated Pall Life Sciences President Joseph Repp.

 "Pall Corporation's decision to invest into South Carolina comes at a time when our life sciences sector has evolved into one of our fastest-growing industries. The continued development of life sciences will create high-paying jobs that will ensure wellness and prosperity in South Carolina for years to come," added S.C. Gover-nor Henry McMaster.

The facility is expected to be operational in May 2021. Individuals interested in joining the Pall team should visit the company's careers webpage.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to the project.






Jerry Richardson has given $150 million to Wofford College, the largest gift in the school’s history.


Richardson gives record $150 million to Wofford College Endowment 

Jerome J. Richardson, founding owner of The Carolina Panthers and long-time business leader in the Carolinas, has given $150 million to Wofford College, his alma mater. The gift — the largest in the college’s history — is designated for the endowment with a focus on need-based scholarships and experiences for Wofford students.

With this gift, Richardson’s contributions to Wofford exceed $262.6 million, among the largest individual commitments ever to a U.S. college or university. The $257.3 million he has given since 2014 as part of the current “For Wofford“ campaign is the largest single campaign gift made to a national liberal arts college.

“Mr. Richardson’s loyalty to Wofford College and his commitment to the student experience have been a constant since he came to Spartanburg from Fayetteville, N.C., on a modest football scholarship in 1954,” said Wofford President Nayef Samhat. “After he graduated, he gave even when he had very little to give, and throughout his life’s journey, he has remembered his alma mater without fail. This gift is Mr. Richardson once again changing the game for Wofford College students, and we are forever grateful for his love of our college and the countless ways this gift will impact our students, our community and ultimately our world.”

The $150 million endowment gift will focus on four areas:

* Need-based financial aid that will affect hundreds of students each year.

* Off-campus U.S. and global study opportunities, student and faculty research, internships and entrepreneurial learning opportunities.

* An initiative to transition all of the college’s support staff to a minimum wage of $15 per hour.

* A special fund for the maintenance, repair and improvement of campus buildings.

The college will award the earnings from these funds so that the impact of this gift continues in perpetuity.

“These endowed funds will play a crucial role in making a Wofford education affordable and accessible for generations of students while helping the college to extend its support and appreciation for staff members who contribute to the Wofford experience,” said Samhat. “Every member of our community will benefit in some way from this gift!

“Wofford College has a reputation for supporting student success. Since the college was founded in 1854, faculty and staff have used the resources available to them to mentor, advise and inspire students such as Jerry Richardson. Now, because of Mr. Richardson, the full Wofford College experience will be available to even more students, especially those impeded by financial barriers.”

Richardson many times has credited his Wofford College career with helping him succeed in business and in the NFL.

“Coming to Wofford in 1954 as a 18-year-old with a partial scholarship was a turning point in my life,” Richardson said. “It is difficult to put into words how grateful I am for that opportunity and how proud I am of the tremendous progress the college has made since then. My hope is that many more young people will now be able to aim high regardless of their background or financial means.”

Jerry and Rosalind Sallenger Richardson have contributed to 14 capital projects on Wofford’s campus since 1979, including three major buildings during the current comprehensive campaign, which launched publicly in October 2018: the 3,400-seat Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium, the Rosa-lind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts and Jerome Johnson Richard-son Hall, a 150-bed residence hall that opened in the fall of 2020. Their other philanthropic focus at Wofford has been the Richardson Family Scholarship, which provides a full four-year scholarship to one student in each class. The scholarship includes books, a laptop, paid internships and a month-long study abroad experience.

Richardson has a photo in his Charlotte, North Carolina, office of his childhood home. There was no running water nor electricity. His father was a barber; his mother worked in a women’s clothing store. They didn’t have a car until Richardson was 16 years old. When Richardson enrolled at Wofford, he depended on his football scholarship and on a $30 a month job as a resident assistant. His childhood experiences have stayed with him always and have shaped his philanthropy with an emphasis on providing opportunities through education.

Richardson was named an Associated Press Little America selection in 1957 and 1958 and still holds three records as a wide receiver for the Terrier football team. He still calls being elected team captain in 1958 as one of his greatest lifetime honors. In 1983, he was chosen to Wofford’s All-Time Football team as a receiver. The college retired his jersey no. 51 in 2011.

As a student, Richardson was a member of Kappa Alpha Order, president of the Inter-Fraternity Council and a member of Blue Key National Honor Fraternity and Scabbard and Blade military fraternity. He was drafted in the 13th round by the NFL Baltimore Colts after his junior year, but he was determined to finish his degree and complete his college football career with the Terriers. After graduation, Richardson played two seasons in the NFL, earning Colt Rookie of the Year honors in 1959 and catching a touchdown pass in the 1959 Champ-ionship game from Johnny Unitas.

Richardson then embarked on a successful business career with his Wofford teammate, Charlie Bradshaw. Opening the first Hardee’s franchise in Spartanburg, he and Bradshaw co-founded Spartan Food Systems. Richardson later was the CEO of Flagstar, which was the sixth largest food service company in the nation.

On Oct. 26, 1993, Richardson became the first former NFL player since George Halas to become an owner when the Carolinas were unanimously awarded the NFL's 29th franchise. The Carolina Panthers began play in 1995 and reached the NFC Championship game in the 1996 season. The Panthers won the NFC Championship in 2003 and 2015, advancing to Super Bowls XXVIII and 50.

Richardson is the only person to be inducted into both the North Carolina and South Carolina Business and Athletic Halls of Fame.

Richardson is married to his college sweetheart, Rosalind Sallenger Richardson. They have been lifelong residents of the Carolinas and have two children, Mark Richardson and Ashley Richardson Allen; their son Jon Richardson died in 2013. Grandson Johnson Richardson played football for Wofford and graduated in 2010, and granddaughter Rose Richardson played volleyball for Wofford and graduated in 2013.

“Mr. Richardson has always been and continues to be a game-changer,” said Samhat. “We are overwhelmingly appreciative that he chose Wofford back in 1954 and that he has continued to support our students and our college’s mission.”