BMW is set to open a $17 million training facility near the Atlanta airport next week, the latest in a series of investments in the German auto maker’s training capabilities in the U.S.
One of the 53,000-square-foot College Park facility’s aims will be to prepare recent graduates from auto technician programs for employment throughout the BMW and MINI dealer networks.
That’s largely done through the STEP (Service Technician Education Program), a 16-week course offered in nine U.S. locations. Some 5,200 technicians have taken part since 1997.
The Atlanta center is part of a broader $56 million enhancement of BMW training centers across the country, from its headquarters in New Jersey as well as the expansion of a center in Ontario, Calif.
Here in the South, it also includes a new center next to the company’s SUV factory in Spartanburg, S.C., which offers apprenticeships allowing students to spend 20-25 hours a week at the factory as part of their schooling. This German work-study model has begun to make inroads in the South to address a shortage of skilled labor in some areas. The new $10 million training center will include two workshops and four paint and body training rooms.
An Atlanta open house will be held Thursday, July 26.
Learn more about the company’s plans here.
See Global Atlanta’s initial story on the development here: College Park Lands BMW Training Center, Another Win for Auto Sector and Aerotropolis