GREER --- Ryan Timmer, a 2015 Tri-County Technical College Mechatronics graduate, was among the BMW Scholars offered full-time employment following a graduation ceremony held June 11 at the company's Greer plant.   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.

Timmer, of Seneca, is working as a Body Shop ESA.

All of the 27 students from Tri-County, Greenville Technical College and Spartanburg Community College, are now full -time associates at the plant following the completion of the two-year Scholars Program.

The Scholars Program allows selected students to attend class full time while working part time at BMW.  The program gives students a chance to pursue their education, gain necessary hands-on experience, early an hourly wage, 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. 

"You are the next generation and our future," said BMW president and CEO Manfred Erlacher.  "We have 100 percent retention of our graduates in the program thus far," he added.

Ryan Childers, manager of apprentice and associate training, said, "You've accomplished a great deal over the last two years and I'm very proud of the way you have grown. You are our top performing BMW Scholars team."  Scholars averaged a 3.6 GPA, scored 3.68/5 on their OJT evaluation, worked an average of 2061 hours and had an average training score of 4.5 out of 5.  "You've done an outstanding job," Childers said.