As sales are starting to pick up, BMW announced last week the addition of 700 contract workers at its U.S. plant near Spartanburg. BMW is adding two more 10-hour production shifts to prepare for the new X3 and a slight increase in X5 and X6 production.

The jobs, which are being filled by BMW’s contract agencies MAU Inc. and Tier One Solutions and it shows the first sign of a turnaround since the economic crisis hit most of the auto makers. The first new 10-hour shift began Friday while the second 10-hour Friday shift will commence next month. The staffing agencies initially contacted people who had previously worked at BMW to see if they could return to the plant for the 10-hour shifts. The positions are in production and logistics.

“We’ve seen a little pickup recently in ordering across our entire system,” BMW spokesman Bobby Hitt said. “We don’t know why, but we’re taking this as a good sign. And we’re responding to it.”

bmw 5 grille

According to GreenvilleOnline, candidates must have a one-year stable work history and a GED or high school diploma. MAU also is looking for either experience in manufacturing production or manufacturing logistics. The jobs will pay $13 to $14 an hour and benefits are offered.

With more than 5,000 employees in the area, BMW’s increase in workforce will stimulate the hiring process at its suppliers as well. It’s expected to see an increase in hiring in order to keep up with BMW’s demand.

In 2008 and earlier this year, about 900 contract workers were laid off when sales took a dive. BMW’s worldwide sales were up 0.7 percent in September, this was the first month in 2009 when BMW saw an increase in its sales numbers.

BMW has nearly completed the plant expansion, a $750 million project that includes a new assembly building, new paint shop and a new refurbished body shop.

[Source: GreenvilleOnline ]