March 13, 2014

SC business notebook, March 14

100 workers laid off at PepsiCo bottling plant; Big announcement expected from BMW; Palmetto Health Richland adds unit for elderly

100 workers laid off at PepsiCo bottling plant

About 100 employees lost their jobs Thursday as the PepsiCo bottling plant along North Main Street in Columbia immediately closed down production operations, the company confirmed Thursday. The plant’s other 250 employees will remain in their sales and warehousing roles, the company confirmed. Work associated with production operations will move to other facilities within the PepsiCo system, according to a statement from the company, which called the move a difficult decision but one that “allows us to improve efficiency, fund future investments and be more competitive.” The company will offer outplacement services to the affected employees.

Big announcement expected from BMW

BMW said Thursday that it would make a “significant economic and product announcement” at its Greer assembly plant on March 28 as it “expands its commitment in the USA.” The German automaker gave no other details in a media alert other than a list of speakers. They include BMW Group chairman Norbert Reithofer, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Gov. Nikki Haley. Other scheduled speakers are Harald Krueger, head of the company’s global production network and Manfred Erlacher, president of BMW Manufacturing Co.

Palmetto Health Richland adds unit for elderly

The west wing of the sixth floor of Palmetto Health Richland is coming up ACEs. The hospital has transformed that area into a 30-bed Acute Care for the Elderly unit, designed and staffed specifically for the special needs of patients 65 and older with high-risk complications. “When it comes to elderly patients, there needs to be a lot more focus on nutrition, sleep, delirium prevention and early mobility,” said Dr. Victor Hirth, medical director of geriatric services and chief of the Division of Geriatrics at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Addressing those issues helps improve factors such as length of stay, readmission rates, cost of hospitalization and health of patients.

Kristy Eppley Rupon, The Greenville News, Joey Holleman contributed

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