Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Kia Georgia Training Center Opens in West Point

Governor Sonny Perdue and Euisun Chung, President, Kia Motors Corporation, joined other company officials and local and state dignitaries today to cut the ribbon and celebrate the opening of the first building that will be part of Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc.’s automotive assembly complex in West Point, Ga.

“The opening of the Kia Georgia Training Center demonstrates the commitment and effectiveness of Georgia’s partnership with Kia,” Governor Sonny Perdue said. “This center is the linchpin in providing both an opportunity for Georgia’s citizens and a quality workforce for Kia that will guarantee the success of this project.”

“The state of Georgia and especially Georgia Quick Start have provided exceptional support for our project,” said President Chung. “The quality of this training center is the best we have ever seen.”

The Kia facility, its first in the U.S., will eventually produce 300,000 vehicles a year. The economic impact to the state of Georgia is expected to be approximately $4 billion per year, according to a Georgia Tech study commissioned by the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Ceremony participants include Byung-Mo Ahn, group president and CEO of Kia Motors America and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc.; Randy Jackson, director of human resources for Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc.; Ken Stewart, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development; and, Ron Jackson, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Technical and Adult Education (DTAE). Commissioner Jackson, whose agency led development of the center and will operate it through its QuickStart program, also served as master of ceremonies.

“We are proud to provide a tangible link between the community and company with this facility,” said DTAE Commissioner Jackson. “This center is much more than a just a building – it’s a major step on the journey to a successful company and thousands of secure jobs our citizens can count on.”

The Kia Georgia Training Center is designed and equipped to provide pre-employment assessment training and job-specific training for team members at Kia’s $1.2 billion assembly facility which is scheduled to begin production in 2009. The center houses robotics, welding and electronics labs, classrooms, and equipment for training on state-of-the-art programmable logic controllers (PLCs). Giattina Aycock Architecture Studio designed the building, and its construction was overseen by the Department of Technical and Adult Education and GSFIC.
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