Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia touted its success to members of the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce with a tour of its facilities Tuesday.
“When I arrived here five years ago, there were so many of you who helped us along the way to achieve our success,” said Randy Jackson, director of human resources and administration. “You all have been a part of our teamwork.”
The Kia plant recently completed a $1.1 million expansion that brings it to full capacity, three shifts, making 360,000 cars a year.
Jackson called the 3,000 employees that work for Kia “the best workforce I’ve ever seen.”
Production began on November 16, 2009 and the site in the West Point city limit includes a 650-acre building and a total $1.1 billion investment. Kia and its suppliers have created about 11,000 total jobs in the region.
The training center where chamber members gathered Tuesday was the first building constructed on the Kia site.
“Every person hired goes through here,” Jackson said, and the training center has become a model for the country on how to prepare employees. Simulations in the training center test employees on everything they will face on the manufacturing floor.
Not only that, growth and demand for the vehicles produced here – the Sorento, Optima and Hyundai Santa Fe – is strong.
“If you need a vehicle, give our brand a chance,” Jackson said.