On Friday, November 4th, 2011, at West Point Georgia, Mr. Keun Sik Kim, Senior Vice President of Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc., hosted a visit by a delegation from Kennesaw State University (KSU), organized by KSU’s Asian Studies Program. The delegation included 24 professors and directors from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS), the Coles College of Business, the Bagwell College of Education, the Institute for Global Initiatives, the Confucius Institute and the ICA Institute.
Dr. Thierry Leger, Associate Dean of the College of Humanities & Social Sciences, accompanied by Dr. May Gao, the Asian Studies Coordinator, led the delegation to West Point, GA, where Kia’s American automobile manufacturing facility is located. Expanding on 2,200 acres of land, the Kia manufacturing base is equipped with state-of-the-art robots, assembly lines, and testing equipment. Mr. Kim said the plant currently produces 59 vehicles per hour or 300 000 vehicles per year. A $100 million upgrade will be completed in 2012 and bring the production capacity to 68 vehicles per hour or 360 000 vehicles per year with three shifts of workers operating 24 hours per day. . This plant now employs 3700 workers, and most of them are Georgians.
Dr. Barry Morris, Vice Provost for Global Engagement & Strategic Initiatives anticipates a long-term partnership with Kia that will create privileged study abroad, internship and scholarship opportunities for KSU students with an interest in Asian Studies.
"It was a great honor for us to be invited by Kia officials to visit their manufacturing plant. We anticipate many Asian owned companies in the U.S., such as Kia to provide support for our Asian Studies program as we educate KSU students to be more globally competitive, especially with regard to knowledge about Asia," said Dr. Gao. Dr. Heeman Kim, an Affiliated Asian Studies faculty at KSU, initiated this visit. Dr. Kim was born and raised in Korea and has strong connection with the Korean American community here. For more information about Kia plant in Georgia, please visit: http://www.kmmgusa.com/
Reported by Mr. Montye Edwards, a graduate student in the MA in Integrated Global Communication program at KSU who visited the Kia plant with the delegation.
Posted: November 15, 2011