ATLANTA – Georgia Governor Nathan Deal Thursday named Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG) as the state of Georgia’s large manufacturer of the year at the annual Georgia Manufacturing Appreciation Week awards luncheon at the Georgia International Convention Center.
Kia was one of three finalists from Troup County to be nominated for the award given by the Technical College System of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Economic Development. The other two finalists ExxonMobile and Kimberly-Clark.
The award was presented to Group President and CEO for Kia Motors America and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. Byung Mo Ahn, on behalf of the plant’s more than 3,000 team members.
Ahn thanked Deal for the prestigious award and noted the importance of the state of Georgia’s role in Kia’s success during his speech to the 1,200 attendees at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta.
“I want to thank you, Governor Deal, and also Quick Start and the Technical College System of Georgia for this great honor,” he said in front of an audience of about 1,000 people. “We would not be in this position for achievement without the unyielding support of the State of Georgia, the Department of Economic Development, and in particular, Georgia Quick Start, which has been our partner in workforce training from the very beginning.”
The Quick Start program is part of Georgia’s workforce training program and provides free training and recruitment for employees to be hired by new companies coming to the state.
Ahn also credited the outstanding team members who “work enthusiastically each and every day to build world-class, high quality vehicles.”
“We have developed the ‘Kia Way’ to define the workplace culture and establish a ‘one system/one team’ approach at our facility,” he said. “The Kia Way is built on trust, mutual respect and open communication among all team members to ensure continuous improvement, and in our view, is a key element of the market success of Kia and KMMG.”
Deal congratulated KMMG for being the 2012 large manufacturer of the year and said the state looks forward to many more years working together as successful partners. “Kia’s West Point, Ga. plant is a shining example of Georgia’s commitment to supporting new industries in our state and how that continued commitment allows companies like Kia to prosper and grow,” Deal said after the award presentation. “Kia has continued to invest in our state and has delivered a tremendously positive impact in this region. I am so proud to be presenting this outstanding company with the large manufacturer of the year award today.”
Before presenting the award, Deal signed some new tax reform legislation into law. The law eliminates the sales tax on energy used in manufacturing as well as for construction materials for building the facility.
The award foe the smallest manufacturer of the year went to ATR and the award for medium sized manufacturer went to Quad Graphics of The Rock, Ga.
Deal was joined by Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Chris Cummiskey and Technical College System of Georgia Commissioner Ron Jackson at the luncheon, which marks the culmination of Manufacturing Appreciation Week.