STC Automotive Tours Kia Plant
August 26, 2014 -Automotive technology students at Southeastern Technical College were treated to an inside look at their field when the program was invited to tour Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. in West Point, Ga. on July 30.
Eleven students, along with program director Travis Williams, explored the 2,200 acre facility, the first manufacturing site in North America for Kia Motors Corporation, which is headquartered in Seoul, Korea.
“The experience was amazing because rolls of sheet metal enter into one door, and after going through many different processes, 22 hours later, the sheet metal we saw enter [the facility] drives off the end of the assembly line in the form of an automobile,” said Williams.
The guests from STC were treated to a full view of nearly every phase of the plant’s operation. Excepting the paint area—which requires a clean, sterile environment—students and instructor were able to walk through the processes that create the Kia Optima and Sorento and the Hyundai Santa Fe.
For STC Automotive, the Kia facility is notable for several reasons. The 5-year-old, $1 billion plant was the largest project of its kind in Georgia history. After a $100 million expansion project in 2011, the plant upped its capacity to 360,000 vehicles per year. And as a result of its opening and growth, the West Point facility has accounted for more than 10,000 jobs in the region.
“There are 7,000 people on the KIA premises daily, if that gives any idea how large it is and how it has helped the local areas and economy,” said Williams.
Following the tour, Williams and his students credited the tour with inspiring a new appreciation for automobiles, with Williams vowing to take future STC Automotive students to the plant.
For more information on opportunities in the automotive industry, visit www.southeasterntech.edu or call 912-538-3100 or 478-289-2200.