Southeastern Tech and HMGMA Sign Training Partnership MOU

July 11, 2023

Today, Southeastern Technical College and Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant of America (HMGMA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a training partnership that will lead to automotive industry jobs at the metaplant location currently under construction in Bryan County.

President Larry Calhoun commented, “The signing of this MOU between Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America and Southeastern Technical College represents a collaboration built on the foundation of mutual benefit. Hyundai gains access to a pool of talented individuals who can contribute to its growth and competitiveness, while the college gains access to real-world case studies and industry expertise, enriching the learning experience for students. This collaboration ensures that technical education remains relevant and impactful in a rapidly evolving electric vehicle landscape.”

The MOU was signed in the Tattnall Auditorium on Southeastern Tech’s campus by President Larry Calhoun and HMGMA CEO/President Oscar Kwon.

The Electric Vehicle Professional Technical Certificate program was created to prepare students for entry-level employment in the electric vehicle production industry. The eight-credit-hour certificate includes three courses and will focus on safe and effective automotive shop operations, automotive electrical principles, and the operation and service of electric vehicles. Those who complete the certificate program will have the skills needed to work in sub-assembly shops, building components, and on the production floor to manufacture electric vehicles.

“We are extremely excited to partner with Southeastern Tech for this training program,” Kwon said. “This training program will give prospective employees the tools they need to start a career in the electric vehicle industry with HMGMA. The students who attend Southeastern Tech are our neighbors. We place a strong emphasis on recruiting local and helping to create long-lasting careers for those we hire.”

HMGMA is Hyundai Motor Group’s first dedicated Electric Vehicle mass-production plant. The plant is currently under construction and is expected to produce 300,000 to 500,000 electric vehicles annually.

Many local dignitaries and economic development officials were in attendance.  Michele Johnson, executive director of the Toombs County Development Authority, commented, “The Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America (HMGMA) project will have an immediate positive impact and long-term economic benefit to Toombs County and the entire Heart of Georgia Altamaha Region. Toombs County is well-positioned to participate in the development of a stable supply chain for EV battery and EV components by providing premier location options, including multiple publicly owned build-to-suit sites and a 100,000 SF publicly owned spec building, a highly skilled workforce pipeline with access to training at Southeastern Technical College, and a team of local economic development resources working together in a sense of community and culture of prosperity. “

“We are excited about Hyundai’s decision to construct the new Metaplant in Bryan County and the impact it will have on our region’s future. The possibilities this project brings for additional development in our area are exciting. Emanuel County has positioned itself for just this type of opportunity with the purchase and infrastructure development of the new I-16 Park located at the intersection of US 1 and I-16. With 600 acres “ready to build” and a new 100,000 square foot speculative building under construction, we welcome Hyundai and its suppliers to begin expanding into our area,” stated Ken Warnock, Chief Executive Officer of the Emanuel County Development Authority.

As the immediate past chair of the STC Board of Directors, Warnock further commented, “It is an exciting opportunity for Southeastern Technical College to provide initial EV training to assist our local area’s citizens in being prepared for the career opportunities this project brings to our region’s workforce.”

The course will be available at Southeastern Tech’s Vidalia campus.

Photo: (Front Row) HMGMA President and Chief Executive Officer Oscar Kwon, STC President Larry Calhoun
(Back Row) HMGMA Assistant Manager / Learning and Development Jason Zdunich, HMGMA Senior Manager / Head of Learning and Development Brent Stubbs, HMGMA Head of Employee Relations / Learning and Development Coordinator Charles Lee, STC Board Chair Chris Hopkins, STC Vice President for Academic Affairs Teresa Coleman. TCSG Chief of Staff Mark Peevy