Ajin Georgia, the stamped-metal auto body parts manufacturer building a factory in Bulloch County’s Bruce Yawn Commerce Park as a supplier to Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America, presented a total of $40,000 in donations to 12 local community service, public safety and educational organizations during a luncheon Thursday.
Originally announced in November 2022 as the Joon Georgia plant because of its state-specific corporate name, the plant under construction is doing business as Ajin Georgia because it is part of the South Korea-based Ajin Corporation. The company is committed to creating more than 600 jobs with what was announced last year as a $317 million investment. The projected cost of building and equipping the 853,000-square-foot plant is now $278 million.
Ajin executives present at Thursday’s luncheon at Uncle Shug’s Bar-B-Q Place on South Main said October is now the target month for the factory to begin production. However, Ajin Georgia Human Resources General Manager Jamie Calloway, who served as master of ceremonies, said that hiring for production jobs is expected to begin in early part of 2024.
Calloway, who is originally from Metter and has worked for other area industries, introduced Senior Human Resources Manager Jaewook “Jake” Jeong, who in turn introduced five other Ajin Georgia executives and managers originally from Korea.
Ajin USA Chief Executive Officer Jung-Ho Sea wasn’t there, but he had toured the plant site the week of Thanksgiving, after visiting the established Ajin factory in Alabama and before returning to Korea.
“As you can tell, Ajin company and Mr. Sea are donating $40,000 to this community, and we haven’t made one part yet,” said Calloway. “So that’s a huge commitment by him and the company to this area. We have a very diverse group here, and I know the money will be used to help the community in all aspects of it.”
Representatives of each recipient organization were presented a check – the amounts varied but the 12 checks added up to $40,000 – and a small “Ajin Georgia” sign for display on the organization’s premises.
Public safety organizations receiving donations from Ajin Georgia were the Bulloch County Fire Department, Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office and Bulloch County Emergency Medical Service.
Community service organizations and local-government hosted programs that received checks were Statesboro Kiwanis Club, Safe Haven (Citizens Against Violence shelter), the Boys & Girls Club of Bulloch County, the Bulloch County Recreation and Parks Department and the city of Statesboro’s Village Builders youth initiative.
Education organizations that received donations were Bulloch County Schools, Evans Region College and Career Academy (based in Claxton), Metter College and Career Academy and the Ogeechee Technical College Foundation.
During the luncheon, Calloway showed aerial photos from October of the Ajin Georgia factory buildings taking shape, behind the TA Travel Center from U.S. Highway 301 at the I-16 interchange. He also played a video spotlighting operations inside the Ajin USA plant that has been in production at Cusseta, Alabama since 2009.
As in the Alabama plant, machines such as blanking presses, stamping presses and die cutters will be used in the plant here to shape metal into parts that comprise much of the framework of passenger vehicles. Parts-handling robots will be used at almost all of the work stations, Calloway said.
It is one of three plants being built in Bulloch County by companies that will supply different kinds of components to the huge HMG Metaplant electric vehicle and battery manufacturing complex under construction in northern Bryan County.
Job listings for Ajin Georgia can be found at https://ajingeorgia.com/ . As of Dec. 7 there were seven managerial and administrative positions, but no production jobs listed yet.