By ANDREA GUTIERREZ
BLACK CREEK — Construction of the Hyundai Metaplant America plant continues full speed at its site off Interstate-16 East, with production slated to commence in early 2025. The electric vehicle manufacturing facility alone is set to create more than 8,000 jobs needing to be filled in the region.
That’s where the new Hyundai Mobility Training Center of Georgia steps in.
Georgia Quick Start, a division of the Technical College System of Georgia, has officially broken ground on the upcoming Hyundai Mobility Training Center of Georgia, the first training center in Georgia exclusively dedicated to the electric vehicle market. It will be part of the Metaplant complex in Bryan County.
“As part of Georgia’s economic development agreement with HMGMA [Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America], Georgia Quick Start will be building and operating a training center that is specifically designed to meet the training needs of Hyundai,” announced Scott McMurray, Quick Start’s deputy commissioner, at Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony.
The new 89,000-square-foot training facility is scheduled to be completed in late 2025, but Quick Start has already begun providing training for Hyundai and its supplier companies through its existing Quick Start Advanced Manufacturing Training Center in Pooler.
“Quick Start is Georgia’s most critical and successful tool for attracting manufacturing companies to locate in our state and for helping them launch their new operations,” McMurray said.
The Mobility Training Center is part of Hyundai Motor Group’s initiative in developing a local workforce for the Metaplant, with the help of regional technical colleges and universities.
“Today’s groundbreaking is a milestone in our partnership with Georgia Quick Start, the Technical College System of Georgia and the State of Georgia. Our relationship, symbolized by this training center, will ensure our stable operation, continuous improvement, and future success for decades to come,” said Oscar Kwon, the president and CEO of Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America.
Representatives from Ogeechee Technical College, Georgia Southern, Savannah Tech and Coastal Pines Technical College were in attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony, showcasing a strong link between industry and academia that is creating opportunities for local graduates from colleges in southeast Georgia.
Last September, Ogeechee Tech and Georgia Southern signed an agreement with Hyundai to develop specialized programs that will “meet the workforce needs of both the region and (the HMG plant).”
OTC President Lori Durden said in September that the college’s commitment includes plans to offer two technical certificates of credit, known as TCCs, in subjects related to Hyundai Motor Group’s production of electric vehicles and the increasing use of electric and hybrid vehicles generally.
These will be an Electric Vehicle Professional TCC and a Hybrid Electric Vehicle Repair Technician TCC.
“Additionally, the college will deliver industrial maintenance training for Hyundai employees as requested,” Durden said.
The noncredit industrial maintenance training will be housed in Ogeechee Tech’s planned Georgia Industrial Systems and Industrial Robotics Training Facility, she said. The almost $20 million facility will be built on the opposite side of U.S. Highway 301 not far from the main OTC campus south of Statesboro. It is planned to be complete in the second quarter of 2025.
“As this entire project moves forward, we’ll have a chance to train all of the employees that are going to fill these spaces,” said Mark Peevy, the chief of staff for the Technical College System of Georgia, alluding to future job openings at the Metaplant as well as supplier affiliates in the area such as Hyundai Mobis, Glovis, and Transys.
“Right now, all across the state, our technical colleges are adding and revising curriculum and implementing new programs to build this future workforce pipeline,” Peevy said.
Carter Infinger, chairman of both the Bryan County Commission and the Savannah Harbor-Interstate 16 Corridor Joint Development Authority, was the opening guest speaker at the groundbreaking ceremony, as his work at the Commission played a role in bringing the Metaplant to Bryan County.
Infinger believes that Hyundai’s collaboration with local colleges and high schools will help make Bryan County a more exciting place to live and work in.
“Hyundai (wants) to be a part of the community, to partner with all of our schools to help out where they can,” Infinger said.