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Making History and Honoring a Legacy

It's fair to say that 10 years ago, virtually nobody would have predicted what was about to happen. The global economy was entering a period of deep crisis. Manufacturing jobs were disappearing at an alarming rate. The thought of building a new automobile assembly plant in Georgia raised a few eyebrows.

But Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG), surprised everybody. Within a few years after the groundbreaking for Kia's first-ever North American manufacturing facility, the all-new Kia Sorento began rolling off the production line.

Kia began winning one award after another. At the same time, new companies sprang up throughout Georgia to supply parts for Kia and other customers. And as the economy improved, so did business at the other auto-related companies in the state.

Through it all, Quick Start and the colleges of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) were there to help train citizens in the skills needed to be successful working with the advanced manufacturing technologies that underlay this stunning transformation.

Over the next few posts, we take a look back at this busy decade by mapping the auto-related companies we worked with as they started operations, expanded capacity, or installed new technology to stay competitive.

We only wish we could share this story with one person who was at the center of these historic achievements. Randy Jackson, who was KMMG's chief administrative officer, was a visionary leader not just for Kia, but for the industry as a whole. We lost Randy earlier this year, but we know everyone is committed to perpetuating his legacy through an ongoing commitment to quality and excellence, and to improving the lives of the current and future generations.

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