(West Point, Ga.) Nov. 5, 2015 – Over 500 local fifth graders joined more than 40 team members from Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG) on Wednesday at the Convention Center at AmericasMart in Atlanta for the largest national showcase yet for the SAE Foundation’s A World in Motion® (AWIM) program. Students from Troup County Schools, Meriwether County Schools, Harris County Schools, Chambers County Schools and Lanett City Schools participated in the day-long event, demonstrating the skills they have learned in the JetToy Challenge, one of the many programs available through AWIM. West Georgia Technical College, last year’s event host and a great partner for KMMG, also provided several members from its team to help with the competition.
AWIM is an award-winning program that brings science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to life in the classroom. Through AWIM, students develop the skills to build a foundation for careers as engineers, scientists or technicians, to meet future workforce needs of companies like KMMG.
Randy Jackson, KMMG’s senior vice president of human resources and administration, spoke to the students on Wednesday and stressed KMMG’s ongoing commitment to local schools.
“Giving back to this region’s schools is an important part of our Kia Way philosophy where we all work together with the goal of continuous improvement each day,” he said. “It was exciting to see all of the students competing today and very rewarding to see how much everyone has learned.”
Georgia’s Commissioner of Economic Development Chris Carr continues to emphasize the importance of STEM education in the continued growth of Georgia’s 21st Century economy.
“The work being done in Georgia’s classrooms today is setting the stage for the workforce of tomorrow,” said Carr. “Kia has been a fantastic corporate citizen; giving schools access to a dynamic program like this is going to pay tremendous dividends for these students.”
KMMG also presented contributions of $400,000 and $25,000 as part of a more than $2.1 million commitment to the SAE Foundation that will be used to continue impacting STEM education for students in Troup County, Harris County, Meriwether County, Chambers County and Lanett City Schools.
“Kia’s commitment to the local educational economy is making a profound impact on the students, teachers and the long-term economic development of the region. Kia’s commitment is going far beyond financial support in the region. This support is providing for systemic improvement in STEM education across the region,” said Chris Ciuca, director of pre-professional education at SAE International.
Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG) is the first manufacturing site in North America for Kia Motors Corporation based in Seoul, Korea. With an annual capacity of 360,000 units, KMMG is located on 2,200 acres in West Point, Georgia, and began mass production on Nov. 16, 2009. KMMG is home to the Sorento CUV and the Optima mid-size sedan, two of the brand’s top selling models in the U.S.
Caption 1 (Group Shot): 500 local fifth graders joined more than 40 team members from Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, Inc. (KMMG) on Wednesday in Atlanta for the largest national showcase yet for the SAE Foundation’s A World in Motion® (AWIM) program.
Caption 2 (Students): Students participate in the JetToy Challenge as Stephanie Rabon, KMMG’s manager of human resources, provides support as a judge.