22 Mar 2019
The City of Commerce, in Jackson County, Georgia has been making headlines recently, and for all good reasons. The County is expected to see an influx of jobs thanks to SK Innovation, which intends to build a $1.67 billion factory to supply batteries for electric-powered vehicles. The Electric Vehicle (EV) market is booming, with some forecasts indicating that more than 7 to 8 million EVs could be on the road within five years.
The deal, originally announced in November 2018, between SK Group and Georgia is the biggest since Kia Motors opened its doors in West Point about ten years ago. The impact will be felt in Jackson County and the entire state with an estimated 2,000 jobs injected into the market, with full jobs potential expected to be reached by 2025.
It was not by chance that South Korean conglomerate SK Innovation chose to build here. Georgia has been chosen as the top state for businesses, getting the recognition six times in a row. It is home to ‘Fortune 500’ companies as well as international businesses. Georgia is also in close proximity with many car manufacturers in the South. The Sun Belt area, which includes South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia, has a high concentration of automakers, with big names such as Volkswagen, Daimler, Hyundai, Volvo, Kia and BMW having their shops in the region.
As with any corporation that seeks a successful location for its business, a skilled workforce and overall favorable employment environment is important. SK Innovation found that here in Georgia. According to CEO Jun Kim, the company was looking for a place that would allow it to grow together with its community. He noted that the people of Georgia have a passion for building a business-friendly environment, and that the professionalism of the state and local officials in Commerce and Jackson County, influenced their decision to set up a factory in the state. The company has already demonstrated their desire for a mutually-beneficial and long-term partnership by a donation to the Empower College and Career Center in Jackson County.
More than 200 guests attended a groundbreaking ceremony on March 19, 2019 including Executive Vice President of SK Group Jae-Won Chey, CEO and President of SK Innovation Jun Kim, Governor Brian P. Kemp, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, other elected officials, state and local economic development leaders, and corporate representatives.
“Today is a remarkable day for Georgia,” said Governor Kemp. “I thank SK Innovation for this historic investment in our state, which will provide immeasurable economic opportunity for thousands of Georgia families. I look forward to working together in the years to come to strengthen our relationship and ensure a brighter future for Georgia.”
Photo credit: Governor Kemp’s Office of Communications