Electric vehicle production drives investments in Georgia’s communities and workers

Written by Eric Johnson

Georgia has quickly become a leader in electric vehicle production and manufacturing, thanks in large part to the economic policies and pro-growth agenda pursued by Gov. Brian Kemp’s administration in recent years. Investments in expanding Georgia’s electric vehicle capabilities and infrastructure help support and attract new businesses, create much-needed jobs, and stimulate economic growth in the Savannah region, throughout Bryan County, and across the state.

As the Savannah Port Interstate 16 Corridor Joint Development Authority (Savannah JDA) project manager for Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America (HMGMA), State-of-the-art manufacturing facility under construction in Bryan County – I am excited about the growth opportunities our new facility will bring to the region and Georgia’s economy. Production is scheduled to begin in the last quarter of 2024, and the project is progressing full steam ahead, with the construction phase alone creating thousands of jobs for hard-working Georgians in the process.

Combined with the on-site battery cell factory at HMGMA, Hyundai is making a total investment of approximately US$7.59 billion. Once operational, the manufacturing facility and battery plant will create and support employment for 8,500 workers in a rapidly growing industry nationwide.

All of this is good news for job creation efforts at the local and international levels. In fact, when you combine the jobs that HMGMA will create with those that will be supported by the new suppliers who have flocked to Georgia since the beginning of this project, we are talking about in excess of 15,000 jobs across the region.

Ultimately, these investments will translate into benefits for Georgia’s workers and communities in the form of increased income, higher tax revenues, funding for infrastructure and schools, and lower emissions that help improve air quality. Furthermore, the ultimate economic impact of this project, and of electric vehicle investments in general, will help grow Georgia’s clean energy economy, strengthening local businesses while attracting new ones to our state.

These investments in production and manufacturing are also helping to create new workforce training and development opportunities for Georgians, with a $65 million training center under construction next to HMGMA. There, the Quick Start Program will help train employees in the skills they need to smoothly enter the job market. Quick Start, a state-funded workforce training program, has been instrumental in attracting companies to the region and enhancing Georgia’s position as a good place to do business.

Hyundai’s multibillion-dollar investment in the Savannah region is just one example of many recent electric vehicle projects that are helping drive real investments in Georgia communities. Thanks to Governor Kemp’s efforts to increase our state’s manufacturing capabilities and attract new, clean energy jobs to the state, Bryan County is now one of the fastest growing regions in the United States.

Maintaining and increasing investments in electric vehicle manufacturing, production and related technology will help build on this growth and enhance Georgia’s reputation as a leader in electrified mobility, in the United States and across the country. By expanding America’s clean energy workforce and strengthening domestic supply chains for electric vehicle production, we can ensure a stronger, cleaner, more economically vibrant future for communities across Georgia and nationwide.

Eric Johnson is the Savannah JDA project manager for Hyundai Motor Group’s Metaplant America, a planned electric vehicle plant in Bryan County, and is also an architect and former member of the Georgia House and Senate.

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