Georgia logistics firm partners with Hyundai to train future Metaplant workers

On Oct. 25, construction continues at Hyundai Motor Group’s Metaplant near Savannah, Ga. / Drew Kann
On Oct. 25, construction continues at Hyundai Motor Group’s Metaplant near Savannah, Ga. / Drew Kann

A Georgia logistics company announced Thursday it is partnering with state officials to help train future workers at Hyundai Motor Group's $7.6 billion electric vehicle Metaplant near Savannah.

Port City Logistics, which is based in the Savannah suburb of Port Wentworth, signed an agreement to provide 68,000 square feet of training space to Georgia Quick Start, a training division within the Technical College System of Georgia. The space will be used to prepare workers across Hyundai and its powertrain and seat affiliate, Hyundai Transys.

The partnership is a stop-gap measure to help the automaker with its worker training while the state works to build a dedicated $62.5 million Quick Start training center. Steve Daniel, executive director of original equipment manufacturer training centers at Quick Start, said Port City's space will be critical to helping Hyundai ramp up initial EV operations.

"While we build our permanent training center, this space will be essential to our efforts to train the workforce that Hyundai will need for its operations in Georgia," Daniel said in a news release.

Hyundai's Metaplant in Bryan County is the state's largest economic development project and is expected to employ 8,500 workers. Hundreds of thousands of plug-in Hyundai, Genesis and Kia models are expected to begin rolling off the Metaplant's assembly line as soon as late 2024.

The Quick Start training center was among $1.8 billion in state and local incentives offered to Hyundai in exchange for selecting Georgia for its Metaplant. Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson previously said the Quick Start program played a key role in winning the Hyundai deal.

Port City operates more than 4 million square feet of warehouse space across the Southeast and primarily specializes in ocean container and domestic trucking logistics. Its training space for Hyundai and Hyundai Transys, equipped with four vehicle lifts, will help the automaker with pre-hire assessments, production and general assembly, fasteners and quality control. Up to 75 workers can be trained simultaneously, Port City said.

Hyundai also recently signed an agreement with Georgia Tech to collaborate on research and development of hydrogen-fueled engines for large trucks and electric vehicle batteries, both of which contribute to the automaker's Metaplant plans. The agreement also established workforce training and curricula for the Metaplant and Hyundai's battery plant in Bartow County.

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