That’s the lowest since 1990, the report said.
State officials have said that manufacturing only accounts for 10 percent of Georgia’s jobs but that the raw numbers belie the sector’s importance as a multiplier.
By proportion, more jobs trickle down from manufacturing than any other sector, so when it suffers, the ripples are felt more severely.
It hasn’t been all good news for Kia suppliers in Georgia.
DongNam Tech, another South Korean company, was slated to invest $29 million and create 350 jobs at a floor mat and cargo liner manufacturing facility in Columbus.
DongNam, based in South Korea, was acquired late last year by NVH Korea Inc. NVH Korea decided to pull out of Columbus.
“It was heartbreaking, but there was nothing that we could’ve done to prevent them from acquiring that company,” said Becca Hardin, executive vice president for economic development at the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Jackson said DongNam’s absence won’t disrupt Kia’s supply for those components.
Kia has a varied portfolio of suppliers for most parts to combat potential disruptions in its supply chain. Many parts will be imported from South Korea and other countries.
The Georgia facility, Kia’s first plant in the U.S., will employ a logistics-intensive “Just in Time” method by which parts arrive at the plant when they need to be installed into the vehicles, said company spokeswoman Joanne Mabrey.
“It’s a lot easier if you can get the parts when you need them, not to have to stockpile them,” she said.
The auto industry is moving toward this method rather than dealing with the overhead costs associated with storing parts, she said.
Suppliers of some vital components are located on the Kia site. Mobis Georgia LLC, which makes front-end chassis and other parts, will feed those into the Kia facility through a conveyor system.
Powertech America will make transmissions on the Kia site and send them directly over to the Mobis facility.
Glovis Georgia LLC will provide parts sequencing and inventory management, Ms. Mabrey said.
All three are subsidiaries of South Korea-based companies that are part of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group.
Randy Jackson will be giving an update on the Kia plant's progress at a Feb. 9 dinner. Sign up here.