Earlier this year, LaGrange and Troup County learned that they would play host to the Young Gamechangers program, a group of around 50 of Georgia’s brightest young men and women that come together in a community for six months and come up with a comprehensive plan/ strategy guide for the community to implement should they so choose. The Gamechangers will focus on industrial development, millennial tourism, economic sustainability, and graduate retention. With their midpoint meetings on March 30 and 31, the Wednesday before this several members of the Gamechangers were given the opportunity to tour Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG) in West Point.
In 2006, Kia announced that it would build its first manufacturing plant in North America, selecting West Point, Georgia for this site. In 2009, they began production. To date, they have hit many milestones. They currently produce three vehicles on site, they have made many charitable donations in order to give back to their community, and recently passed their 2,000,000 vehicles made in March of last year. There are simply too many milestones reached by KMMG to list. The Gamechangers, after some video introductions and information, loaded onto their golf carts and began the tour.
For anyone who lives in the Troup County community, taking a tour of KMMG has to be put on your list of things to do. The tour is simply incredible. Seeing the robotics at work, watching the workers on the assembly line, and seeing the process of the cars coming together is truly an incredible sight to behold. The tour went up and down the lines, showcasing the streamlined process that KMMG has devolved in their plan. After the tour, the Gamechangers were even gifted a take home bag with a present. The entire experience, including the friendly staff and informational tour, is truly something to be experienced.
On March 30 and 31, the Young Gamechangers will begin their midpoint meeting, starting on Thursday in West Point. Over the course of those two days, the individual groups will meet with various local leaders to discuss their developing ideas and get feedback from the community.
In June their final written report will be finished, with each team presenting their three big ideas with an in depth analysis and plans for implementation. In every community that the Gamechangers have been to, each community has adopted some part of their plan and has had some major success in doing so. Keep your eyes peeled to Troup County News for more coverage on the Young Gamechangers and their Spring 2017 semester here in LaGrange and Troup County.
Jeremy Andrews Staff Writer