West Georgia Technical College hosted the annual dinner of the Southeast United States Korean Chamber of Commerce at the college’s Callaway Conference Center in LaGrange last month.
WGTC President Steve Daniel gave welcoming remarks, as well as speaking the invocation before dinner.
“We believe there is a lot of untapped growth potential in this area,” Daniel said in a press release. “We’re spread out across seven counties in west Georgia, which can be challenging, but it’s better for our students because we can be there, in their communities and hometowns, to serve them and get them ready for a job in our workforce.”
Daniel mentioned the college was recently named a finalist for the Technical College System of Georgia Technical College of the Year award, saying the honor was made possible by partnerships between the college and local industries.
“Many of our students wouldn’t be able to attend our college without scholarships, which in large part are donated to us by our community and industry partners,” Daniel said. “Last year, we awarded more than $100,000 in 153 different scholarships, thanks to the partnerships we’ve grown with industries like the ones represented here tonight. It’s our strength as an institution and the strength of what we do.”
After dining on dishes including Korean favorites kimchi, shrimp and broccoli and dumplings, attendees heard from the Honorable Seong-Jin Kim, consul general for the southeast U.S. from the Republic of Korea. Kim spoke on the favorable outlook for Korean-owned businesses in the southeast, particularly in Georgia.
The evening’s keynote speaker was Michael Randle, owner, publisher and editor of Southern Business Development Magazine. Randle spoke on the economic forecast for the coming decade, focusing on manufacturing jobs in southern states and the labor crisis facing companies today.
SEUSK Chamber President Jane Fryer of the Meriwether County Industrial Development Authority gave the chamber’s “year in review,” saying the chamber had a prosperous 2016, including a name change and new logo in the first part of the year.