Kwang Jin America is a company manufacturing window regulators, door modules and other components. It has an assembly line in Sterling Height, Michigan and is hiring about 100 Detroiters. Kwang Jin America is a well known company that has contributed special training program and extra care for its employees. Constant communication efforts and sincere management skills have overcome cultural and language barriers between Korean officers and American workers. Kwang Jin America’s approach of “Human Touch’ to its employees is a tradition from its mother company in Korea, Kwang Jin Korea. It’s leadership is prominent among 70 Korean companies in Michigan.
The year of 2009 was a big shock to many Detroiters. Many lost jobs and didn’t know what to expect. The Big Three, now being humbly called Detroit Three, were not the only ones struggling even to stand still, numerous part suppliers were falling into a deep trouble.
Detroit, being on the edge of the cliff, had no place to step back. Thus a glance towards foreign companies was not always welcoming. “But 70 companies from Korea are here to create local jobs” President Lee of Kwang Jin America says. He is also the president of Korean Companies Association in Michigan.
Like many Korean companies, Kwang Jin America is devoted to Detroit by hiring about 80 employees directly from Detroit. Kwang Jin America had to pay more attention for their employees. Some of them didn’t have any bank account to deposit the pay check. Some needed special training and even extra arrangement for a ride to work. However Kwang Jin America was willing to provide extra care for their employees because they were not just employees but family member for the company.
The president of Kwang Jin America, Yong Joo Lee is a good communicator. He spends more time with their workers. There are cultural and language barriers between Korean officers and American employees. “… but they understand how important I think they are”, President Lee says “all the success comes from our employees”.
He emphasizes more on ‘Human Touch’. His management philosophy comes from his boss, chairman Young Jik Kwon, who says “Do not try to buy labor, try to buy their mind”. President Lee says “We need everyone in this building to cope with many challenges ahead of us. We are like the sailors in the boat over troubled water. If the boat fails, we all fail”.
Kwang Jin America has problems to solve. “We need to develop lighter regulators and modules to increase fuel efficiency. Reducing window operating noise is required as car becomes quieter, nowadays. If we do not work as a whole, we can’t keep up with the best quality. That’s why we need everyone’s effort”, he emphasizes.
Kwang Jin America used to have many temporally workers. Now most of them, about 100, have permanent positions at Kwang Jin America. “We are a small company comparing to Hyundai or LG Chem, which are hiring hundreds of American workers in Michigan. But we do contribute to this community in our level. That’s what I am proud of” President Lee says.
“We supply parts to American brand cars. We grow as Detroit Three grow” , he says.
Kwang Jin America’s future is relying on the success of Detroit Three. “We are now in global market, we are all intertwined. Even though we are originated from Korea, we wish for the best of the Detroit Three. That’s why we work hard to provide best quality to our customers”, President Lee is confident to supply the best parts to his American buyers.
• Company Profile Company name :
Kwang Jin America, Inc. Company
• Contact information: 32450 N Avis Drive Madison Heights, MI 48071-1557
• Phone:(248) 589-8001