The Labor and Talent We Need Now, Tomorrow, and in the Decades to Come

  • Who are the next generation of manufacturing professionals? Are we attracting and developing the talent we are going to need?
  • Discussing how broadly speaking COVID-19 has changed the way people think about their work-life goals with a particular focus on what has changed for our existing workforce
  • Walking through examples of internships, apprenticeships, and collaborations with educational institutions that deepen the pool of skilled workers
  • Identifying the top-performers of the future and making special efforts to grow their skill sets, abilities, and responsibilities over time
  • Novel approaches to cross-training, mentoring, coaching, and career management to keep your staff satisfied and productive

Stuart Countess
President & CEO
Kia Georgia

Stuart Countess is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Kia Georgia’s manufacturing facility in West Point, GA.  Countess is responsible for all operational facets of the four-model assembly plant that employs over 2,900 employees and produces a capacity of 340,000 vehicles annually.  A graduate of the University of Alabama in Electrical Engineering, Countess began his 30-year manufacturing career with Hughes Aircraft Corporation before moving into automotive at the Mercedes Benz assembly plant in Vance, AL.

In 2008, Countess was hired as the Sr. Manager for Kia Georgia’s General Assembly shop, where he was a key figure in developing and implementing The Kia Way and the Georgia Production System as core practices of the facility’s operational system.  Since his hiring, Countess has held positions as the company’s Director of Quality, Vice President of Quality and Chief Administrative Officer, and Chief Operating Officer before assuming his current role.