SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – As Hyundai develops its massive electric vehicle and battery manufacturing plant in Bryan County, officials are encouraging the community to discuss how to best welcome new South Korean neighbors.

In partnership with the four counties of the Savannah Harbor-Interstate 16 Corridor Joint Development Authority, the World Trade Center is hosting a series of sessions on how to make these families feel welcome and help them adjust to life in the U.S.

The five sessions are scheduled for next week:

  • Bryan County (AM session):
    • Tuesday, Jan. 17 from 9 to 11 a.m.
    • Richmond Hill City Center (502 Cedar St. in Richmond Hill)
    • Register here
  • Bryan county (PM session):
    • Tuesday, Jan. 17 from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
    • Bryan County Board of Education (8810 Hwy 280 in Black Creek)
    • Register here
  • Effingham County:
    • Wednesday, Jan. 18 from 9 to 11 a.m. or 3 to 5 p.m.
    • Effingham College & Career Academy (2940 GA Highway 21 S. in Rincon)
    • Register here
  • Chatham County:
    • Thursday, Jan. 19 from 9 to 11 a.m. or 3 to 5 p.m.
    • Georgia Quick Start (1500 Pine Meadow Drive in Pooler)
  • Bulloch County:
    • Friday, Jan. 20 from 9 to 11 a.m.
    • Georgia Southern University – Nessmith Lane Building (847 Plant Drive in Statesboro)
    • Register here

Jeanne Charbonneau will serve as the guest speaker for each of the events. She served for 17 years as the primary point of contact for South Korean families in Montgomery, Alabama, where the United States’ first Hyundai manufacturing plant was built.

Charbonneau will cover educational placement, housing, access to medical care, including vaccinations, and the need to develop programs to address second-language proficiency for both students and adults.

Officials say the long-term success of development projects such as the new Hyundai plant requires an awareness of and sensitivity to language and cultural differences.