Korean Culture Business Training Series

In May 2022, Stellantis and Samsung SDI announced its joint venture StarPlus Energy and plans to invest over $2.5 billion to build a new electric-vehicle battery manufacturing facility in Kokomo. Then in October 2023, StarPlus Energy announced it would invest $3.2 billion for a second battery manufacturing facility. Both plants will be located in the area of land previously secured by the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance as part of its industrial park initiative.

These developments will mean an influx of Korean residents and businesses in the Kokomo community. By familiarizing the community with these new neighbors, the Greater Kokomo Chamber of Commerce hopes to create the most welcoming space possible here in Kokomo. To that end, the Chamber presented a series of special events in 2023 aimed at helping the business community prepare for interactions and opportunities surrounding the new plants and workers.

In March, the Chamber presented “Intercultural Understanding and Communication: South Korean Corporate Culture in the 21st Century.” Speaking at the event sponsored by Security Federal Savings Bank was Seung-kyung Kim, director of the Institute of Korean Studies at IU Bloomington. You can watch Kim’s presentation here. You can also view the slides of her presentation here.

The Chamber then presented its Korean Culture Business Training Series. Made possible by the generous support of the Community Foundation of Howard County, the series was led by Sooyeon “Soo” Shin of Moyars Consulting. Born and raised in South Korea, she currently lives in West Lafayette where she serves as an Executive Director of the International Center of West Lafayette.

The following topics were explored during the Korean Culture Business Training Series:

Business Etiquette: This session taught the basics of business interaction, introductions and name clarifications, hand-shaking and bowing, business card exchanges and gift giving.

Cultural Norms : This session explored the typical day in the life of Koreans, specifically focusing on weekdays and weekends, as well as colleagues, families and friends. Click here to watch the training

Food & Beverage: This session focused on the importance of sharing food, Korean food scene, chopstick training, connecting through food, and beverage knowledge. Click here to watch the training

Cultural Practicum: This session included scenario based-training, body language, showing appreciation, conflict management, how to apologize, gift giving situations and cultural faux pas. Click here to watch the training

Tie It All Together: This session included a panel discussion on networking events for Koreans and Americans. Click here to watch the training

Thank you to our sponsor, Community Foundation of Howard County

What does a $5.7 billion investment in Kokomo really mean?

Through a joint venture called StarPlus Energy, Stellantis and Samsung SDI are investing more than $5.7 billion to construct two lithium-ion electric vehicle battery production plants in Kokomo and will create a total of 2,800 new jobs.

When new investors put money into a community, it can provide local businesses with new opportunities for growth and expansion, leading to increased employment opportunities and higher wages for residents.

These investments by StarPlus Energy and surrounding developments will enhance the overall quality of life and will profoundly impact business owners, residents, the community and even future generations.

The business owner
• More clients and customers
• Increased collaboration opportunities
• More disposable income in the community
• Increased entrepreneurial opportunities

The resident
• More job opportunities with higher pay
• New and more diverse housing options
• Expanded cultural opportunities
• Increased land values

The community
• Increased population
• Increased visitor travel/spending
• Improved competitiveness for future investment
• Cementing Kokomo as the regional hub

The future generation
• Increased graduate retention
• Expanded education and workforce development programs
• Integrated environmental thinking

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