City Council to get a global view of local commerce at Hyundai Rotem plant

Councilman David Oh.

Councilman David Oh will lead a City Council delegation on a tour of the Hyundai Rotem USA corporation plant in South Philadelphia today as a part of the first-term councilman’s push to create local jobs and stimulate the city’s economy by making it more competitive in the
global marketplace.

The tour will include a presentation about the benefits and challenges of operating such a facility in Philadelphia. The lesson is a part of Oh’s ongoing initiative to make the city more attractive to global companies and to encourage local companies to export worldwide.

“By visiting the Hyundai Rotem manufacturing facility in South Philadelphia, Council members get to see firsthand the impact of high-tech manufacturing and better understand how City government can work with private industry to make Philadelphia a globally competitive city,” Oh said in a release.

The Korean Hyundai Motor Cars company opened subsidiary
Hyundai Rotem USA in 2004. The company, which built SEPTA’s Silverliner V rail cars, employs 300 high-skilled workers at its South Philadelphia location and has major contracts with several
transportation agencies.

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The visit comes at an opportune time for global industry in the country. A recent report released by the Brookings Institute
shows that the nation’s export sales grew over 11 percent in 2010,
the fastest growth in 13 years. Philadelphia ranks ninth out of
the country’s 100 largest metro areas as far as export sales, which were valued at $26.6 billion for the city in 2010.

The report recognizes the power of exports to “help reorient the
American economy after the recession,” showing that export-related
jobs increased nationwide by six percent in 2010, even as the overall
number of jobs were declining.

Oh said last week that he wants to take advantage of the national growth in the global arena to create more well-paying positions locally, in part, to replace jobs
lost during the continued decline of the manufacturing industry in
Philadelphia. A recent report from city controller Alan Butkovitz showed
that overall manufacturing jobs in the city are down 18 percent since 2007.

“I am pleased to see freshmen members like Councilman Oh so eager to take Philly commerce to the next level,” Council President Darrell Clarke said in a release. “This is a great city in which to do business – and companies around the globe need to know it.”


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