LMC partners with LG

CEO and staff come to campus

It was cause for celebration as students, staff and members of the local community gathered in front of the Student Services Building Oct. 8 to recognize the formal signing of the recent partnership between Los Medanos College and LG Electronics Alabama, Inc.
As LMC President Bob Kratochvil welcomed those attending the event, he began the ceremony by thanking the company representatives who were on campus to sign the agreement as well as speak to students in the Appliance Service Technology program.
“I think it’s an honor that LG Electronics has selected LMC to be the hub of their regional training,” said LMC Director of Marketing Barbara Cella. “Our students will have the opportunity to work on cutting edge appliances,” which, she added, will in turn help those students acquire “cutting edge jobs.”
Kyu Moon Yu, president of the company, is the first corporate CEO to visit the campus in forty years according to Appliance Service Technology Instructor Leonard Price. Joining him in their visit to the college was Michael Kozwolski, Director of Field Service and Strategy and Jae Park, Senior Human Resources Manager.
“It’s just fantastic the synergy that’s created with this partnership.” said Kratochvil before introducing President Yu to speak to the crowd.
The partnership, which not only includes the company donating products they manufacture for the students to train on, but valuable resources such as online learning materials and the ability to sit in on future classes LG will hold on campus to further train their currently employed service technicians.
“I’m very happy to come here,” said Yu, joking about forgetting his sunglasses. He acknowledged how he “likes the California sun” then went on to speak about what his company strives for.
“We try to fix the broken customer, not the appliance,” he added. “Make a better life for the customers. You all, including Bob and everybody, are our customers.”
A similar sentiment was shared earlier in the day as the LG representatives met with students in the Appliance Service Technology program during their morning lecture. The goal of the visit to the class was to give the students a better idea of what the new partnership will help provide for them, as well as advice on the future of the industry in which they are pursuing careers.
“Thank you Len for having us here this morning,” said Kozwolski, addressing instructor Price by his more commonly known name on campus, adding that their being there was to help “find, develop and build the next generation of technicians.”
While speaking to the class about their possible futures in the industry, Kozwolski also talked about the future of the industry and how LG products are changing for that future.
“Connectivity,” he said, meaning that the ability for different technologies to merge together, such as pairing a smart watch and cellular phone, is what the consumers are looking for in their products, products that are, he said, “convenient with their lifestyle.”
And it’s those consumers who play an important role in the futures of not only the company itself, but the potential future technicians now enrolled in the college program.
“It’s about taking care of the customer,” said Kozwolski, adding that the technicians aren’t there to fix the appliance, but instead to “fix the customer,” and how “at the end of the day, you’re the one who represents the company.”
Following the visit to the students of the program, Park explained what the company was looking forward to when initially pursuing the joint venture.
“We really wanted to have a strong partnership,” said Park. “Even though a student may not apply for us, we know they will get back to certain jobs, and at some point they will repair our product. So that’s really what we see as a win-win situation.
“I’d like to spend more time with candidates, future employees,” he added. “Definitely we’d like to come back here. That’s how we foresee the future.”
And it’s that future that is among many of the reasons why the crowd gathered outside last Thursday to bear witness to the ribbon cutting signifying the newest venture.
With this partnership, among many others on an ever-growing list, the futures of many LMC students will now again be pushed further into the success of achieving both the most update to date learning experiences as well as the having a first hand opportunity to catch a glimpse into their potential career path.