The Korea Industrial Complex Corporation (KICOX) is a state-owned enterprise that manages 51 national and regional industrial complexes including Seoul Digital Industrial Complex, Sihwa Industrial Complex, Gumi Industrial Complex, and Changwon Industrial Complex.
The public corporation was established to contribute to the nation’s economic growth by developing and managing the industrial complex, and supporting the manufacturing activity of tenant companies. Initially, the primary duty of the company was the efficient operation and management of industrial complexes that are major contributors to Korea’s fast economic development. However, it has transformed itself to adapt to the nation’s economic growth and paradigm shifts in the industry.
KICOX is proceeding with various projects aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of industrial complexes and tenant companies, creating jobs, and attracting local investment. For example, the state-run company helps those who want to start a business, provides information about industrial sites and statistical analysis on industrial complexes, and gives investment support. In addition, the firm constructs apartment-type factories, supports the relocation of wouldbe tenant companies, helps secure bases for the creative economy, and improves the competitiveness of industrial clusters. Furthermore, the company builds eco-industrial parks, organizes corporate tours, and provides human resources.
In recent years, KICOX has been actively involved in social contribution activities with its new slogan, “To make industrial complexes warm and blooming with culture.” In January 2012, the company created three teams in order to assume corporate social responsibility. Each team is in charge of corporate tours, social contributions, or addressing problems that employees experience at work. The creation of new teams shows the company’s willingness to help industrial complexes grow steadily, create value, and increase the brand awareness of KICOX by contributing to society.
Mentoring Service for Candid Discussion
Social contribution activities in which the public enterprise is engaged are deeply related to the identity of the corporation that manages industrial complexes and supports tenant companies.
One of the activities is a job project for college students. The project is called “Dialogue: Communicating without Inhibitions,” where college students tired of looking for employment can talk about jobs and their dreams in an open environment. The talk show-style event is held at college campuses nationwide.
KICOX’s executive director, professors, CEOs of tenant companies, and job consultants offer mentoring services to students to encourage their work ethic and the spirit to tackle new challenges, and to provide information about what kind of people companies are looking for. Those mentors listen to students and learn about their views on employment at small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) in industrial complexes. Their input is helpful to make industrial complexes better places for young job seekers. Since 2012, 1,200 students from nine universities have participated, and a book containing stories told at five events was published last year.
Corporate Tours to Improve Awareness of Industrial Complexes, SMEs
Corporate tours are another social contribution activity. The tour program is intended to address mismatches between the needs of employers and the skills of the workforce, and promote awareness of industrial complexes and SMEs to create jobs. KICOX provides opportunities where local and foreign students, professors, parents, buyers, and embassy staff can properly understand industrial complexes and tenant companies through their visits to top SMEs located in industrial complexes.
The tour program involves 32 courses in 4 areas, which consist of new growth engines, experience-type consumer goods, eco-friendly/green growth, and the corporate brain (research center). In each tour, the role of industrial complexes and tenant companies that have led to Korea’s economic development is explained, and thus participants get to know about industrial complexes’ potential as future growth engines. Last year, a total of 5,224 people toured 178 companies 202 times.
KICOX’s Love Society, Another Name for Social Contributions
The public corporation runs its Love Society. Funds raised by KICOX employees’ donations or their voluntary contributions of a fraction of their paycheck are used to help neglected neighbors who visit local centers for children, community welfare centers, and multicultural family support centers.
This year, KICOX has been focusing on activities involving tenant companies and local societies. From July to August the public firm conducted a T shirt distribution campaign in partnership with the Korea Disaster Relief Association. 200 children of employees working in industrial complexes drew pictures on T-shirts, which were delivered to young climate refugees along with therapeutic food to treat malnutrition. In September, employees of the pubic company donated blood together with tenant companies nationwide. All of these activities show the pubic firms’ effort to build trust in society.
Cultural Elements in Social Contributions
KICOX is expanding the scope of its activities for cultural contributions by introducing cultural elements. To make industrial complexes more welcoming places in which people want to work and experience culture, the company is supporting cultural projects where workers can attend cultural events. Nine industrial complexes in Seoul, Gumi, Changwon, and other regions run their cultural centers with 18 programs for singing traditional Korean music and other types of music. Following the end of those programs, those who attended classes at centers nationwide can participate in a contest called the Happy Festival for Artists at Industrial Complexes. This year, the event will be held at Siheung Business Center located in Sihwa Industrial Complex on November 21. In addition KICOX sponsors cultural performances at 15 industrial complexes, and thus spreads cultural spirit.
On top of that, the state-run enterprise will create cultural streets in industrial complexes. It held a design contest for Guro Industrial Complex and Namdong Industrial Complex with the title “Beautiful Streets of Industrial Complex.” The streets of those industrial complexes will be beautifully decorated.
The Korea Industrial Complex Corp. will develop various social contribution programs in which employees of KICOX, tenant companies, workers at industrial complexes, and citizens can take part. Those programs will be occasions where people voluntarily participate and enjoy themselves. Through continued social contribution activities, the company will strive for authenticity. While coexisting with the community, it will fulfill its social responsibility as a corporate citizen.