Jon Stojan Contributor (Published 3:21 p.m. ET Jan. 29, 2024)

The unemployment rate in the US has not changed since 2022. A report by the U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics states that it remains at 3.7 percent with very little change, especially in the manufacturing sector. 

A propitious moment to improve this statistic has arrived as the global automobile manufacturing industry transitions from ICEs (internal combustion engines) to EVs (battery electric vehicles) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. The U.S. electric vehicle market is expected to grow rapidly due to falling prices and government incentives. The tailpipe pollution regulations proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could help EVs reach two-thirds of passenger vehicle sales by 2032. Private sector momentum is also increasing. In 2023, Walmart, the largest retailer in the United States, announced its plan to expand the installation of EV charging stations well beyond the 280 stores where they are already available. In that same year, U.S. EV sales saw a notable increase, reaching 1.6 million units, up from the 1.1 million sold in 2022. This uptrend is projected to persist into 2024, with sales forecasted to hit 1.9 million units, representing a significant 13% of the new-car market according to the EV market research firm CleanTechnica.

The U.S. automobile manufacturing industry has a significant opportunity, but its investment in EVs is lagging behind other countries. This poses a threat to the ability of the United States to ensure national competitiveness in economic growth, support technological innovation, and meet decarbonization goals. 

Southeast Regional Center, LLC (SRC), recognizing these challenges, is spearheading a solution-driven initiative to revive U.S. manufacturing, particularly in the EV sector. SRC matches qualified foreign investors with domestic automobile manufacturing projects in rural areas through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.

Moses Choi, CEO of SRC, emphasizes the core motivation behind their projects, stating, “We aim to resuscitate jobs in America, reintroduce manufacturing, and ensure economic development in rural areas – all without burdening taxpayers.”

SRC’s strategic approach involves attracting foreign investors to support EV manufacturing plants, creating job opportunities in rural areas for plant construction, and operation, and uplifting communities. The company’s successful track record of collaborations with critical parts suppliers for Hyundai and Kia is more than a decade in the making. These long-term relationships reflect a level of credibility few other Regional Centers enjoy in this sector.

Moses Choi, CEO of Southeast Regional Center

Moses Choi, CEO of Southeast Regional Center

John Patrick Pratt, Esq, a partner at Kurzban, Kurzban Tetzeli & Pratt and selected as one of the top immigration attorneys by the publication “Best Lawyers in America” and AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell states that “Moses and the SRC team seeks to establish the EB-5 industry standard by working with professionals to ensure that investors and their investment are protected and to reduce both immigration and investment risks.”

As an EB-5 Regional Center, SRC plays a critical role in identifying creative financing alternatives for U.S. businesses, which also provide the opportunity for immigrants to obtain permanent resident status. In 2010, SRC was approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to participate in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. As an approved Regional Center, SRC dedicates its efforts to economic growth, job creation, and increased capital investment in the United States. SRC aims to minimize investors’ immigration and financial risks by delivering superior EB-5 Investment Projects in Rural Targeted Employment Areas, ensuring all necessary documentation is in order and readily available to investors and their representatives, and monitoring the job-creating projects for ongoing compliance with USCIS regulations and policies. 

Moses Choi, CEO of SRC, seeks a high standard for his EB-5 projects. He states, “The criteria that I look at when choosing and structuring EB-5 projects, goes beyond the question of whether I would invest my own money into a project but whether I would let my loved ones invest their money into the project.”

SRC is approved to operate in the following ten states: Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee. This approved geographic area aligns with SRC’s focus on automobile manufacturing as it encompasses the “Southeastern Automotive Corridor” and the greater “Automotive Alley.” By collaborating with leading global automobile manufacturers and creating a channel for tax-free funds from immigrant investors subjected to stringent background checks, SRC brings EB-5 investments into geographic areas and an industry sector that desperately needs economic stimulus, development, and job creation.

SRC credits its success to its investor-first approach, its pledge to transparency, and adherence to the rule of law. The firm’s investor-first approach is demonstrated by requiring UCC filings, annual third-party audits of investment entities and job-creating projects, and financial backing directly from the manufacturer’s parent company.

The role of SRC as a regional center is explained by Moses Choi as “an independent third party entity that only serves the interests of its investors. SRC does not hold any shares in the job-creating entity nor do we get any other payments aside from the loan interest rates which are fully disclosed to our investors before they sign onto the investment.”

As the Southeast Regional Center continues to navigate the challenges posed by a developing market and changing global economic conditions, the focus of its efforts remains unchanged: the revitalization of American manufacturing and economic growth in rural areas.