- Associated Press - Thursday, April 2, 2015

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - An advanced plastics manufacturer is opening a new manufacturing facility in Knox County that’s expected to create more than 200 jobs.

Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd announced this week that Hicks Plastics plans to invest $10.4 million to expand its operations to Knoxville, Tennessee.

Hicks Plastics produces automotive lighting components, specializing in molded and vacuum metalized lighting components.

Officials say the company is expanding its manufacturing operations from Michigan to Knoxville in order to be closer to SL Tennessee, which manufactures and produces head lamps and tail lamps for the automotive market.

“We recognize that companies have a lot of choices when it comes to doing business and we work hard every day to create the kind of environment that encourages growth, allowing us to continue our efforts to become the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs,” Haslam said in a statement.

At the Knoxville location, Hicks Plastics will produce lighting components for various GM vehicles.

The company plans to begin production in July.

“I am very happy to welcome Hicks Plastics to Knoxville,” Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero said in a statement. “In recent years, we have seen a rebound in our local manufacturing sector, and this exciting announcement confirms that manufacturing is alive and well in Knoxville.”

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