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A manufacturer of packaging products for Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. has set up shop for the first time in metro Detroit to be close to its clients.

Lebanon, Tennessee-based Morrison Industries opened a new 50,000-square-foot manufacturing plant on Thursday at 46480 Magellan Drive in Novi to grow its capacity. Over the next two years, the facility will employ more than 200 workers in technical and non-technical positions.

"We're excited to be at the heart of the automotive industry," Operations Manager Josh Hubbard told The Detroit News. "We really wanted to be closer to some of our major customers."

Morrison Industries is the latest in the automotive industry to make a major investment in the Detroit area. Earlier this month, Accenture PLC, a professional services firm, opened an innovation hub in Livonia to allow its clients to create and test technologies. Ford also recently confirmed its plans for a 2.1 million-square-foot campus in Corktown for its autonomous and electric vehicle departments.

The Novi plant expands Morrison's footprint and capacity to supply shipping racks for automotive components to original equipment manufacturers and the top 10 automotive manufacturers in North America, CEO Jacob Wilson said. It also has a 150,000-square-foot plant in Morrison, Tennessee.

"It's a mile marker for the company to open this facility," said Jacqueline Bell, the plant's general manager. "It's exciting to see somebody who is well known and admired to make this expansion and to do it in Novi."

Morrison immediately is looking to hire 10 to 15 people, which it plans to grow to 50 to 75 soon. These positions include fabricators, welders, press operators, pressure washers and general assembly employees right now. Interested candidates can apply at morrisonindustries.com/careers.

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