LEWIS CENTER, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST) — The move toward electric-battery vehicles is sparking growth for a Central Ohio manufacturer.

Lewis Center-based ATS Industrial Automation expects to hire several hundred new employees in the coming years thanks to the lithium ion battery work it’s doing with General Motors Co.

The company, which has been in Central Ohio since 1987, this month opened its new 240,000-square-foot battery assembly facility in Lewis Center where it’ll be constructing systems for GM that will assemble and test the automaker’s Ultium EV batteries.

The local operation already employs 140 full-time workers plus 100 contractors. The new facility is expected to add between 130 and 160 high-tech jobs, around 40 of which already are filled.

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