PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP (WZZM/AP) -- Gill Industries, a privately-owned company, has just hired about 50 new workers to meet the demand of the rebounding auto industry.
The work includes building seat frames for the North American International Auto Show Truck of the Year announced Monday, the Chevy Silverado.
Gill expects future growth will mean hiring another 20 people during 2014, according to Frank Jesensek, director of operations, One of the new hires is Valerie Andrews, who last worked in a fast food restaurant. "I'm glad to be working - I'm a hard worker" she told WZZM 13's Peter Ross.
Jesensek says the hiring is due to new contracts the company has won, as well as "reshoring" - the practice of auto suppliers bringing work back to North America and Michigan from low cost countries like the Philippines. "We've gotten some benefit from that," Jesensek said.
His comments come on the day Governor Rick Snyder toured the Auto Show and said the state manufactured more than 2 million cars last year, a nation-leading number that's more than double the industry's dark days of 2009 and the highest level since 2005.
The republican governor told reporters Tuesday at the North American International Auto Show that the improving numbers reflect both a resurgent industry and improving state economy. He says auto suppliers are "reconsolidating" operations in Michigan and the automakers themselves are bringing production back from places such as Mexico.