KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – An automotive parts manufacturer is creating 91 jobs and investing $5.5 million to upgrade and expand its Blount County facility. Flex-N-Gate made the announcement Tuesday.

An automotive original equipment manufacturer supplier specializing in manufacturing plastic, metal, lighting and mechanical assemblies, Flex-N-Gate employs about 185 people at its facility in Rockford.

“We are grateful that Flex-N-Gate has the confidence to make this investment in our community,” state Rep. Jerome Moon of Maryville said.

Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe said the state is home to more than 900 automotive suppliers and has seen more than $2.3 billion invested in the sector since last year.

“Supporting the companies in our automotive sector is key to the success and growth of Tennessee’s economy. I’m pleased to have Flex-N-Gate expand its Rockford operations, and I thank them for creating over 90 new jobs in Blount County,” Gov. Bill Lee said.

Flex-N-Gate was founded in the 1960s and makes bumpers, spare tire hoisting systems, lighting, chassis and more across the world. Its headquarters is in Urbana, Illinois.

“Tennessee, especially Blount County, is a great place to do business. We are grateful to Governor Lee, Commissioner Rolfe and local officials for securing these jobs and this investment,” state Sen. Art Swann of Maryville said.