Robotics parts maker ATI Industrial Automation plans to add 275 employees over the next four years in conjunction with a major expansion of its factory and corporate headquarters in Apex. The employee-owned company’s revenue has been growing at a 20 percent annual clip in recent years, prompting it to invest a projected $6 million to nearly double its footprint by adding an additional 65,000 additional square feet, said co-founder and CEO Robert Little.

Groundbreaking for the expansion – which will include additional factory and warehouse space, plus a new engineering and robotic lab – is scheduled for Friday afternoon. “In order to advance our robotic tooling, we need a state-of-the art laboratory to test new designs as well as create new designs,” Little said. ATI’s workforce has doubled in size since 2012 to about 300 employees, including 250 in Apex. So the 275 new hires the company expects to add over four years would nearly double its workforce again.

“That’s a trend we’d like to create over and over again in Apex,” said Joanna Helms, the town’s economic development director. With its expansion, ATI will rank among the five largest employers in Apex, which historically has been a bedroom community. “We’re just pleased this expansion will allow more Apex citizens to work right here at home,” Helms said.