ITHACA, N.Y. — Manufacturing is on the decline throughout much of upstate, but one company appears to be bucking the trend here in Ithaca.

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Therm Incorporated has filed plans with the Tompkins County Industrial Development Authority (TCIDA) stating intent to build a $2.5 million, 20,000 SF addition to its manufacturing plant at 1000 Hudson Street Extension on the city of Ithaca’s portion of South Hill.

Therm specializes in custom machining, primarily for the aerospace and industrial turbine industries. For example, Therm makes jet engine parts, and contributed components to the Space Shuttle program. The addition is being built to increase the plant’s machining capacity.

The family-owned company has remained at the same location since its founding in 1935. The firm currently employs 158 staff, and they tend to be in there for the long haul – according to Therm’s own analysis, the average employee makes around $24/hour and has been working at the Hudson Street plant for 20 years.

As part of the expansion, Therm plans to add 10 manufacturing jobs with an average wage of $45,000/year. Funds have been secured for the expansion, and the company anticipates starting construction the summer, completing the new building in April 2017. Although approvals have yet top be granted by the city, the firm notes that environmental review documents are being prepared.

Therm has applied to IDA seeking two tax breaks. One is a sales tax break for new equipment to be installed in the building, valued at $100,000. The other is the county’s 7-year property tax abatement on the tax assessment increase as a result of new building, and is valued at $104,588.

According to documents filed with the county, Marathon Engineering of Rochester is designing the addition, and FAHS Construction Group of Binghamton is the intended general contractor.

Since the recession, there has been an upward trend in the number of manufacturing jobs in Tompkins County, but total local employment in manufacturing has yet to catch up to pre-recession totals. In 1962, manufacturing jobs accounted for 6,200 jobs and 36% of the total local employment. In 2015, manufacturing jobs totaled about 3,400 jobs and accounted for less than 5% of local employment.

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Brian Crandall

Brian Crandall reports on housing and development for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at bcrandall@ithacavoice.com.