SWANTON: At almost 50 years old, Vermont Precision is proving that it’s not over the hill yet.
Recently the company announced plans for a multi-part expansion that will bring more, and higher, paying jobs to the area.
The company, which currently employs around 200 workers in its Swanton headquarters is looking to add onto its existing structure. The expansion will add about 25% to the footprint of the building, and give the company an added warehousing area.
Vermont Precision produces several highly specialized tools for use by medical and industrial businesses.
Medtronic is a major consumer of the Vermont Precision products, according to Tyler Greene, a Project Manager at Vermont Precision.
If you’ve had a knee replacement or any other type of surgery where drilling into bone is required, odds are the tools that were used started out in Swanton.
Due to trade secrets, we can’t share the details of the drills, but the blanks are produced at the Swanton facility and shipped to Medtronic’s for finishing.
The company also makes intricate measuring devices that workers use to determine the size of a hole or shaft while creating parts in other industries.
If a company is producing a part with a 1/4 inch hole, and that hole needs to be exactly 1/4 of an inch, Vermont Precision produces a metal test rod that is exactly that size to quickly measure. If the rod fits in the hole, it’s the right size, if it doesn’t… then the part won’t pass QA.
There has been a major discussion about American labor throughout the country since the election, but Greene said that wasn’t what drove the decision to expand in Swanton.
The company, which also has plants in Kentucky and Lyndonville, Vermont, made the decision to expand its Swanton facility because that’s where the skilled workers are, as well as having major ties to the community.
“We might have had second thoughts (if the election had turned out differently),” Green said, in regards to the election, “but that wasn’t the driving factor.”
For Swanton and the surrounding communities, it means jobs and economic viability for more jobs. Exactly how many is still up in the air, but, like Vermont Precision’s current workforce, they’ll be well compensated.
They hope to break ground on the initial phase of the project this spring, with a move in date by the end of the year.
Part one of the project will be to create sidewalks, parking areas, and build onto the back side of the current building.
The second major phase of the project will come, hopefully, in the next two to five years. That will be a secondary building and will take up a small field between the current building and the interstate.