This year began like no other, who knew that 2020 would turn the world upside down. We never imagined that our Sherrill Manufacturing Factory would have to stop production due to a health epidemic.
The government shutdown took place in mid March but we were able to keep our doors open as a portion of our production was deemed essential as we manufacture and supply the United States Military with flatware. However, these were the only orders we were able to manufacture and fulfill from mid March to May. Luckily, our area in Central New York entered phase one of reopening by mid May and that’s when we were able to operate at full capacity, of course with safety restrictions in place keeping both our employees and customers safe.
Since then, our brand Liberty Tabletop has grown and the push for Made in America goods is bigger than ever! With this demand we found that our sales began to grow and have continued to do so through the Summer. As a direct result we are expanding our team! To keep the factory running smoothly we began hiring for more help and we’re happy to see these new faces part of our Sherrill Manufacturing & Liberty Tabletop team.
Our machine operators are the heart of our factory. Without them we wouldn’t have our flatware. Edwin Gil of Rome has been at the factory for a couple weeks now and he says It’s his kind of place.”Working on machines is what I’ve always done and this is a new craft that I’m learning.” Edwin has been working on our Index machine which buffs and shines the flatware. It is also the last step in our manufacturing process so it’s important to have a skilled set of hands working on the machine. It takes about five people to work the index machine as a whole. “I’m a team player and here everyone works together, I really like it here.”
Another new index machine operator is Caleb Randel-Spells. Caleb is from Sherrill and just like a lot of our other team members, he has family that works within the company. “Both my uncle and my cousin work here so it’s pretty cool to be working along side them.” Caleb is excited about working at the factory and he says the best part is seeing the change in process happen before his eyes. “When I’m working the index I can actually see the shining up of the spoons.”
The furnace is another important machine that is used several times throughout the manufacturing process. It hardens the knives to increase edge life and softens the spoons and forks for easier stamping. Matthew McCall Of Sherrill has been running the furnace for about two weeks. He says he likes being on his feet and moving around and he enjoys being warm so being on the furnace is a plus! Matthew previously attended Onondaga Community College in Syracuse and SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Marcy. His focus of study is computer programming. Recently, he joined the military and this Fall he will be heading to Basic Training in the Air Force where he can further pursue his career focus. “I like that my career option was a choice within the Air Force so I decided to do it.” Matthew also said that his Father was in the Air Force and told him that is was the greatest choice he’s ever made. Unfortunately, Matthew’s plans to begin his Air Force training earlier this year were delayed due to Covid-19. Matthew said he heard Sherrill Manufacturing was hiring and decided to apply for the Summer season. While on the furnace Matthew watches the flatware change right in front of him. “It’s cool to see how everything is made.” Although his stay with us is short we’re happy he’s here and has been able to help.
When a machine breaks down it can really throw a wrench into our plans. Luckily, we now have Raymond Seymour of Rome on our team who happens to always have a wrench on hand to fix the machines! He’s our Maintenance Engineer and helps to keep our machines running smoothly. If something goes wrong he’s there to help solve the problem. Raymond’s main focus is to find the best way to help the machine run better. “I make the machines run more efficiently, which creates better output and overall a more efficient machine.” Raymond is pretty busy here at Sherrill Manufacturing as we have over 50 different machines that need tending to. “I’m always doing laps,” he says. “I observe how the machines are operating and I keep an eye out for safety issues and daily maintenance needs.” Raymond said that he views his position here as an opportunity for growth and not just for himself but for the community. “The flatware sales that come in feed the area as a whole and it makes me happy to see something grow even if it is a battle [fixing machines] everyday. What I really love is that what I’m doing here matters and I can really feel the difference.”
Last but not least is Amy Hart of Oneida. Amy is the newest addition to our customer service team or as we refer to them as our first responders. If you call Liberty Tabletop you may be talking to Amy! Amy started with us just after July Fourth and it’s been a running start for her since. The phones have been ringing off the hook and Amy is there with a smile in her voice to help our customers with anything from placing their orders to answering questions to finding the perfect flatware pattern! And, it’s no wonder she has a knack for it, her grandparents used to work in the factory previously when it was Oneida Limited. Amy was also a Communication Major at SUNY Geneseo and she has reception experience so helping customers is her forte. Amy says she is looking forward to a bright future with Liberty Tabletop & Sherrill Manufacturing. “I’m excited to work for a group of positive people whose main focus is made in America.” She also said that she enjoys watching the company grow everyday. “There’s a lot of new things coming and I’m really excited about what we’re achieving.”
To view our Liberty Tabletop Flatware patterns head to our flatware shop here.
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