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Three Generations, 50 Years, And Growth For Family-Owned Southern Tier Plastics

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As manufacturing companies were leaving the Southern Tier, one family-run business in Conklin managed to grow.

"My grandfather founded the business in 1967," says Christian Gray, pointing to a picture on the wall of his grandfather posing with his business partners and the Governor of New York at that time. The ceremonial shovel in the black and white picture now sits in the conference room of Southern Tier Plastics.

More than 50 years ago, John Gwyn, already in the plastics business, decided it was time to build his own company. He set up shop in the Conklin Industrial Park. 

We've been rolling ever since.

The business is now in the third generation. Christian Gray took over for his father in 2011, overseeing the day-to-day operations of Southern Tier Plastics. 

The company uses injection molding to make a wide range of products for more than 60 clients around the world. 

"Parts that go into transformers and substations, switchgear, oxygen humidifiers," lists Gray.

While the number of employees hasn't changed much, technology has allowed the manufacturer to increase production.

"The speed in which the parts are made now... So, we might be working the same hours, with about the same amount of people, but we're putting out two or three times the number of parts that were put out back then," says Gray.

Owners say regardless of how big they get, family values will stay at the heart of what they do.

"You know, your reputation is all you have. If you've got a good reputation, you do alright," says Gray.

The company is hiring in several departments to keep up with the demand.