An expansion of Metem Corp.'s Parsippany manufacturing is expected to break ground this summer and add jobs to the facility, where 170 workers build parts used in gas turbines and the aerospace industry.
Metem now has about 66,000 square feet of production space in two adjacent Parsippany locations; the expansion adds 20,000 square feet to the main facility on Parsippany Road. The company also has plants in Pennsylvania and Hungary, for a total of 280 workers.
"The new addition gives us more floor space, and that means we want to put equipment and people in there," said CEO Steven Goldthwaite, but he said he couldn't name an exact number. Metem has a history of slow and steady growth, he said: "It has always been our philosophy to deliver a very high-quality product and build a long-term sustainable business — and hire great people."
Metem has its headquarters in Parsippany and has been manufacturing in New Jersey since it was founded in 1962. The company belongs to the advanced manufacturing sector, which experts contend manages to be competitive even in high-cost places like New Jersey by relying on technology and educated workers.
"We very much like doing business in New Jersey," Goldthwaite said. "It's really a good state for us, because of the highly skilled workers and the access to universities."
Metem provides continuing technical training to its workers, and participates in state work force training grants through the New Jersey Business and Industry Association. The company also said it is looking into various job-growth programs available through the New Jersey Business Action Center.
Goldthwaite said Metem will keep its focus on advanced manufacturing going forward. "I really believe the future of manufacturing in this country is for companies to move up the technology curve and the skills curve," he said. The company designs some of its own equipment, and "all the new equipment we have added over the last 10 to 15 years has been advanced, computer-controlled equipment."
He said Metem is growing in part due to increased demand for gas turbines, and as that growth continues, he expects to see job opportunities in engineering, quality control, process improvement and machine operation.
"The world is shifting to more gas because it is cleaner and greener. Our parts are in turbine engines that run worldwide," he said. "One of the great things about gas turbines is that the U.S. really has a leadership position in that technology. We are seeing our customers bring turbine manufacturing back to the U.S. from other parts of the world, which is also (contributing) to our growth."