Locate Finger Lakes Business Journal

Currier Plastics: A Leader in High-Tech Manufacturing in the Finger Lakes


The owners of Currier Plastics (l-r): Mike Cartner, John Currier, Gary Kieffer

When John Currier joined Currier Plastics in Auburn, New York in 1983 – one year after the company was founded by his dad, Raymond – he was the fifth employee. As a recent college graduate, he quickly discovered his job was to run the machines, invoice customers… and sweep the floors.

“I showed up the first day with a briefcase in my hand,” said Currier. “My dad smiled, said, ‘Set the briefcase down over there, pick up that broom, start in that corner, and when you get to this corner over here, let me know.’”

After four years of a lot of hard work and on-the-job training, John became president of Currier Plastics in 1987, when was he was just 27 years old.

He credits his dad and Gary Kieffer, then an engineer and now one of the company’s owners, for teaching him about the business and the industry.

Customization, innovation and quality

Currier Plastics is a custom molder that designs and manufactures plastic parts and components for some of the largest companies in the medical, personal care, amenities, and telecommunications markets in the eastern U.S. and Canada.

It has expertise in blow molding – producing items such as bottles, canisters, containers and jars, and injection molding – such as closures, plates and connectors. Its products are uniquely made for each customer and many are rather sophisticated with complex geometries.

One of its major customers is Siemens Healthineers, the health care division of Siemens. Currier Plastics produces the containers and closures for its blood analysis equipment. The medical market is a growing area of opportunity for the company.

The molding process is highly technical. It requires using advanced equipment and robotics, integrating and automating complex systems and technologies, executing critical statistical analyses, and ensuring precision at every step.

A proud family legacy

Currier Plastics is a family-owned manufacturer with plastics in its blood. Raymond Currier was a fighter pilot in World War II. After his service, he went to work for Auburn Plastics, where his father, Percy was a toolmaker. Raymond was a draftsman engineer and worked for the company until it closed.

At the age of 59, Raymond was not ready to retire. At the urging of his son Jim, he bought two used injection molding machines, converted an old warehouse space, and started Currier Plastics.

“My dad was a very talented engineer but people remember that he was a gentleman and a real class act,” said Currier. “He treated everyone with respect and saw value in everybody. And that’s how he created the business.”

“The engineering and technical aspects were important but he always had that sense for people, whether they were employees or customers,” Currier continued. “That grew his reputation and fortunately, grew our reputation.”

A small but mighty company

Currier Plastics has grown steadily over the last 35 years and today employs 150 people. It will soon expand its 128,000-square-foot facility by 25 percent, adding a new warehouse on the property.

In a highly competitive industry, Currier Plastics has been able to differentiate itself by offering the technology and performance of a large manufacturer with the speed and agility of a small company.

The V2 in its company logo stands for value × velocity.

“The value is determining what is important to the customer,” explained Currier. “Once you do so, you try to deliver that value with velocity – establishing a sense of urgency in everything you do. That’s an edge we have over our competition.”

Raymond Currier’s founding tenets continue to guide the company today.

“We have a workplace that is open and considers everyone’s point of view,” said Currier. “We also believe in hiring the best talent in the world. Even though we’re a manufacturer, it’s a people business. And we have a never-ending focus on our customers. They’re the reason we’re here.”

Training the next generation

Currier Plastics has long been a leader within the Finger Lakes manufacturing community. It is committed to strengthening the region’s talent base and expanding educational and workforce opportunities.

The company currently recruits engineering and technical graduates from Penn State and other Pennsylvania colleges that offer plastics and polymer programs. The demand for these skills is so great that the programs have a 100 percent job placement rate.

Currier sought to replicate that success in central New York to support the region’s plastics manufacturers and help train and keep local talent.

In 2016, Currier Plastics worked with Cayuga Community College to create the Advanced Manufacturing Institute and plastics technology degree program – the only one of its kind in New York State. Its plastics laboratory is dedicated to Raymond Currier.

As it looks to further bolster its business and contribute to an industry and community close to heart and home, Currier Plastics is focused on the future.

“The plastics industry in general is very healthy,” said Currier. “We’re in this for the long run.”

Currier Plastics

101 Columbus Street
Auburn, NY 13021

Year founded: 1982
Number of employees: 150

Krista Gleason is a contributor to the Locate Finger Lakes Business Journal. She is a freelance writer and owner of Gleason Writes in the beautiful Finger Lakes.

« View all posts