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      East Syracuse high-tech manufacturer planning $20 million expansion

      The production floor at INFICON's East Syracuse building is clean, high tech and involves precision work on custom parts. It does not look like the massive factories or production plants many people expect but INFICON president Peter Maier says the skilled manufacturing business has thrived while many of the other operations shut down or left the area.

      "We haven't expanded this footprint for close to twenty five years and we've quadrupled sales in that time frame so its getting pretty tight around here," said Maier.

      INFICON is launching a twenty million dollar expansion and plans to add forty new jobs. A new building will be added to the existing and Maier says the company hopes to expand further in the near future. The company received a million dollar grant from New York State will also get and one and a half million in tax credits to support the project.

      INFICON produces sensitive gas analysis instruments. The employees are educated and highly skilled with some working in sealed rooms, so there is no risk of contaminants interfering with sensitive equipment.

      "When you look around, some of the manufacturing companies that are doing well, many of them specialize in a particular area with a core confidence - something they just do much, much better than anyone else,' said Maier.

      There are 240 employees working for INFICON in East Syracuse right now. Maier says the company benefits from the colleges and universities close to Syracuse and would not benefit from moving away and looking for cheap labor.

      "We're not looking to offshore or look for the cheap elbow grease dollar somewhere else. we're looking for the smartest and best brains we can add to our team," said Maier.