The National Defense Authorization Act for 2020 is requiring the military to buy American-made eating utensils for its installations around the world. Where are they buying those from? Right here in Oneida County.

American Military News reports that a $738 billion defense bill agreed to by House and Senate negotiators contains a provision that will boost Sherrill Manufacturing in Oneida County. Currently, Sherrill Manufacturing serves as America’s last flatware maker.

The company, which operates in the former Oneida Ltd. plant in Sherrill, sells its products to the public under the Liberty Tabletop brand.

Greg Owens, CEO and co-founder of Sherrill Manufacturing, said the company has been selling about $1 million worth of flatware to the Defense Department each year. He said that sales will likely soar with the new requirement.

“We’ve clearly identified that we could double that number, and perhaps triple it,” Owens said Tuesday.

If the extra sales come through, Owens said, the company would likely hire five to 10 new employees to keep up with production. The company’s existing workforce numbers about 56 employees.

 

The defense legislation also authorizes $44 million for a new drone hangar and railhead improvements at Fort Drum, and money to support a full squadron of 12 MQ-9 Reaper drones at the 174th Fighter Wing at Hancock Field north of Syracuse, and the purchase of an additional 12 F-35A fighter jets.

Check out what Liberty Tabletop has to offer from Amazon: