A New Mexico company that makes acoustic devices plans to invest $3 million in two facilities in Camden, and maintain the town’s remaining manufacturing jobs.
Sierra Peaks Corp., an electromechanical engineering firm based in Albuquerque, N.M., plans to invest in two facilities it acquired recently as part of its purchase of Tibbetts Industries, a company with a long history in Camden that manufactures miniature microphones.
Tibbetts Industries, previously owned by IntriCon Corp., employed about 30 people at the time Sierra Peaks acquired it, said Brian Hodges, director of Camden’s development office.
Sierra Peaks’ investment is expected to lead to the addition of more than two dozen jobs, though the new jobs are part of the company’s long-term plan and will not be added immediately, said Hodges.
John Rockwell III, president of Sierra Peaks, did not return a message on Wednesday, but said in a statement that, “Building a business in Maine is a great opportunity for us. We are very excited about the new business development that will result from our partnership with the town of Camden and the state of Maine.”
Hodges said he first got a phone call from Rockwell in October, when Rockwell was considering the acquisition of IntriCon Tibbetts.
“His first question was, ‘I’m considering buying IntriCon Tibbetts. Tell me why I should keep the company and jobs there,’ ” Hodges said.
Hodges laid out the various local assets and state-sponsored incentive programs that could be made available to the business. He also offered to help the company navigate the process, a personal touch that Hodges said was appreciated.
Sierra Peaks will qualify for a package of benefits under the state’s Pine Tree Development Zone program, including a corporate income tax credit and access to reduced electricity rates. Hodges said Camden will consider a local tax-increment financing deal to further support the business.
“(Rockwell) not only wants to keep what he has, but grow the business here in Camden,” Hodges said. “The jobs are important to us. This is really the last manufacturing business we have in Camden.”
In Camden, Sierra Peaks will continue to design and manufacture miniature microphones. Over the last 50 years, the company has created electromechanical systems for the U.S. government, military, law enforcement and commercial sectors including the aerospace, automation and biometrics industries.