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The Upstate Economy

Sherrill flatware factory launches campaign to get into the White House

Payne Horning
Patty Piersall looks for flaws in the silverware that's produced at the country's only remaining flatware manufacturer, Liberty Tabletop in Sherrill, Ny

Inside a factory near Oneida, a roll of flat, shiny steel slowly inches into a machine that cuts, imprints and bends the metal, spitting out two shells on the other end. Sherrill Manufacturing CEO Matt Roberts says the way this machine fuses those two halves to form the handle of a knife,  through a process called brazing, is one of a kind. But this machine is not the only unique thing about this factory.

Their product, called Liberty Tabletop, is the only flatware manufactured in the country. That made-in-America brand has earned the company a huge online following.

"It’s manufactured in central New York, we use hydroelectric power from Niagara Falls, the stainless steel is melted in the United States, it’s 85 percent recycled material, the packaging comes form Earlville paper box down the road in Earlville, New York," Roberts said. "They’re starting to understand how having manufacturing has a positive effect on the economy and how detrimental it has been over the past 20 years to see these tens of millions of jobs just vaporize."

Now that there's a new president -- one who has pledged to boost manufacturing and put America first -- Roberts thinks the company may be in a position to make Liberty Tabletop the official utensils of the White House.

"When the president-elect made a pledge to help manufacturers in the U.S. -- small business, large business, everybody in between – we came up with the idea of let’s try to get into the White House," Roberts said. "If someone from outside the United States, dignitaries come to the White House and they’re dining, we want them to see USA on the back of the flatware."

Credit Payne Horning / WRVO News
Sherrill Manufacturing CEO Matt Roberts sent a set of flatware to President Donald Trump, hoping he will make all of the utensils in the White House American made.

Sherrill Manufacturing has sent a set of Liberty Tabletop flatware and a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to make all of the White House's silverware American-made. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and central New York Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) have also joined in on the campaign,  trying to get Trump to put his money where his mouth is.

Meantime, state Sen. Joe Griffo (R-Rome) has sent a letter to SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, asking her to replace all utensils at the college's campuses with Sherrill Manufacturing's flatware, citing Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Buy New York initiative.