By Brian Bannon, owner of Thermaxx Jackets.
“When I grow up, I want a job where I can make a difference”
These jobs do exist today, and are even in demand!
When I think about being 18 again, and wondering what my career was going to look like, I get a sick feeling in my stomach. I also have to think back to the 80’s, which then starts to hurt my head.
Career choices look much different today. Manufacturing in Connecticut was everywhere in the 1980’s. Today is a much different look. As a young entrepreneur I was drawn to the service industry, but never forgot about manufacturing. I remember my father saying that a nations wealth is built by building something. This always stuck with me.
In 2009 I had my chance. One of our service divisions started manufacturing removable insulation jackets for a customer in CT, and ThermaXX was born.
We quickly centralized our manufacturing operations in West Haven, CT. With a sales team consisting of myself and longtime employee and friend William Jones, we started to build a company and began working outside of CT. The great recession did not keep us down. We tried to borrow money when the banks were not lending. We tried to sell our removable insulation when the building owners were not buying. This did not stop us. We marched on and continued to build a thriving company with great people and products. Our first financial partner was the State Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). We applied for and were awarded a small business express grant to hire additional manufacturers. This was the big break we needed.
In 2012, ThermaXX was 12 employees strong and the phone was ringing off the hook. Our rally cry was Become Better (Become Insulation Experts & Better understand our Customers needs). Becoming Better was not only our rally cry, but our way of life. Our field service teams were loaded up by our sales department and began conducting mechanical insulation surveys in hundreds of facilities around the country. Our proprietary IOS App & National Insulation Association (NIA) software 3ePlus would allow us to calculate the energy loss as a result of missing pipe insulation. The NIA online resources were a tremendous help when educating our customers on the importance of pipe insulation
In 2015 we experienced another growth burst and the State of CT DECD was again right there for us. The CT DECD team helped us with another small business express loan and ThermaXX was able to grow to 30 employees. In September of 2015 we moved into a new facility and tripled our size
We were now shipping thousands of insulation jackets a year to customers in 50 states and a ½ dozen countries. Many of these jackets ended up in CT facilities.
The byproduct of our removable insulation was Labor to install. ThermaXX was not only creating manufacturing jobs, but also installation jobs as the clients now wanted to get their pipes insulated and start saving energy and ultimately money.
I try and read our local paper nightly to keep my finger on the pulse of local news. On Febuary 23, 2016, I stumbled upon an article by Lidia Ryan from the ctpost titled
I clicked and expected the most in demand job to be in Health Care, Education or Finance… But it wasn’t.
It was Mechanical Insulation Worker with a 65.6% growth predicted between 2012 and 2022!
Skills & knowledge required included critical thinking, mathematics, and time management. Typical tasks were reading blueprints, measuring & cutting insulation, and surveying clients needs. The average salary for a Mechanical Insulation Worker in CT is $56,982!
As a business owner we are always looking at market segments, market size and market potential. Most of us never get to think about market creation. It is truly a great feeling knowing the Thermaxx family is not only part of a “most in-demand market” but is making a difference in our state. Thermaxx Jackets looks forward to growing, and creating more jobs for the people of CT.