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For decades, Drum Country has served as an inspiring location with ample resources – from energy solutions to highway connections. We’re proud to be home to many new business ventures and proud to say the same goes for more established businesses.
From manufacturing to food production, many of the businesses that call Drum Country home continue to find the area beneficial even after decades in business.
One great example of that longevity is Otis Technology, founded here in 1985. Nearly 40 years later, Otis is one of the largest employers in Lewis County and even has a second location for research and development!
The company was created out of a need, discovered when then 16-year-old Doreen Garrett fell into the mud while deer hunting with her father. With the barrel of her grandfather’s Model 94 Winchester now full of mud and no way to clean it in the woods, the hunt was over.
Doreen created Otis Technology’s first product, the Whole Kit and Caboodle, soon after, an invention that would unknowingly innovate gun cleaning and maintenance when she was still too young to attend the very trade show she introduced her product at.
She initially assembled kits on the kitchen table with her siblings and parents, and from there, the business grew.
The Otis team quickly learned that the greatest test of their products would be in the hands of our soldiers, and if it could meet their needs on the field, it would stand up to use by hunters, sharpshooters, and other gun owners back home.
They work closely with teams at nearby Fort Drum when workshopping and developing new products. The Ripcord® series was created specifically to clean and clear in the rigorous conditions of active duty: in the field, under constraint, and while still hot.
The company is also dedicated to its team, pivoting to producing PPE during the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic to support essential workers and the military community, keeping their team at work and donating a portion to area hospitals and first responders.
They also provide career-path and leadership training through “Otis U,” an internal program to support the growth of current employees within the company. Each employee also receives 8 hours per year of paid volunteer time, and even support for their work as volunteer firefighters.
“The volunteer firefighters on our team are encouraged to drop whatever they might be doing at work, and go on that fire call. And they are compensated for that time. It’s another way we can support our team and our community,” Otis Technology’s Director of Marketing Heather Pleskach, said.
Otis Technology was created by hunters, but has become a tried and tested brand used by U.S. military teams on deployments around the globe.
Learn more about their commitment to the military community, in Drum Country and beyond: