Clippard Runs the World Around You

Clippard says its employees are what has made the company successful.

The Colerain business has its miniature pneumatic devices in everyday products

By Bryn Dippold

Do you have a coffee maker in your home? Or have you used a vending machine? Or went paintballing? If you have, you have used products that have miniature pneumatic devices from Clippard, an instrument laboratory in Colerain Township, just northwest of Cincinnati.

Though miniature pneumatic products, like valves, cylinders and fittings, may not visibly be involved in your day to day, they are literally running the world, from your house to a global scale. Clippard’s parts are involved in dialysis machines, 3D printing, sleep apnea machines, forensic analysis and DNA sequencing. During COVID-19, the company produced parts for ventilators.

Not only does Clippard produce these pneumatic products, but most are still made and tested by hand by the company’s 196 employees—half of which have been with the company for over 20 years. Clippard has a 12% turnover rate for employees, and, after speaking with several of them, you can see why.

Cathy Lake, who has worked at Clippard for 35 years, says the best part of working at Clippard is “how everyone’s a family.” In fact, her brother, son and daughter have all worked or currently work at Clippard.

“I’m actually happy to come in and work,” says Shawn Reitenbach, who has worked at Clippard for 28 years as an assembly supervisor.

Tiera Smiddy has been working at Clippard for almost 13 years, and her mother, brother and uncle also work at Clippard. “I like what I do; it’s exciting to make stuff,” she says.

Cade Ott, who’s still in high school, started working at the company in May of 2023. “I love how much I get to learn,” he says. His great grandfather is Leonard Clippard, who started the company.

Jennifer Caunin, vice president of human resources, is also multi-generational at Clippard Instrument Laboratory. Leonard is her grandfather, and he broke ground in Colerain in 1952 after he began making coils out of his home in 1941.

“He was a pioneer in miniature pneumatics,” Caunin says. “What’s made this company great is that he built a future workforce that has evolved in generations, not just in the Clippard family, but in the community.”

Clippard cares about giving back to the Colerain community and is a team sponsor for FIRST Robotics, which teaches high school students useful engineering skills. The company also supports the Clippard Family YMCA and does philanthropy work with Matthew 25 Ministries, Relay for Life and the Anthony Muñoz Foundation. Clippard, which has a workforce of 50% women, supports and encourages young women interested in a STEM career.

Caunin, who has worked with and alongside miniature pneumatic devices her whole life, can recognize if a product or machine has a pneumatic device by sound. She says most of the employees can, as well, and this passion for engineering and devices is obvious.

“What makes us successful is [our employees],” Caunin says. “I could leave here if I had to take care of something…this place runs itself because of the people. That’s what’s great about it.”