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Jamaica Bearings honored by SBA as subcontractor of the year

Jamaica Bearings Co. chief executive Peter Negri at

Jamaica Bearings Co. chief executive Peter Negri at the company offices in New Hyde Park on Aug. 6, 2015. At left is Negri's son, Brian, president of the company. Credit: Uli Seit

A 90-year-old Long Island distributor of bearings and other components for the aerospace and transit markets has been named the Small Business Administration's subcontractor of the year for the region that includes New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Kellie LeDet, SBA administrator for the region, made the presentation Thursday to chief executive Peter Negri at the offices of Jamaica Bearings Co. in New Hyde Park. The company's parent, Jamaica Bearings Group, based at the same location, employs about 135 people at units in New Hyde Park; Miramar, Florida; and Camarillo, California.

The company, which executives said has developed expertise in logistics to deliver inventory promptly, offers benefits rarely seen in corporate America. Negri said the close-knit company, with about 75 employees on Long Island, pays 100 percent of employee medical insurance, fully funds a traditional pension plan and has never had a layoff even during hard times.

"After 9/11, I couldn't count how many customers went bankrupt," he said. "There were some tight moments."

Negri said his family took control of the three-generation business in 1934 and moved it from Jamaica, Queens, to Long Island in 1986.

Jamaica Bearings was nominated for the award by a customer, UTC Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies. Judges selected Jamaica Bearings after evaluating its management, customer service, adherence to deadlines and financial strength.

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