ELMIRA HEIGHTS, N.Y. (WETM) – “We have the best selling glass on the planet Mars!” Community Glass Inc. Co-Owner Patrick Crouse said.

When you drive through Elmira Heights on W. 17th St., you may find a hidden gem that makes glass products found at the bottom of the ocean and all the way to Mars.

Community Glass Inc. is a family owned glass manufacturer in Chemung County. Founded in 1985, the company produces various products, including glass connectors, which are found in everything from ventilators to the Mars Rover Perseverance.

“Instead of trying to break our way into the industry, the industry is coming to us,” Co-Owner Mike Crouse said.

The company created new types of glass that can withstand harsh environments, such as extreme heat, cold, and pressure. They serve a variety of industries such as petrochemical, medical, aerospace, defense, and military.

“Wherever a technical signal is sent, received or data power transmission is taking place, we manufacture the glass that goes into it. It’s controlling electronic signals and the glass has to be able to withstand extreme pressures, extreme temperatures, thermal shock, and electricity,” Co-Owner Patrick Crouse added.

Inside of the Mars Rover Perseverance where the “Mighty Mouse” connector from Community Glass is used in the electrical system.

Patrick and his father Mike have been working in this industry for decades. Their company is small but mighty. Employing fewer than 12 people, they create and build millions of parts every year.

Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the company was busy filling orders for ventilators to be used in hospitals.

“We were hit with a request for a ventilator application and I think we turned it around in less than a week. We had to build a tool, manufacture the products and ship it out the door,” Patrick Crouse said.

Community Glass is an industry leader, innovating new technologies to create a stronger and more efficient product. Major companies and other manufacturers are noticing the hard work they are putting into their glass, including defense contractors and aerospace giant Raytheon Technologies.

For the father and son team, family values and community are at the core of their business. They are proud to call Elmira Heights home.

“We empower our people, growing and sharing and learning how to work together,” Mike Crouse added.

“Chemung County is where we want to grow the business and where we’re looking to expand. We’re trying to grow all the different parts of our business,” Patrick Crouse continued.

For Mike Crouse who founded the company decades ago, he is proud to have watched it evolve, but even more proud the business will stay in his family.

“It draws tears to my eyes. To know they have accomplished this and are part of this, what a feeling. I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of Patrick that he feels the same way that I do,” Mike Crouse concluded.

To view an extended version of our story, click the video below.