The company was born out of a kind of a synergy between Joe and Nicki. Joe had a curiosity for the business having majored in engineering at San Jose State University. And Nicki was born into it with three generations of her family in the business - her grandfather was a plumbing contractor and her father owned a large mechanical contracting firm in San Jose. As a young girl, Nicki visited job sites and eventually worked in the office of her father's company where she picked up skills that came in handy later. Both Joe and Nicki Parisi support a corporate attitude of working smart for a better future.
The company focus has been mechanical contracting for industrial, commercial and biomedical users. The needs of these users are multifaceted, i.e., heating, ventilation and air conditioning, clean rooms, special exhaust systems, process piping, plumbing, refrigeration, acid neutralization, energy conservation, environmental & process controls, extended service and specialty manufacturing of skids, processing piping assemblies, gas sticks and gas cabinets.
"In the beginning, Nicki set up the books, and there was myself and one other plumber," recalled Joe Parisi thinking about the early days. From then on Therma grew and grew to over 1,500 employees today, including more than 1000 craftsmen from the Pipefitters, Plumbers and Sheetmetal unions and is currently the largest union construction employer in the Bay Area.
In the early years of the semiconductor industry growth, delivery of clean air supply hoods became restricted. In response to this situation, Therma founded a company and mass-produced them. When hoods became inefficient, Therma consolidated them. When individual hoods became architecturally unacceptable, Therma custom build cabinetry. When temperature control became critical to manufacturing, Therma designed and installed control systems to straight line at one tenth of a degree Fahrenheit 24/7. Therma pioneered many items now used or integrated into the industry's vernacular.
"We were at the right place, at the right time," stated Parisi, referring to the fact that Therma got started when the semiconductor industry was just blossoming in the valley. Therma performed the original mechanical work for the clean room and manufacturing areas of many founding semiconductor companies. Therma Corp was and is on site for many, now fortune 500, silicon valley startups.
Establishing relations that have spanned decades with global leaders, Therma's high tech clients include Intel, Varian, Texas Instruments and Hewlett-Packard where they have been a major contractor for the past 20 years. And in the early-'90s, Therma started working with biotech companies building pharmaceutical manufacturing and R&D facilities. This has become a major growth market for the company.
Other new frontiers include the Manufactured Products Group contributing depth to our abilities to fully service our customer base. Products such as boiler and process skids, chemical distribution systems, CNC tube bending and our patented electropolish products have enhanced our ability to satisfy our clients needs.
But the latest chapter in Therma's history is really their new 280,000 square foot headquarters facility on Las Plumas in San Jose. This complex has the most modern duct fabrication and pipe prefab facility in Northern California. The sheetmetal department manufacturers spiral, rectangular and welded duct and fittings to the most stringent SMACNA standards. The sheetmetal shop sits alongside the class 100,000 piping prefab with several mini clean environments. Therma's new facility also houses a 60,000 square foot, ASME certified, large pipe and plumbing fabrication shop utilizing a multi-ton bridge crane for moving the heavy pipe around the prefab area.
The Therma shops are supported by the latest computerized documentation, CAD and design systems available. The Therma library includes AutoCad, Pipe Designer 3D, CAD duct and Profile Master (PM2000).
Therma also maintains branch offices for the convenience of their customers in San Jose, South San Francisco, Oakland, Vacaville, Sacramento, and Gilroy / So. San Jose; and oversees the largest Service Group in the Bay Area.
On May 1, 1998, Therma was selected for special recognition when President Clinton visited their fabrication facility and held a roundtable with employees to learn more about the company's long history of success.