ProFab growing with new laser cutter funded by SKED loan

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Bart and Ellie Williams of ProFab, Inc.

Bart and Ellie Williams like saying their products are made in the USA.

The Pulaski County entrepreneurs have been in business long enough to know the more work they keep under one roof, the greater quality control they have, the more capabilities they offer, and the easier it is to keep much of their products here at home.

At ProFab, Inc., they excel in fabrication. Their team of engineers, welders, and die-cast experts fabricates many jigs and particular molds for automotive companies across the country. Many of these parts were initially manufactured outside of the United States, and it's their goal to keep them here and their business growing.

Bart started his machine shop in his garage in 2002. In 2011, he outgrew his garage and moved to the current location at Parkers Mill Road. Today, Profab, Inc. employs 15 people and specializes in custom metal fabrication, 3D drafting/design, and powder coating. Ellie handles the bookkeeping and human resources end of the business.

The company's slow and steady growth pace has been methodical and precise, much like the Williams and their staff's work. So, when Williams found a new piece of equipment to help further his team's capabilities, he turned to his lending partner Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation (SKED), to seal the deal.

Bart says saving his customers time and money is a winning strategy for him and his team.

"With the help of SKED, purchasing this laser has allowed us to keep all laser cut parts for particular projects in-house, which eliminates extensive lead times and extra cost to our customers," he added.

While the loan to purchase the laser cutter ProFab, Inc. needed was closed in the fall of 2020, COVID-19 and supply chain issues delayed its delivery until this fall. The SLTL 4KW Fiber Optic laser was delivered in September 2021, and Bart and his crew were thrilled to have the new state-of-the-art equipment on the floor and ready to use.

The loan to purchase the equipment benefited not only his family but also those of his employees' families, he said.

"It has been a pleasure working with SKED," Bart said. "Thanks to the loan that ProFab, Inc. received from SKED, we were able to grow our business and help keep our employees working and providing for their families, too."

SKED made the loan to the Williams using funds from its U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA RD) Intermediary Relending Program (IRP). This loan program is designed specifically for small business owners to purchase equipment to grow their businesses.

SKED Business Loan Officer Karen Minton says working with the Williams has been a joy.

"I love seeing small business owners grow their businesses," she said. "I've watched Bart and Ellie make sound decisions that make sense for their shop and its employees for several years," Minton said. "This laser cutter will increase their capabilities over the years and help them increase growth and hire even more people in the coming years."

To learn more about how SKED helps Southern and Eastern Kentucky businesses and communities do business better, check out other success stories at www.skedcorp.com.

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