Pineville welcomes new business

Published 11:53 am Thursday, November 2, 2017

Economic expansion is a vitally important aspect of any community. It helps to stimulate economic activity by increasing the rates of goods and services provided as well to create local job opportunities.

Pineville has just officially welcomed a major new addition to their town at the Nov. 1 ribbon cutting of the new SEKRI facility located in Downtown Pineville.

SEKRI has been in business since the early 1970s — its first plant was opened in Corbin — and has manufactured goods for all branches of the military such as caps, cold weather gear and first aid kits.

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SEKRI’s business model and mission is different than most companies, however, as its main goal is not just to turn a profit, but to provide individuals with disabilities with a job.

“Today is really, really special. Not just for Pineville, but for the region and the community,” said Bell County Judge-Executive Albey Brock at the Nov. 1 press conference welcoming SEKRI to the community.

“Things like this don’t happen just by accident. They happen through the concentrated efforts of a lot of people. We’re excited to be here, we”re excited to have our sixth facility here and looking forward to working with all of you guys for a long time to come in the future,” said SEKRI CEO Norm Bradley.

SEKRI takes their mission to provide jobs to people with disabilities seriously. Bradley stated that SEKRI has close to 525 total employees, and as of last year they had 458 employees that worked for them that had disabilities.

“These are individuals who unfortunately would probably not be working if it weren’t for the opportunities that companies like SEKRI are able to provide…last year we paid almost $5 million in wages to people who have significant disabilities…we hope that has helped have an impact on southeastern Kentucky,” said Bradley.

Bradley closed out his address but stating “Creating those products for the military, as noble as it may be, that’s just the vehicle we used to create jobs for people with disabilities. We love what we do. We love where we do it and we’re going to love doing it even more here in Pineville.”

SEKRI’s head of public relations, Stan Baker, then took to the podium to further express how important giving job opportunities to the disabled is.

“What we find within SEKRI is that everybody who comes to us regardless of whether they have a disability or they don’t — they have a level of ability. Everybody does. It’s our mission to take their ability and to create a process around that ability to help them be successful,” said Baker.