Claudia Leal says the steel industry is alive and well in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Leal, company president, and her husband, Pedro Quiroga, director of engineering, are natives of Mexico. They moved here and opened manufacturing startup EAFab Corp,
in a 5,000 sq. foot warehouse in McDonald in 2006.
Since then, the company's has experienced major growth and will expand this year to Oakdale, doubling in size and hiring 14 people.
AEFab manufactures and designs electric arc furnaces, large cauldrons that melt scrap metal into liquid steel for use by the industry. AEFab's steel melting furnaces are rolling off the assembly line and selling throughout the U.S. and Canada. Business is going so well, the company hopes to begin selling to South America and Europe in the coming year.
Leal and Quiroga moved to Pittsburgh by way of South Carolina where they worked for another firm before coming to Pennsylvania. Between them, they have 30 years of experience in the industry, Leal says.
Pittsburgh was an obvious choice, she explains, because of the proliferation of successful steel manufacturers that continue to thrive within a four hour radius of Pittsburgh.
The company has seen a 7-fold increase in revenues in the last six years, although Leal declined to disclose figures. Growth is driving the operation from McDonald to a new 22,000 sq. ft. space in Oakdale; the company will add 14 employees, mostly welders, who are not always easy to find, Leal says.
EAFab's technology and the quality engineering of its furnaces and products has given the company an edge over its competitors in the industry, she says.
Source: Claudia Leal, EAFab
Writer: Deb Smit
Image courtesy of EAFab Corp.