Whitesburg KY

Grant of $147,500 will assist Jenkins welding company

A Letcher County company which specializes in welding for the mining and trucking industries has received a $147,500 grant from the federal government to expand the company’s operation at Jenkins and to hire eight new workers.

The grant is going to Jabo and Sons and will enable the company to retain seven current employees and hire eight additional workers over the next two years. The expansion includes Jabo moving from its current 2,000 square-foot facility into an 8,000 square-foot building and purchasing additional equipment to fulfill new contracts.

Jabo and Sons was organized in 1986 by James Fouts Sr. to provide specialized welding, pipe bending, molding and other machining type of operations. Its primary customers include the trucking industry, mining industry, and other types of businesses that need machine and metal fabrication work.

The Rural Business Enterprise Grant was announced this week by U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers and is being administered by the Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation (SKED).

“Once again, SKED is leading our region by generating real economic opportunities for the people of Letcher County and across southeast Kentucky,” said Rogers. “Sound investments, technical assistance, and low-cost small business financing are the tools necessary to bring high-quality jobs and innovation to our rural communities. I applaud those who are working to make Jenkins an even stronger community and look forward to the success that lies ahead.”

“This USDA funding enables SKED to assist small business owner James Fouts Sr. to expand his business and hire more people at a time when jobs are scarce across the nation,” said SKED Executive Director Greg Jones. “It is our privilege to be able to play a small part in seeing a 24-year-old business succeed and expand in eastern Kentucky at a time when it’s needed most.”

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