KEEPING OUR PROMISE: Tax Reform Makes ‘Enormous Difference’ for Employees at Alabama’s Sabel Steel

Montgomery, Alabama’s, Sabel Steel is investing heavily in expanding its facilities—which means new jobs, new investment and large pay raises for most of its 230 employees across the South.

“When you’re a business, there are a lot of things to consider,” said Keith Sabel, president and CEO of Sabel Steel. “Taxes are a large part of it.”

Because the tax rate for companies like Sabel Steel—a family-owned steel distributor—has been lowered under tax reform, Sabel is able to maximize the benefits for his company.

First on the list? Rewarding the employees who work hard every day to make Sabel Steel successful.

“We gave a raise to everyone across the board,” said Sabel. “We improved everyone’s pay. We have incentives for as many workers as possible. If they meet or beat expectations, we’re making sure they’re rewarded.”

“We have quality perks,” Sabel added. “Good insurance. Good benefits. We’re constantly trying to improve, and now we’re able to. Morale is very good. We’re a family business, and we run it like a family business—where we take the time to get to know people, their families. I try to look out for my employees all the time.”

But Sabel Steel’s current employees aren’t the only ones who will benefit from tax reform and the booming economy. Sabel Steel also plans to reinvest its tax reform savings in its business by expanding and upgrading facilities in Newnan, Georgia, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and adding new equipment that will make its facilities more productive and innovative. Sabel also cites a new plasma machine it purchased for its plant in Theodore, Alabama—a machine that offers smoother and more efficient steel-cutting techniques. It also plans to make further upgrades to its equipment as needed.

To staff the expanded and upgraded facilities, Sabel Steel plans to hire more workers. Its recruitment effort focuses on talent, passion and integrity because Sabel Steel knows that, by starting with solid employees, it can train them on-site and equip them with the skills to do the jobs that the company needs.

The new jobs Sabel Steel plans to create would be well-paid, with plenty of opportunities for upward mobility and room for professional development.

“The last person paid minimum wage at Sabel Steel was me,” joked Sabel. “All the way back.”

The savings Sabel Steel received under tax reform have dramatically helped the company expand, but Sabel also notes that tax reform is resulting in something intangible: optimism among manufacturers, for the first time in a long time.

“One big difference is mental,” Sabel said. “There’s optimism. With the previous administration, we were hammered by rule changes and regulations. It was like trying to drink water out of a firehose. The change in policy under Trump was enormous, and the attitude among businessmen and especially other steel manufacturers has been incredibly optimistic. Tax reform and other policies psychologically have made an enormous difference.”

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