Karen Williams is a Woman on the Rise

Image of Karen Williams

As a young adult, Karen took advantage of every learning opportunity that came her way, exploring various professional roles in cosmetology, healthcare, and administrative services. Hailing from a family of successful healthcare professionals, Karen was on a path to become a nurse, but in 1997, she took a job as an office manager for a local construction firm.

During that time, Karen realized that if she was going to be successful, she needed to develop her business and accounting skills. Unaware that she was preparing herself for entrepreneurship, Karen earned associate degrees in accounting and business administration, both, from Delgado Community College in New Orleans.

Karen learned the ins and outs of the construction industry and learned how to manage daily operations, accounting, human resources, and projects. She rose from office manager to vice president of the company.

After 17 years, Karen took the skills that she had learned and started  Nola Steele Fabrication and Erection LLC. 

Karen has benefitted from many small business resources in New Orleans that helped her position the company as the contractor of choice in Southeast Louisiana.

She has worked with the Urban League of Louisiana’s Contractor’s Resource Center and Women’s Business Resource Center,  Good Work Network,  Louisiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center, City of New Orleans’ BuildNola Program, and the Small Business Administration’s Louisiana District Office.

Additionally, she has an 8(a) Business Development Program and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Certification. Using all these relationships as a recipe for success, Nola Steel Fabrication and Erection has  won significant contracts with the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport,  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and NASA’s Stennis Space Center.  

Karen says that the measure of her success has been her growth and resilience in a male-dominated industry. With her sights set on growing into a national company working on larger projects, Karen is a woman on the rise.   

This article does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the SBA of any opinions, products, or services of any private individual or entity.