Richmond-based Progressive Engineering & Heat Treating celebrates 100 years in business

Richmond, September 21, 2023: Richmond-based Progressive Engineering & Heat Treating (“Progressive Engineering”) announced its 100th year in business. One of the largest gear and machine shops in Virginia, Progressive Engineering has become a leader in the industry as well as a trusted member of the community.

Launched in Richmond in 1923 by four individuals – Charles Johnson, W. Leroy Smith, Claude Tucker, and Samuel Hull – the company initially engineered and manufactured parts for the printing industry from its downtown location on Bank Street. In the years to come, Bernard Swann and Jack Bruce, followed by Melvin Belcher, would lead the company for 35 and 31 years, respectively, entering new end markets and launching incremental service offerings from the company’s second location on East Main Street in Shockoe Bottom.

Today, from its current ~60,000 square foot location in Chester, a tenured team including Neil Warman, Trudy Williams, Bobbie Jones, Dwayne Myers, Michelle Smith and Jeff Burkett leads Progressive Engineering. The company offers a range of services including reverse engineering, CNC & manual lathe/turning, milling, gear-cutting, cylindrical & surface grinding and heat treating to both local and multinational customers across numerous industries.

“In my 30 years working at Progressive Engineering, the company’s dedication to excellent customer service has always been paramount,” says Head of Sales Trudy Williams. “Progressive Engineering is exceptional not only because of its long-standing service to its customers, but also because of its strong legacy providing employment for talented Richmonders for 100 years.”

“The Progressive Engineering family includes many of Richmond’s best skilled machinists throughout the past century,” says Manufacturing Supervisor Neil Warman. “It’s an honor to build upon that legacy as we continue to strive for excellence and quality each and every day. We look forward to stewarding Progressive Engineering for many years to come.”