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Equipment from Val-Fab goes to the highest bidder

Some of the equipment up for auction from Val-Fab, as seen on November 14th, 2016. (WLUK/Alexa Santos)

A company in Neenah is auctioning off hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment.

Val-Fab announced earlier this year it would be shutting down.

And now all its equipment for metal fabrication is up for grabs.

They say one man's trash is another man's treasure.

That's what brought Pat Pfersch to check out some of the used metal fabrication equipment that's up for auction from Val-Fab in Neenah.

"There's a lot of pieces of equipment that we could utilize in our shop, a lot of nice things, and it all seems to be in decent condition," Pfersch, President of Lannon Tank Company, said.

Monday, interested buyers came in to inspect the available items. Tuesday, the auction will begin both in person and online via webcast.

Bill Gardner, President of The Branford Group, said, "We start with lot number one. There's about 750 lots or items in the sale, we'll go through them one by one. It's kind of a long day, but they will all go to the highest bidder."

There's a wide variety of items up for auction. Anything from a couple hundred dollar tool box to a couple hundred-thousand dollar machine.

Gardner said, "Very good turnout, it's nice equipment, it's desirable, companies would be looking for this type of equipment."

In May, the company announced it would be going out of business due to capital constraints and high levels of debt.

A long-time employee of Val-Fab told FOX 11 a little over a dozen people lost their jobs.

But local economic development experts say those workers are entering a good job market.

"What we do see is it's a really brisk hiring market for other companies. So for the impacted workers, it's still a better job market than it was several years ago," Bobbi Miller, business solutions manager with the Fox Valley Workforce Development Board, said.

Pfersch said, "You hate to see it, but on the flip side, we're optimistic about our business."

Pfersch says he sees this as an opportunity to enhance his own company.

"That's really what this is all about for us, adapting to our customers. And our customer needs have changed," he said.

A silver lining in an ever-evolving industry.

Money raised from the auction will go to helping pay off Val-Fab's debts.

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