Rod-bustin’

FWR Midwest marks 20 years in the rebar business.
Oct 8, 2018
Janet Patterson
Zack Kittaka & provided
Rod-bustin’

When Kevin Harrold went to college at Ball State, his focus was on criminal justice and criminology. Today he is all about rebar, post tensioning and his employees.

“It’s in my bones…it takes a special person to be a ‘rod-buster’,” says Harrold, who is president and owner of FWR Midwest, specialists in concrete reinforcement installations.

Harrold comes from a family of rod-busters. His late brother Michael started the company in 1998 as Fort Wayne Reinforcing, Inc. “He instilled in us a drive to succeed. Michael’s values along with the best employees in the state have allowed FWR Midwest to be one of Indiana’s largest reinforcement installation companies,” Harrold says.

When Michael passed away in 2010, Harrold took the reins of the company and kept moving forward.

Sitting in the conference room of the FWR Midwest office in Auburn, Harrold pointed proudly to a series of photos on the wall showing the company’s contribution to the construction of several Steel Dynamics’ plants. “Steel Dynamics has been incredible to the contributions to the local construction industry in Indiana,” he adds.

FWR Midwest’s credentials include major projects all over the states of Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. Bridges, waste water treatment plants, parking garages, universities and high-rise building are a few of the types of projects on which the company thrives.

Harrold describes the concrete reinforcement business as “labor intensive. Our job is to provide the employees in the field to install the materials purchased by general contractors and owners.”

“We’re out there with the cranes and the forklifts,” he adds. “Our employees in the field are the backbone of our business and the reason for our success.”

As a subcontractor, FWR Midwest works with national firms such as Kokosing as well as long-time Fort Wayne construction companies such as Weigand Construction, Hagerman Construction and R.L. McCoy. “They have allowed us to work alongside them all over Indiana as they have grown over the years. Their support to our employees is appreciated,” Harrold says.

Among its latest projects with Weigand is the construction of a 6-story medical tower at the Parkview campus on Dupont Road, and several projects at the Metal X Plant in Delta, Ohio. FWR Midwest is also working with Hagerman Construction on the Phase I promenade that is part of Fort Wayne’s Riverfront development.

As a result of its growth, FWR has embarked on a recent rebranding campaign. What started as Fort Wayne Reinforcing, Inc. in 1998 has become FWR Midwest.

“Because of our growth we expanded our market area to include project locations beyond northeast Indiana,” says company vice-president and controller Rachel Auman, a graduate of the former Tri-State University, who has been with the company for 17 years. She notes that the company is working on projects as far south as Tennessee, as far north as Lansing, Michigan, and in both Illinois and Ohio.

“We want our name to reflect our market area capability,” she adds.

“I was fortunate to work with Michael before he passed and he really formed us into a family. Our summer and Christmas parties are more like family reunions,” Auman continues. “Everyone here from the office to the field is a super-hero. Each day we strive to provide excellent service to our general contractors.”

As FWR Midwest celebrates its 20th year in business, Auman says the company wants to thank “the wonderful contractors throughout the Midwest, the union locals that provide the support and training of its employees, and the hundreds of employees and their families that have been a part of the FWR Midwest family.” 

FWR Midwest

Address: 4483 County Road 19 Auburn, Indiana 46706

Phone: (260) 570-6316

Website: FWRRebar.com

Years in Business: 20

Number of Employees: 85

Products & Services: Concrete reinforcement installation specialists (rebar and post tensioning).

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