Timeline of Industry

  • 1937

    Newton Steel of Youngstown, Ohio, joined other established industries in the city when it expanded it's operation with construction of a new plant in Monroe in 1929. The mill eventually employed around 1,400 workers. Hard economic times forced Newton to eventually merge with Republic Steel. In 1937 it became the site of a high-profile labor strike that turned violent over contract disputes.

  • 1946

    Alcoa Aluminum Plant - Operated from 1942 to 1946 on a site previously occupied by Newton Steel Co. which eventually became the Republic Steel Corporation. The aluminum company manufactured cylinder head forgings for the aviation industry. Production peaked during WWII, as the company supplied cylinder heads for war production.

  • 1960

    Union Camp Corp. – The corrugated paper company operated plants that flanked Winchester Street just north of E. Elm Avenue in Monroe. It began as the locally owned and operated River Raisin Paper Co. in 1910 and ceased operations in 1960. Its facilities operated on part of the land where the War of 1812’s Battle of the River Raisin was fought.

  • 1972

    Monroe Waste Water Treatment Plant – Operating at E. Front St. just east of I-75, the plant processes waste water for municipal sewage systems serving the greater Monroe area. The plant can treat approximately 10.4 million gallons of waste water per day and recently has undergone a range of improvements.

  • 1974

    DTE Power Plant - the third-largest coal-fueled electric generating plant in North America provides about a third of Southeast Michigan’s electric power. The 3,000-megawatt plant was completed in 1974, but has undergone a series of modifications and emission-control improvements over the years.

  • 1978

    Consolidated Paper Co. – The paper-making firm ran two plants along the River Raisin and was a key Monroe area from 1921 to 1978. The first plant to shut down did so in 1975. The remaining plant was shuttered after the firm filed for bankruptcy protection in 1978. Both have since been demolished.

  • 1980

    Gerdau Specialty Steel – Started in 1980 as North Star Steel Co., the company recycles scrap steel into special bar quality steel used in construction and automotive applications. It is in the midst of multi-year improvements to boost production and improve product quality and diversity.

  • 1981

    Port of Monroe – The Monroe Port Commission dates to 1932 but constructed a new office near the ship turning basin on the River Raisin in 1981. It controls a substantial amount of property and supports various tenants in the port area, with 4,000 feet of dock space. The port generates about $38 million in annual business revenue.

  • 1989

    Michigan Paving & Materials – Once known as Thompson-McCully, the asphalt plant settled at the port in 1989. It is said to be the largest asphalt-blending plant of its kind in the world.

  • 2007

    PreBesto Homes – A maker of pre-built modular homes, the company settled in Monroe in a vacant factory building near E. First Street and Conant Avenue in 2006. Just as it was ramping up production, the nation’s real estate bubble burst and the company ceased operations in 2007. The building is now owned by Hanwha L&C Co., a Korean firm that plans to produce plastic automotive components.

  • 2008

    Ford Motor Co. Monroe Plant – A history of industries operated at the location at the foot of E. Elm Ave. in Monroe until production ceased at the automotive parts plant in 2008. Once the City of Monroe’s largest employer with nearly 3,000 workers, it now serves as a parts warehouse with only a few staffers.

  • 2008

    Monroe Recycling – This scrap metal processor settled at the Port of Monroe and operated for only two years before filing for bankruptcy protection.

  • 2011

    Barnhart Crane & Rigging – The Memphis, Tenn. company invested $5 million to redevelop a vacant port-owned building and install high-capacity cranes in 2011 to serve regional shipping interests.

  • 2011

    Ventower - The maker of wind-turbine towers built a plant on port land in 2011 to capitalize on the growing interest in renewable and alternative energy. It now operates seven days a week producing tower sections for utility-scale wind farms.