CHARTER STEEL, a leading supplier of hot-rolled and processed steel rod, coiled bar, and wire, is a privately owned subsidiary of Charter Manufacturing Company of Mequon, Wisconsin, which also owns Charter Wire and Charter Automotive. Founded in Saukville, Wisconsin, in 1975, Charter Steel entered the Cleveland steel market in March 2002 when it purchased the American Steel & Wire plant on East 49th Street in CUYAHOGA HEIGHTS from Birmingham Steel. The plant, historically known as the Cuyahoga Works, was erected in 1907 by the AMERICAN STEEL & WIRE COMPANY OF NEW JERSEY, a subsidiary of the U.S. STEEL CORPORATION. American Steel & Wire of Cleveland acquired the plant for over $50 million in July 1986 and then sold it to Birmingham Steel for an estimated $52 million in August 1993. Charter Steel resumed steel production at the plant, which had been shut down since July 2001, converting semifinished billets into steel bars used in the production of bolts, screws, bearings, and specialty springs for cars, trucks, and farm machines. The company broke ground on a $125 million expansion of the Cuyahoga Heights plant in the fall of 2004. With the completion of the work in April 2006, the plant had a modern melting operation on site that allowed Charter Steel to expand its special quality steel lines including cold heading steel, bearing quality steel, and high carbon steel. The company installed an 85-ton, twin-shelled electric arc furnace, a vacuum degassing unit, a ladle metallurgical furnace used for changing the properties of molten steel, and a state-of-the-art billet caster. The plant had an initial melting capacity of 500,000 tons per year with the potential for 700,000 tons per year. The company's products are used in the manufacture of cold headed fasteners, bearings, specialty springs, cold forgings, cold finished bars and other components for automotive and agricultural machinery. In addition to its Cuyahoga Heights operation, Charter Steel has operated plants in Saukville, Wisconsin, and in Fostoria in northwestern Ohio. As of 2010, the company employs nearly 300 workers.