Alro logo Alro Steel was established in 1948 by Al and Robert Glick and has grown to include Alro Plastics and Alro Industrial Supply.
A Timeline of Our History
Celebrating Over 70 Years in Business!
Alro Steel History - Introduction

The Glick family became well established in the scrap metals business and in the Jackson, Michigan community. This history laid the groundwork for brothers Al and Robert Glick to form Alro Steel in 1948. The company founded by their father Louis Glick was Glick Iron & Metal. Louis Glick moved to Jackson, Michigan, to start a scrap iron business in 1916. He arrived in Jackson with a sledgehammer, chisel, $800 in his pocket and a mind for business. Through Louis’ strong leadership and business skills the business became one of the premier scrap companies in Michigan.

Today, a highway that runs through the heart of Jackson bears the name of Louis Glick, a tribute to his leadership in business as well as his support of the community, the people, and local sports programs.

Louis Glick

Louis Glick was born in Hungary in 1884. When he was only a year old, his family brought him to the United States. They were part of a wave of hundreds of thousands of European immigrants.

Louis Glick moved to Jackson, Michigan, to start a scrap iron business in 1916. He arrived in Jackson with a sledgehammer, chisel, $800 in his pocket and a mind for business. He started with four employees working for him in 1916. By 1959, Glick Iron & Metal employed 25 people.

Al and Robert Glick with their father Louis - 1938
Glick Iron & Metal scrapyard - 1950
Louis Glick Highway in downtown Jackson, Michigan - 2016
Bob Glick

Bob was the eldest son and nine years older than Al. Al looked up to his brother and thought of him as a second father. When Al decided to stop working for Glick Iron & Metal in 1946, Bob offered an idea that would trigger the beginning of Alro Steel. He suggested that Al match customers with their metal needs.

With Louis’ blessing and financial assistance from Bob, Al started a metals distribution company in a garage on Glick Iron & Metal property. Bob was successful in both his family and business life, becoming Chairman of the Board of Glick Iron & Metal and co-founder of Alro Steel.

Bob Glick with company truck - 1950
Glick Iron & Metal’s Bay City Crane - 1955
Glick Iron & Metal black and white logo
Bob, Randy, Al and Carl Glick - 2000
Al Glick

Al has continued his father’s legacy of community involvement and giving. With the success at Alro, Al has supported Jackson-based nonprofit organizations, local businesses, youth education, youth sports, manufacturing job training, University of Michigan athletics, and Mott Children’s Hospital.

In 1946 Al quit Glick Iron & Metal, “It wasn’t an angry quit, I loved sports, and I didn’t know what I wanted to do.” For four years Al worked part time as a sports writer for the Jackson Citizen Patriot.

“I didn’t like the work at Glick Iron & Metal. After I left, Bob had an idea…and at that time there was a shortage of steel. I didn’t know the steel industry, but I made some calls. My father had given me $5,000 for college that I did not use, and I bought inventory with that money.”

Al Glick - 1950
Al, Bob, Ernestine, Louis and Edith Glick - 1960
Bob Glick, Dave Hill and Al Glick - 1969
Al Glick (pointing) giving a tour of the warehouse - 1969
Al and Randy Glick at the Louis Glick Community Ballfield - 2011
Alro Steel History - 1940’s
1948

Al Glick had a dream of becoming a sports writer. When he was offered a job on the crime beat instead, Al made the decision to leave the newspaper business. Soon after, Al’s brother Robert suggested Al try to match up people he knew that needed steel with those who had a surplus. From this idea, Alro Steel was founded on June 1, 1948, at 500 East Biddle Street. Al rented a garage from his father attached to Glick Iron & Metal.

The name “Alro” was chosen to signify the partnership between the two brothers Alvin and Robert Glick.

Alro Steel 500 East Biddle Street - 1948

“Bob was nine years older than I was, so you can imagine how much I looked up to him. I used to watch him bowl and often caddy for him at golf tournaments. I’m sure he got tired of me hanging around, but I was his number one fan. I never would have started Alro without Bob’s input, in fact, it was his idea. You couldn’t have asked for a better brother.” - Al Glick

Bob and Al Glick - 1943
1949

Alro purchased their first saw for $600.00 from Michigan manufacturer, Johnson Band Saw in Albion, Michigan. This gave Alro the ability to offer cut-to-size pieces of metal to customers.

Today, Alro utilizes a variety of equipment to cut all types and sizes, from plate and sheet, pipe and tube, as well as large diameter rod to customer specifications.

Roy Sprague cutting material on Johnson saw - 1949
1949

As the business begins to grow, so to, does the Alro sales team. Al lives and manages his team by the statement “Integrity, Above All.” With Al’s commitment to taking care of the customer, the outside sales team grew steadily and called on customers throughout the state of Michigan.

Al Glick (front, 2nd from left) and the Alro sales team - 1949
Alro Steel History - 1950’s
1952

Having outgrown the 3,000 square-foot building on Biddle Street, Alro Steel builds their own 12,000 square-foot facility at 803 Belden Road in Jackson, Michigan.

Over the next 20 years Alro would expand 803 Belden Road five more times to a total of 60,000 square-feet.

Alro Steel 803 Belden Road - 1952
Dick Dirlam, Ernie Rourke, Esther Beebe and
Roy Sprague in the sales office - 1952
Roy Sprague on the scales and Bill Horsh
operating the overhead crane - 1952
Roy Sprague on the Clark lift truck
transporting sheets to the rack - 1952
1953

One of the first Alro Steel Corporation delivery trucks being loaded for delivery run. The Alro service expectation of “Next Day Deliveries” was taking shape as each morning Alro would load up the trucks and make their deliveries to customers throughout Michigan.

Today, Alro employs over 300 drivers and provides next day delivery to over 25,000 locations across the United States.

Alro employees loading delivery truck - 1953
1954

Alro Steel put together an open house at 803 Belden Road for family, friends and customers in the Jackson, Michigan area. These get togethers were a great way to mingle with various members of the community and hopefully lead to new business for Alro.

Louis & Ernestine, Al, Rose & Robert Glick - 1954
1955

Here is a glimpse inside the Alro Sales office on Belden Road back in the 1950’s. If you look closely you can see the inventory control card system in the background. Before computers kept track of the inventory it was done by hand on index cards.

Alro Steel office employees - 1955
1956

Alro Steel expands the Belden Road location once again. Most of the new addition added warehouse space in order to bring all the materials indoor and out wet weather and snow which helped keep the stock from getting surface rust.

The new addition also improved the efficiency of the operations by creating a one-way flow through the building. Trucks would all enter at one end to be unloaded, and out the other end, reloaded and ready to be delivered to customers. Although this is now common, Alro was one of the very first to develop this method.

Alro Steel 803 Belden Road expansion - 1956
1958

Alro Steel purchases their first burning machine and gets into the flame cutting business. This piece of processing equipment gave Alro the ability to flame cut custom shapes from metal plate and sheet.

Processing of metals and plastics continues to this day as a “value-added” service to all Alro customers.

Alro employee Dale Brown on the burning machine - 1958
Alro Steel History - 1960’s
1960

Alro Steel completes a $45,000 expansion project with a 9,120 square-foot addition to 803 Belden Road. This would bring the Jackson, Michigan facility up to 34,000 square-feet total with improved customer pick-up and loading capabilities.

Alro Steel 803 Belden Road expansion - 1960
1961

An early Alro Steel delivery truck built by International Harvester. These flatbed trucks allowed Alro to make daily deliveries to their customers.

Today Alro manages a fleet of 300+ trucks. Just like the early days, these trucks provide deliveries to customers every day

Alro Steel delivery truck - 1961
1964

The Glick philosophy always involves listening to customers and knowing what will help them. Knowing his customers were having to source tools and supplies from multiple places, Al saw an opportunity to improve service. So, Alro Steel purchased a local industrial and hardware supply company, Smith-Winchester Company, and began Alro Industrial Supply. This expansion allows Alro Steel customers to also purchase their cutting tools, abrasives, coolants and MRO supplies all from the one place and have them delivered.

Alro Steel and Alro Industrial Supplies - 1964
1964

In the early days of data processing technology Alro utilized IBM computer punch card machines. Punch cards were pieces of stiff paper that could be used to contain digital data represented by the presence or absence of holes in predefined positions. Alro has continued to move into new areas with a mobile sales app, scanning systems for materials, and online shopping for customers.

Alro Steel’s IBM computer punch card machines - 1964
1965

One year after opening an Industrial Supply division Alro Industrial Supply moves down the road to 903 Belden Road in a building of their own in Jackson, Michigan. This provided the team a building of their own to house inventory and the sales team.

In a couple of decades, Alro Industrial Supply would move again and make room for the new Alro Plastics division. The plastics division brought in yet another line of materials that Al realized his customers used right along with metals and industrial supplies.

Alro Industrial Supply 903 Belden Road - 1965
1966

A photograph of the Alro Steel accounting offices located on Belden Road. Desks included a spot for files, typewriters, adding machines, desk phones, rolodexes for contacts, and more. In most Alro offices today, motorized stand up desks provide employees with more options for their workday.

Alro Steel accounting office - 1966
1968

Twenty years after the founding of Alro Steel in Jackson, Michigan, a second location was built in Battle Creek. The expansion into the Battle Creek, Michigan area was the suggestion of then Outside Salesman, Al Binger who felt Alro could better serve the growing number of customers in the area if they had a local presence.

Surveying the outside of the new Battle Creek facility is Al Binger followed closely by a young Randy Glick.

Al Binger and Randy Glick in Battle Creek - 1968
1969

Al Glick gives a tour of the Alro Steel warehouse in Jackson, Michigan. He is pointing up at the latest Demag Narrow Aisle Stacker just installed at 803 Belden Road. The stacker maximized the available square footage of the warehouse by stacking more material in less space. This essentially gave Alro another expansion in inventory without adding onto the building.

Al Glick (pointing) giving a warehouse tour - 1969
Recap

The 1960’s were a time of innovation and expansion for Alro. Not only did the company enter into new territories like Battle Creek, they also added innovative equipment and products they knew their customer needed. By the end of the decade Alro had added a second Steel location in Battle Creek as well as added an Industrial Supply location in Jackson.

Alro Steel History - 1970’s
1970

A snapshot of the Inside Sales offices at 803 Belden Road. Fluorescent lights, wood paneling and not a computer in sight.

Sales office at 803 Belden Road - 1970
1971

Alro purchased Metals Service Center of Fort Lauderdale and St. Petersburg, Florida. Al incorporated the same service philosophy to Florida that had worked so well in Michigan: Exceptional customer service along with next day deliveries.

Over the years, the locations in Florida have expanded and people still know them as Alro Metals Service Centers. Alro would also add Alro Metals Outlets and Alro Plastics divisions in Florida.

Fort Lauderdale (top) and St. Petersburg (bottom) - 1971
1972

The commitment to providing metals next day to customers has remained steady through the decades. So, in each decade you can see the latest in trucks for delivery. The look and style may have changed over time but not the job, Alro delivers... everyday!

Notice the old version of the Alro circle logo. That too, has received some updates over time.

Alro Steel delivery truck - 1972
1973

To celebrate Alro’s 25th Anniversary, the team took out an ad in the local newspaper to congratulate brothers Al and Robert Glick on this accomplishment.

There are a few names you may recognize. Some, like Roy Sprague are in photos from the 1950’s. As you can see, Alro is a place where many people have built a life-long career.

1974

In order to keep up with an expanding customer base, Alro Steel built a new Jackson facility at 3100 East High Street. This large building has supported several expansions and is the current headquarters for Alro.

Alro Steel 3100 E. High Street - 1974
1976

Alro Steel’s success continued with an expansion at the High Street facility in 1976. This allowed for the addition of a “straight-through” material flow that put receiving at one end and outbound shipping at the other end.

Pictured is the Demag Narrow Aisle Stacker that allowed for more stock to be stored in less space than a traditional width aisle would allow.

Narrow Aisle Stacker relocated to 3100 East High Street - 1976
Recap

By the end of the 1970’s Alro had successfully expanded into several new territories in Michigan and on into the state of Florida for a total of five locations. A new corporate headquarters paired with a solid foundation, built from the ground up, Alro would soon become more aggressive in the acquisition market, adding more locations across the United States.

Alro Steel History - 1980’s
1981

An early 1980’s photo of the Alro Steel delivery fleet, parked outside the corporate headquarters at 3100 East High Street, Jackson, Michigan. Since the 70’s the fleet had shifted to white trucks with a navy blue and yellow logo and cab toppers.

Alro Steel 3100 E. High Street Jackson, Michigan - 1981
1983

Alro Steel acquires American Steel Service out of Fort Wayne, Indiana along with Fabricated Steel out of South Bend, Indiana.

1984

No, it’s not a washer and dryer! This is an early computer system Alro purchased from IBM. This was one of the first Alro AS400 systems for data storage and inventory tracking. As large as it is, it replaced huge amounts of punch cards and the equipment needed to maintain those. It was also in 1984 that Apple introduced the Macintosh and Phillips introduced the first CD-ROM, and IBM introduced their personal computer.

Alro Steel’s AS400 system made by IBM - 1984
1985

Another series of acquisitions for Alro Steel takes place as the company purchases Cyclops Corporation, based in Redford Township, Michigan. In addition, Alro bought Lakeshore Machinery located in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

1986

A new Alro Metals Service Center facility was built in Boca Raton, Florida, embodying Alro’s commitment to expansion. Although many companies were going out of business during recessionary times, Alro pursued a flurry of acquisitions including Ziv Steel with locations in North Carolina, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio and Tennessee.

Ziv Steel was not the only acquisition in 1986, Alro also acquired Western Steel (Flint, Michigan), Jacklin Steel (Lansing, Michigan), Roberts Alloy (Toledo, Ohio) and Watson Steel (Muncie, Indiana).

Alro Metals Service Center in Boca Raton, Florida - 1986
1987

Al realized that, in addition to metals, many Alro customers were also using plastics in their operations. It became a natural progression to expand the Alro product line to include plastics. In 1987, Alro Plastics began at 903 Belden Road. Customers could now purchase all their metals, industrial supplies, as well as plastics all from one place and have them delivered next day.

In this same year, Alro acquired TSI Inc., Orlando, Florida, Time Steel locations in Nashville, Tennessee and Charlotte, South Carolina. They also added Steel Supplies, Inc. in Louisville, Kentucky to the Alro Steel family.

Alro Plastics 903 Belden Rd. Jackson, Michigan - 1987
Alro Plastics inside sales employee
Lisa Baker working with a customer
Alro Plastics at 903 Belden Road,
the front entrance to the building.
Alro Plastics employee Mike McDonald
preparing the band saw for a rod cutting job.
1988

Late in the 1980’s, Alro would complete the acquisition of Peninsular Steel. This large acquisition included multiple locations across the United States including: Buffalo, New York, Akron, Cleveland, and Dayton, Ohio, Grand Rapids and Warren, Michigan, and Indianapolis, Indiana.

Other acquisitions completed that year included Columbia Tool Steel in Cincinnati, Ohio and Miami Dickerson in Dayton, Ohio.

Peninsular Steel locations collage - 1988
Recap

By the end of the 1980’s, Alro Steel had acquired 16 companies and a total of 29 locations throughout the United States. In addition, Alro was now a company that incorporated a full line of metals, industrial supplies and plastics. This combination of products and services inspired the new Alro Tag Line Alro Steel: Metals – Industrial Supplies – Plastics. This line would begin to appear on literature and Alro promotional items.

Alro Steel History - 1990’s
1990

Alro continues to grow, but the computers continue to get smaller in size. In 1990 IBM installed a new computer system to house the Alro AS400 system. With the onset of the personal computer the sales team and warehouse employees were now all able to enter orders and track inventory more efficiently than ever. The technology used by Alro now puts information at the tips of sales people through iPads and smartphones.

Alro Steel AS400 computer system - 1990
1991

Alro Steel acquires Universal Steel which had locations in Lansing and Alpena, Michigan.

1996

Another series of acquisitions for Alro Steel as they acquire Fawcett Steel Supply in Cadillac, Michigan along with The Tool Crib located in Jackson, Michigan.

1997

In preparation of the 50th Anniversary brochure the Alro Board of Directors poses for a group photo.

Standing from left to right: Carl Glick, Brian Bell, Mark Alyea and Randy Glick. Seated from left to right: Bob Glick, Al Glick and Barry Glick.

Alro Steel’s Board of Directors - 1997
1997

Three more companies are acquired by Alro Steel in 1997. Rochester Metals in Shelby Township, Michigan, SFK Steel & Supply located in Pensacola, Florida and Metalscorp Inc. based out of Largo, Florida.

1998

To commemorate their 50 year anniversary Alro Steel put out a printed brochure highlighting events from their first 50 years in business.

Alro Steel also acquired the J.C. Neil Company out of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Cover of the 50 Year Anniversary brochure - 1998
1998

Alro Steel takes on the construction of a new 240,000 squarefoot facility in Potterville, Michigan. This large facility was designed to be a distribution center that would service other Alro locations. The addition of Potterville allowed Alro to expand its overall product offering. It also allowed smaller Alro locations to make more room in their locations for higher demand items thereby increasing efficiency for everyone.

Alro Steel in Potterville, Michigan - 2018
Construction gets underway on the new
Alro Steel facility in Potterville, Michigan.
Al Glick surveying the site for the new
Alro distribution center in Potterville.
Overhead photo of the 240,000 square-foot
Alro Steel facility in Potterville, Michigan.
1999

As this decade came to an end, Alro made two more acquisitions. Masco Technical Steels, with locations in St, Louis, Missouri, and Tulsa, Oklahoma would give Alro locations in two geographical areas they had not yet tapped into. Lastly, Alro purchased Ohio Metals, in Dayton, Ohio, adding another facility in the Ohio market.

Recap

The 1990’s brought a time to celebrate as Alro Steel reached the 50 year mark. In this decade, the company also added two more Industrial Supply locations and a new plastics facility. The company was now up to 29 locations with the addition of another 16 companies to the Alro Family. The Alro name now had a tag line: Alro Steel, Metals – Industrial Supplies – Plastics which started to show up on literature and promotional items the company created.

Alro Steel History - 2000’s
2000

Al Glick would grace the cover of the Metal Center News magazine while being honored with the “Service Center Executive of the Year.” In his photo, Al sports his personal winged helmet Hard Hat, customized with the colors of the University of Michigan. Through the years Al gained inspiration through sports and he put his passion for football and U of M into many philanthropic efforts in support of local high school kids, U of M football and the Mott Children’s hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Alro Steel would also acquire three more companies at the beginning of this decade. Engineering Metals Co. with locations in Carnegie and Emporium, Pennsylvania along with Kurtz Steel in Detroit, Michigan and Sun State Metals in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Al Glick on the cover of Metal Center News - 2000
2001

November 8, 2001, Al’s brother Robert (The “Ro” in Alro) passed away at the age of 84. Bob was the co-founder of Alro Steel and the person Al Glick said brought him the idea to start Alro Steel by putting people with extra steel in touch with people who needed steel.

Bob was also the Chairman of the Board for Glick Iron & Metal, a company founded by their father Louis Glick.

Al and Bob Glick - 2000
2001

Alro Plastics’ corporate offices in Jackson, Michigan would make the move from 903 Belden Road over to 2218 Enterprise into a much larger 60,000 square-foot facility.

This move allowed Alro Plastics to invest in more processing equipment and expand their capabilities. New CNC Saws and Routers were added along with moving to a second shift to better service Alro customers.

Alro Plastics aerial building photo - 2014
2002

Alro would make a big splash with the acquisition of Meier Metals / Metals USA. Meier Metals / Metals USA had five locations in three states with Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan, Cleveland and Dayton, Ohio along with Chicago, Illinois.

In that same year Alro bought Anderson Metals in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Kalamazoo Mill Supply based in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

2004

Art Iron Inc. and their three locations in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Columbus and Toledo Ohio, were acquired. H. Hirschfield Sons Co. located in Bay City, Michigan was also purchased.

2005

With the growth of the company going strong, it would once again be time to add onto the Corporate office in Jackson, Michigan. The addition would add more office space to the headquarters putting corporate, purchasing, accounting, administration and other departments all under one roof.

The addition to the Corporate office in Jackson, Michigan - 2005
2006

Three more companies join the Alro Steel family as Alro acquires Block Iron & Supply in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, ASAP Source in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and St. Petersburg Steel, in the town of St. Petersburg, Florida.

2008

Alro would close out this decade with one more acquisition, adding UCB / United Cast Bar in Aurora, Illinois into the fold.

2009

A dream come true as the completion and dedication of the Al Glick Fieldhouse, located on the campus of the University of Michigan takes place.

Pictured from left to right: Bill Martin, Brian Glick, Randy Glick, Barry Glick, Carl Glick, Lloyd Carr, Al Glick, Rick Rodriguez, and Mary Sue Coleman.

The University of Michigan Al Glick Fieldhouse Dedication - 2009
Recap

The 2000’s brought some highs and lows with the dedication of the Al Glick Field House at University of Michigan and the passing of Al’s brother Robert. The company saw continued growth through acquisitions and the entry into new geographic areas of the United States.

Alro Steel History - 2010’s
2010

The new decade begins with the addition of Anderson Metals locations in York and Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania and a location in Greensboro, North Carolina.

2014

Michigan Manufacturing Magazine featured Al Glick on their cover. Al is pictured in front of the new Alro Steel Headquarters in Jackson, Michigan. In 2018, the Michigan Manufacturing Association bestowed a Lifetime Achievement Award to Al Glick for his work in the metals industry and his philanthropic efforts.

Al Glick on the cover of Michigan Manufacturing Magazine - 2014
2016

The Glick family celebrates 100 Years in the Metals Industry, from the beginning of Glick Iron & Metal in 1916 up until present day Alro Steel, the Glick family is still going strong. Louis Glick has left a family business legacy including children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren still involved in the metals industry today.

“My father gave me business advice, but the most important thing was just living with him and seeing how he treated people. Everyone has a choice, there’s no pressure to go to work for the company. It wouldn’t be good if they didn’t like it.” - Al Glick

The following are active members on the Alro Steel Corporation’s Board of Directors.

Al Glick
son of Louis Glick
CEO & Chairman
Carl Glick
son of Bob Glick
Board Member
Barry Glick
son of Bob Glick
Vice Chairman
Randy Glick
son of Al Glick
Executive Vice President
Brian Glick
son of Carl Glick
Vice President
David Schmidt
President & COO
Steve Laten
Executive VP & CFO
Mark Alyea
President Emeritus
Brian Bell
Board Member
2016

Alro Industrial begins acquisitions with the purchase of Triad Industrial Sales. The new location in Kernersville, North Carolina allows Alro Industrial to expand their reach into a new geographic area.

Alro Industrial Supply also rolled out a new line of secure tool management solutions. The Alro SmartLine includes carts, cabinets, coil machines and lockers for tracking and securing tooling needs on-site at customer locations.

2018

Alro Steel would celebrate 70 years in business. What began as a small steel business that helped those who had a surplus of steel get matched up with those in need of steel had become a metals supermarket and single source for metals, industrial supplies and engineering plastics. The company now included over 70 locations and covered 12 states.

Alro expansion continued in 2018 with the addition of Sedalia Steel in Sedalia, Missouri and Camdenton Steel in Camdenton, Missouri.

2018

In November 2018, the Michigan Manufacturers Association hosted their Annual Awards Gala. During the event, Al Glick was presented with the MFG Lifetime Achievement Award. The MMA explains, “this honor is given to an individual who has excelled in the industry and inspires their peers, emerging leaders, lawmakers and educators to strive to make significant contributions to their company, industry and community.”

Upon the announcement, MMA President and CEO Chuck Hadden stated, “Those who work for Al Glick can point to his leadership as a reason why they are not just better workers, but better people. His peers would do well to copy his passion and tomorrow’s leaders should follow his example. He is well deserving of this honor.”

2019

Alro Steel acquires Riverfront Steel located in Cincinnati, Ohio. With this move Alro now has five Alro Steel locations in the state of Ohio along with one Alro Metals Outlet location.

For the most recent Alro information please visit our News section.