Rotondo Weirich Enterprises Inc.
- Written by: Eric Gundberg
- Produced by: Chuck McKenna
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Officials within the U.S. government have become increasingly aware over the past couple of decades that outsourcing services that had typically been performed by government agencies is a lot more efficient and less expensive. Rotondo Weirich Enterprises Inc. (RW) – which provides precast modular solutions primarily for correctional cells, military housing and residential construction – is a company that best exemplifies how a private firm can deliver a higher-quality product at a vastly lower price.
RW was founded by Steve Weirich and Mario Rotondo in Lederach, Pa., in 1994 with the idea they could bring “the quality and efficiency of a manufacturing factory to the local project site,” states the company’s website. This innovative project delivery method, which can be implemented in an unlimited geographic range, offers module design and production customized for the needs of individual clients, and does so under the banner of “Best Quality. Best Price. Best Way.”
Benefits of the RW approach include a secure, durable construction method with innovative contributing elements to LEED certification, resulting in a low-maintenance monolithic structural plan that drastically reduces wall-to-wall joints and meets high seismic and wind tolerances, plus requirements for Progressive Collapse standards. The onsite manufacturing affords substantial reductions in schedule and transportation costs, as well as streamlines, minimized jobsite traffic and more efficient material distribution. And all of this is backed by a commitment to meeting and exceeding client’s expectations that runs throughout owners, executive management and field personnel.
The owners pioneered the concept of a mobile plant at a facility in Florida that would eventually produce over 3,500 for the Florida Department of Corrections; deployed the concept successfully at sites coast-to-coast in North America, as well as in South America; and in the last two years alone, RW has produced over 5,000 precast units for federal, state and private clients.
“A great sense of satisfaction comes from owners and contractors that experience the RW team and want us on the next project; not just because of the superior product, but due to the character and integrity of the RW road warriors,” explains Steve Weirich, the company president.
A Perfect Match with Correctional Facilities
Weirich outlines the niche the company has carved for itself: “Our main focus is on correctional facilities, and there’s a lot of work there. We produce pre-finished concrete prison cells. We’re also becoming more involved internationally in the production of modular construction housing; it’s not used as much here in the U.S. yet, but we’re also actively pursuing a developing market in the U.S. military branches.”
One of the most exciting aspects for local communities when RW is awarded a contract is that the company draws heavily upon local labor and resources to complete the project, injecting thousands of dollars into the local community. On a typical project, the RW Project Team organizes a series of job fairs in conjunction with county ofﬁcials to expand the exposure of local job opportunities at the on-site manufacturing facility. At full production, 75 perfect of the manufacturing facility’s staff will be employed from the local community.
Providing Jobs in Local Communities
“Additionally, it is typical that over 60 percent of the raw materials required for the production of cell modules are procured from local suppliers,” reinforces Carrie Davis, the company’s vice president of corporate development. “The percentage is the same for the number of local subcontractors utilized within the RW manufacturing facility. The RW onsite manufacturing model brings the quality and efficiency of a manufacturing factory to the local project site, investing within the surrounding community through the hiring of a project-speciﬁc labor force, utilization of local subcontractors, supplies and services.”
A project that best exemplifies the quality and efficiency of RW’s work can be found at a new federal prison in Yazoo City, Miss. Davis outlines the project, saying, “We worked for Yates/Caddell J/V on this project. Our operations team cast 888 precast modular cells for the site. Our precast cell modules were produced concurrently with the new facility’s site and foundation work, ensuring a quick and efficient building assembly and close in. The 888 cells were pre-ﬁnished in the RW manufacturing facility prior to erection. This was the ninth Federal Bureau of Prisons project for the RW team and our second consecutive project working with the Yates/Caddell J/V team and architect GRW Engineer.”
The company has also fully embraced the new technologies that are available in the 21st Century. Potential customers can view multiple videos of RW’s work on the popular video-sharing website youtube.com.
Even though RW is still a relatively young company, Mario Rotondo and Steve Weirich’s enhanced team and vision of “providing our clients with the Best Quality product, for the Best Price, designed and manufactured in the Best Way to meet our clients’ needs” has obviously been a tremendous success. To date, the company has produced more than 50,000 modular units for its clients. The reason for the company’s rapid success is reflected in a statement on the company’s website: “We take pride in our product, our team and the relationships we build through the design and construction process. We are excited to bring our process and product to new clients as much as we value the lasting relationships we have established with the nation’s premier contractors and architects.”
As good stewards of the Earth’s finite resources, clients’ valuable time and money, and communities’ social and economic needs, Rotondo Weirich Enterprises Inc. has established an innovative project delivery model that will continue to manufacture success for all involved.
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