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Posted on Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 5:03 p.m.

Michigan Ladder Co. to add more Ypsilanti jobs in continued shift from Chinese suppliers

By Katrease Stafford

Michigan Ladder Co. is continuing its effort to expand operations in Ypsilanti and will add more local jobs because of rising costs to have products shipped from China, Bridge Magazine reported.


Tom Harrison, CEO of the Michigan Ladder Co., is in the process of purchasing the century-old ladder manufacturing company from the Nissly family.

Melanie Maxwell | file photo

The 111-year-old business assembles wood and fiberglass ladders and has recently added five new jobs and will add six more over the next two years.

Company CEO Tom Harrison told Bridge that higher shipping costs and a stronger Chinese currency, have offset lower labor costs in China.

Harrison's company is one of many throughout the country that are moving productions from overseas back into the United States.

In 2011, Harrison told that he planned to begin shifting operations to Ypsilanti and planned to invest several hundred thousand dollars locally. The company has a 75,000-square-foot ladder warehouse on East Forest Avenue.

Harrison said at the time that government support for industries in China will go away over time and that his company would be "ahead of the curve" by making the shift.



Sat, Mar 9, 2013 : 8:38 p.m.

Yeah Baby!

Cedric Richner

Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 6:45 p.m.

Great news from a great local company.

Audion Man

Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 3:45 p.m.

Thank you, Mr. Harrison!

Brigid Kowalczyk

Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 3:25 p.m.

I used to walk by this company when I lived in Ypsi. I'm glad they are so invested in the local economy and are successful.


Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 12:01 p.m.

I hate to say it, but this is where $90/barrel oil helps ---> higher oceanic shipping costs makes home based manufacturing more competitive. Good luck guys!


Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 12:44 a.m.

Chinese labor prices going up just means there will be a "new" China before long. In the 80's and early 90's jobs all went to Mexico. Then in the late 90's and 2000's everything went over to China when they started undercutting Mexican labor prices. Unfortunately there will alway be a poorer country willing to step in and start doing it for less. Good news for Michigan Ladder going the local route for production though!


Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 2:10 p.m.

Given the increase in labor hate, we are that poorer country.


Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 12:29 a.m.

We have a beautiful Michigan Ladder "Detroiter" ping pong table (as used by Forrest Gump) that I bought new (i.e., picked up at Michigan Ladder) for my wife as a gift in the late '80s . In return she has been thrashing me at ping pong since ... about the late '80s.


Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 10:47 p.m.

Sweet, you go Michigan Ladder Co. Buy Ypsi ladders.


Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 10:19 p.m.

Good news for Ypsi!

An Arborigine

Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 10:19 p.m.

Awesome, buy local, buy Michigan Ladders!