By Ray Kisonas
Reprinted from Monroe News
A company that specializes in the construction and maintenance of towers for cell phones and radio stations will be moving into the former Diamond Electric facility in Dundee.
Jason Miller, owner of Great Lakes Aerial Maintenance & Construction Co., said he is moving operations this spring from its facility at 8710 N. Custer Rd. near Ida-Maybee Rd. to the larger Diamond Electric plant off Ann Arbor Rd.
Mr. Miller said the 22 employees who work at the N. Custer plant will transfer to Dundee. After the move, the staff is expected to expand to 40 or 50 by the end of the year, including several white-collar jobs. With increased production expected to continue, Mr. Miller said he is hoping the new facility will employ about 150 workers in the next five years.
“We’re excited about this,” said Mr. Miller, who was raised in Dundee and is a 1996 Dundee High School graduate. “ That building definitely is our future. We have a five-year plan that we expect will put a lot of people to work.”
Founded in 2006, Great Lakes Aerial provides construction, erection and maintenance operations for cell phone, radio and other towers. Business has been prospering, and Mr. Miller said the company is looking at additional property on Ann Arbor Rd. for possible expansion. The company will be moving into the former Diamond facility that was vacated in December. Manufacturing of automotive ignition coils ended in 2007, but a partial staff remained until recently.
Village of Dundee President Ted Norris was happy a facility will no longer be empty and will be occupied by a company looking to add jobs to the local economy. He said having tenants invest in the property and supply employment could have a positive ripple effect throughout the entire community.
“The impact on the village could be very significant,” Mr. Norris said. “I’m excited about it. I was very worried about the Diamond plant sitting there empty. It was upsetting me.”
Mr. Miller expects operations to move to Dundee in April or May. He said the firm will be moving from the 24,000- squarefoot facility on N. Custer to the Diamond building, which encompasses 89,000 square feet. It also includes a 16,000-squarefoot office.
He said he plans to maintain the N. Custer site, especially after he invested $1 million there.
Mr. Miller, 38, said business is excellent, with production running seven days a week. He said bringing a thriving company to his hometown, where he wrestled in high school for two team state championships, is a thrill.
“This is a big deal for me,” Mr. Miller said. “ The village was very supportive and that was a big determining factor. That helped us out a lot. And I plan to be supportive of the community.”
Mr. Miller and his wife, Kristie, have two children, Madelyn, 13, and Eli, 10.