WHITE CITY, Ore. — You might not think much about the ramps that you climb aboard to get onto an airplane. But chances are, the ramp you use to board a plane are made right here in the Rogue Valley.
When local CEO Bill Keith says his company owns the market for airplane ramps, he isn’t bragging. “In North America, all the way from Canada to Panama, we own the market. There is no other serious competitor whatsoever,” he said.
Keith Consolidated Industries (KCI) builds the ramps, stairs and walkways that travelers use to board planes. While many might think something like ramps an afterthought, they’re vital to safety.
Its products are now used by nearly every airline in North America at nearly every airport. The company has even sold ramps as far as Japan and Dubai.
It’s growth is almost too much to handle without more people. “We seem to fall farther behind every day, and we cannot do that to our customers. We have to cut our lead times down.”
Despite efforts from other cities to get the company to relocate, Keith said KCI will be staying and hiring in Southern Oregon. “Like many people, we love where we live and love the area. So that’s why we’re here,” explained Keith.