Born and raised in the small town of Keeler in Van Buren County, Jim Klett grew up working hard on the family farm. When he graduated from high school in 1963, Jim decided to follow in his father's footsteps and venture into the world of asphalt paving.
Jim attended Western Michigan University to earn a bachelor's degree in business. Ten days after his graduation he was drafted into the army and was stationed in Germany for two years. When he came home in 1971, he went back to his alma mater to obtain a master's degree in business administration and returned to the family business – Klett Construction.
Since the mid-70s, Klett Construction has focused exclusively on asphalt construction and it has grown to an operation with three hot mix plants. Today, Klett Construction mines its own aggregate for Marshall Mix designs from pits within easy trucking range of its offices. The firm's operations are focused in an area that ranges from the southwest corner of Michigan, north to Grand Rapids and east to Marshall, Michigan
Jim is an active member and past president of both the Michigan Road Builders Association and Asphalt Pavement Association of Michigan. He has been an effective advocate on behalf of his industry in both Lansing and Washington and has served as president and CEO of Klett Construction for many years.
Throughout his career Jim has been deeply involved with Ferris' construction programs. He is the current chairman of the College of Engineering Technology's Construction Technology and Management Advisory Committee.
In 2003 Jim donated significant funds on behalf of his family for the procurement of state-of-the-art equipment in the materials laboratory located within the Granger Center for Construction and HVACR at Ferris State University. Further, his personal efforts generated additional funds for the lab from industry partners. In recognition of his efforts, the University officially dedicated the Klett Family Materials Laboratory.
What's truly unique about Klett Construction is it has remained true to its roots and has managed to keep the main office of the business on the same site, or "home farm," for more than eighty years.