Partners hosting virtual ReThink West Michigan event

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Courtesy Hello West Michigan

Hello West Michigan and The Right Place are inviting individuals considering moving to West Michigan to a virtual networking event next week.

From 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10, The Right Place economic development agency and Hello West Michigan regional marketing organization will host the 10th annual ReThink West Michigan event to attract talent to West Michigan. The virtual event is a collaboration between the two organizations, their regional partners and local businesses.

ReThink West Michigan is a part of a larger statewide effort under the Back to Michigan event series. Five regions around the state will host a mix of in-person and virtual events between Nov. 10 and Dec. 8.

The events in the past were held the night before Thanksgiving each year to give former residents the chance to connect with employers while visiting home. Holiday visits are lower than usual because of the pandemic, so the annual networking event will be held on different dates and virtually.

ReThink West Michigan and Back to Michigan events target people living outside of West Michigan, former residents, locals who are unemployed or people who recently relocated to attract talent to the area. Companies are hiring in many fields, including information technology, engineering, finance, advanced manufacturing, health care, art and design, professional services, government and hospitality.

During the event, job seekers can chat virtually one on one with recruiters from local companies that are hiring. Community ambassadors also will be on hand.

“ReThink West Michigan is our signature event; it’s the embodiment of what we do all year long to attract talent,” said Rachel Gray, executive director of Hello West Michigan. “Everyone knows someone (who) has moved away and they’d like to come back. Now is the time to tell them about this event and encourage them to explore what relocation could look like.”

Spectrum Health is the regional champion sponsor for the event, with West Michigan Works! as a regional supporting sponsor. Consumers Energy is a Back to Michigan statewide supporting sponsor. Other participating entities include Herman Miller, Padnos, Express Employment Professionals, Steelcase, Consumers Credit Union, Meijer, Gen3 Aerospace and Defense, OST, Progressive AE, Grand Valley State University and Muskegon County.

“As the largest employer in West Michigan, we are always excited to sponsor this event,” said Eric Van Duren, senior director, talent acquisition at Spectrum Health. “Across the U.S., we are seeing historic lows in the labor force participation rate, which makes access to talent even more imperative. Once people learn about Michigan, it becomes an easy sell on why this is a wonderful place to live and work.”

The event is free, but registration is required at backtomichigan.com.

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