West Michigan Works! hosting remote job fair

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The region’s workforce development agency will host its seventh remote job fair of the year on behalf of 50 area employers next week.

West Michigan Works! said it will host the career event from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday.

Job seekers can register online ahead of the event for 15-minute phone calls with hiring managers to learn more about their openings and share their skills and expertise.

More than 50 employers are participating in the event, including Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, Walgreens, Lack’s Enterprises, Macatawa Area Express (MAX Transit), Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch and Perrigo.

According to September labor market data, West Michigan employers have more than 40,000 open positions.

Brittany Lenertz Courtesy West Michigan Works!

“Michigan saw an abrupt change in employment in March and April due to COVID-19,” said Brittany Lenertz, talent solutions director at West Michigan Works! “Thankfully, many employers have continued to see an increase in business in recent weeks. They are looking to hire back the staff they need and, in many cases, expand their workforce. While some Michigan workers aren’t ready to go back to work due to a variety of family and personal reasons, there are urgent hiring needs across all industries — employers are looking to fill jobs now.”

Some employers are providing bonuses to attract talent. Andrea DeYoung, Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch human resources manager, indicated her company is offering a $1,500 sign-on bonus for new hires.

Lacks Enterprises is a Kentwood-based manufacturer of automotive finish parts and technologies and a participant in this month’s job fair.

“We participate in the events because it’s a great way to find people who are serious about finding work,” said Jennifer Rose, employment specialist at Lacks Enterprises. “We are committed to helping keep everyone safe.”

Other participating employers also are doing everything they can to provide safe work environments for their employees. Macatawa Area Express requires all drivers and riders to wear masks, have barriers on their buses to separate drivers and practice continuous sanitizing on all buses, which are fogged daily and swab tested to ensure cleanliness.

Job candidates can access preparation resources, view the list of all participating employers and register for the job fair at westmiworks.org/virtual-job-fair.

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