May 7, 2019 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Nearly 40 area companies are participating in a two-part hiring event Thursday in an effort organized by the Grand Rapids Racial Equity Initiative co-led by Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss and Grand Rapids Community College President Bill Pink.
The event will be targeted toward two groups: High school juniors and seniors are invited to meet with potential employers from 1-3 p.m. Students’ families and community residents are invited from 4-7 p.m. Both will take place at Innovation Central High School, 421 Fountain St. NE.
The goal is for companies to hire some people on the spot for a variety of full- and part-time jobs as well as summer jobs and paid internships.
While West Michigan’s unemployment level is low, Bliss said there are areas in Grand Rapids where up to 30 percent of residents have problems finding jobs. The hiring event is intended to help them learn about open jobs as well as educational and training programs and other efforts to help them overcome barriers to success.
“One concern we hear from some of our residents is they don’t have access to companies that have jobs and they feel it’s difficult to get their foot in the door,” Bliss said. “Our hope is that this hiring event will intentionally connect people with opportunities.”
Pink said GRCC works closely with area employers to identify in-demand skills needed to fill current and future jobs.
“Right now, there is a great disconnect,” he said. “Companies need people; people need jobs. We need to make that connection through an aggressive, inclusive hiring effort.”
Participating employers include AHC+Hospitality, Allied Mechanical Services, Autocam Medical, Celebration Cinema, Feyen Zylstra, Fifth Third Bank, Gentex Corp., Hearthside, Hutchinson Antivibration Systems, Mercy Health, Metro Health, Scott Group Studio, Spectrum Health, Suburban Inns and Zeeland Lumber & Supply.
Organizations involved in creating and supporting the event include the Associated Builders and Contractors Western Michigan Chapter, the city of Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids Community Foundation, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Rockford Construction, West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and West Michigan Works!