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Innovation & Job News

Leading a West Michigan brain gain

With car sales bouncing back, especially in global markets, and an increased use of new technologies in automotive products, Zeeland, MI is rapidly becoming a career destination for engineers thanks to Gentex,a high-tech manufacturer of automotive electronics.

According to Bruce Los, VP of human resources, the company has hired over 500 people in the last year of which over 100 were engineers. Los admits that at first glance, attracting top notch talent, especially engineers, to West Michigan might seem to be a difficult task. "The vast majority of engineers we hire have job options all over the country," he says.

However, Los makes a compelling case for both working at Gentex and living in West Michigan. "Gentex has a small company feel" and the engineers get to "work on cutting edge and creative technologies."  

As one of the largest patent generators in the state, Los cites the entrepreneurial culture and the company's ownership policies at Gentex as great selling points.

"Inventors are free to work on areas of interest in a great environment," he says. "We also have stock options and profit sharing programs in place."

With 2,900 employees, Gentex hires more than engineers, and typically has line positions open. However, Los says, "We're not your parents factory," alluding to the high-tech manufacturing facility. 

Los notes that positive word-of-mouth about the Gentex culture is playing a key role in attracting talent too. He states that oftentimes, parents are telling their children who had moved away because they weren't able to find a job in Michigan about the work going on at Gentex.

Source:  Bruce Los
Writer:    John Rumery

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