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Job Creation : Innovation + Job News

222 Job Creation Articles | Page: | Show All

Grand Rapids' The Queen's Pub closing to make way for Radix Tavern, adding 10 jobs

An Eastown standby, The Queen's Pub (1420 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids), will close this August and reopen the following day as Radix Tavern, a combination bar and restaurant serving Southern-style foods with a West Michigan flair. Many current employees will transfer with the changeover, but the addition of a full-service restaurant creates the need for five to 10 new staff members.
The new tavern will be owned by Balwinder Bal, owner of The Queen's Pub and the connected Bombay Cuisine, but will be operated by executive chef Jayson Leek, formerly of The Gilmore Collection and the Chicago Yacht Club.
Radix (pronounced RAD-ix) Tavern will feature a menu of barbecue, cornbread, succotash and some hearty vegetarian choices, says Chef Leek's wife, Danielle, who handles marketing for the tavern.
"Radix is Latin for roots," she says. "We're going back to our roots of when we had a lot of slow cooked veggies and could only eat what we could grow on the farm or get in the forest. It's very farm-to-table, which is very West Michigan, right? So it's a good mix."
Renovations are taking place now, during the hours when The Queen's Pub is closed, Leek says. The restaurant is looking for a sous chef, two cooks, dishwashers and wait staff, she says. The kitchen staff will be full-time positions.
A closing/opening date has not been set.
Source: Danielle Leek, Radix Tavern
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Innovative custom countertop firm adds staff to keep up with demand

"'What is this?' is the number one question that our customers ask," says Drew Bleeker, sales and marketing manager for Hard Topix. "They never thought concrete could look like this."

Hard Topix is a locally owned and operated manufacturing firm that creates handcrafted, custom made countertops, sinks, fireplaces and furniture out of concrete.   

The company has been on a very impressive sales pace, 30-40 percent, for the last several years, according to Bleeker. The company also recently added two new positions to keep up with the workload brought on by the heavy demand for their services. "We are the pioneer in this market. There has never been something like this in West Michigan."

Bleeker outlines several benefits of using concrete versus other alternatives like granite. "There is total design flexibility as it can be customized with any color and any shape. It is very durable, twice as strong as drive way concrete." A unique custom feature is the use of recycled materials such as recycled glass and tiles in the concrete to expose the color and shapes of the items. "We have had customers that brought in wine and beer bottles to be incorporated to help differentiate and customize the design."

Although kitchen countertops remain the mainstay for Hard Topix, Bleeker says a trend in outdoor living has created a demand for outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, cooking stations and custom fire pits.

The Hard Topix website, which features several pictures of their custom work and contact information, can be viewed here.

Source: Drew Bleeker, Hard Topix
Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Job News Editor

Grand Rapids-based PR firm invests in cool space and banks talent

Lambert, Edwards & Associates (LE&A) is looking to add more talent to its team. With two recent senior level hires in Chris Tromp and Andy Heller, the firm is now searching for additional entry and mid level positions.

Jeff Lambert, president/managing partner, describes what he considers to be the perfect fit for their firm which services clients in 20 states. "We use the term 'best athlete.' They have to be able to do multiple things. They need the agility to go across to different areas and work, and [they] need to be aggressive with a view for national work."

LE&A's workplace is located in downtown Grand Rapids and features a rooftop deck and other amenities that create an ambience of "professional cool," which Lambert feels not only helps when hosting current and potential customers, but also creates their firm as a destination employer. "We recruit folks statewide with a mix of homegrown talent. Our culture is professional and hard charging, but we work in a setting that is fun."

Lambert's advice for anyone interested in a public relations career is to gain as much experience as possible. "The best way for a young person to get experience is to find an internship, paid or unpaid. Show off your skills and begin the most basic of networking. Go to events, get involved. Say, 'I am going to collect five business cards,' and then follow up with a call."

To learn more about LE&A, you can visit their website here.

Source: Jeff Lambert, LE&A
Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Job News Editor

Downtown Grand Rapids' new Kilwin's location is a great place for first time job seekers

For many high school and college students, summer doesn't just mean time off from school -- it also means landing their first job.

Tim Calderone, owner of the newly opened Kilwin's Chocolates and Ice Cream franchise in downtown Grand Rapids (McKay Tower, 146 Monroe Center NW), is happy to employ first-time job seekers as well as those who have minimal work experience.

"We hire a lot of first time jobbers," Calderone says. "We've got seven or eight people who have never had a job before. One of our fudge makers, probably our best guy who works in the kitchen in production, never had a job before. Both my wife and I have a lot of leadership experience in our professional life, so we look forward to being able to help develop some of these young kids as we build the business."

The new franchise, which opened in May, currently supports 17 part-time workers and one full-time management position, most of them high school or college students. Calderone says he is still looking to hire additional part-time customer service and production employees for 25-30 hours a week.

Employees hired for production positions will work in the store's show kitchen making fudge, caramel and hand dipped chocolates, while customer service employees are in charge of all ice cream and chocolate sales.

Calderone says he is looking for outgoing people who enjoy interacting with customers and are willing to help create a unique experience for shoppers.

"The product is good, that's a given," Calderone says. "But the experience when people come into the store, we want them to go out saying, 'that was a really cool place to go because of the people.'"

For an application visit www.kilwins.com/career-opportunities.

Source: Tim Calderone, Kilwin's Chocolates and Ice Cream
Writer: Charlsie Dewey, Freelance Reporter

Altronics Energy expects to bring 90 renewable energy jobs to Byron Center over next three years

Thanks to $450,000 in Michigan Business Development Program incentives through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Altronics Energy, LLC will begin a $2.5 million expansion that will allow for the addition of 90 new jobs in Byron Center during the next three years.

The wind component manufacturer (7357 Expressway Dr. SW) will be hiring primarily production line workers, though some production supervisor and office jobs will also become available. The positions are all full-time opportunities.

"The majority of them will be assemblers, where they will be working on the assembly line," says Ashley McNees, marketing director for Altronics. "There's going to be a few production supervisor positions, line runners -- making sure the line is filled with materials. On the office side, we will be expanding on the customer service side of things. Possibly down the road in the engineering department."

McNees says that the company is looking for production line people with some manufacturing experience who understand the tight deadlines associated with production work. She also said that the company offers on-the-job training, so individuals with minimal experience should not hesitate to apply.

The production line positions have a base pay of $10 per hour.

The company consists of fairly young employees and McNees says employees have the opportunity to chart their own course.

"There's a lot of opportunity around here," McNees says. "Every person who has a position is able to make their future here."

McNees also highlighted the company's unconventional open idea forum, saying that everyone is given the opportunity to solve problems and provide advice.

Hiring will begin later this summer. Resumes can be submitted through info@altronicsenergy.com.

Source: Ashley McNees, Altronics Energy; Clark Communications; Michigan Economic Development Corporation; Right Place, Inc.
Writer: Charlsie Dewey, Freelance Reporter

Trillium Haven's opening in Grand Rapids' Eastown neighborhood means good food, 50 jobs

The opening of the new Trillium Haven restaurant in the Kingsley Building (1429 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids) in Eastown isn't just good news for residents of the area. It's also good for job seekers.

The hiring process has been in full gear for several months and is nearly complete. Anja Mast, owner of Trillium Haven with husband Michael VanderBrug, says that she expects a staff of about 50 with both part-time and full-time positions once the restaurant is in full swing. Positions include wait staff, bartenders, cooks and chefs.

Mast says they have been looking for people who fit the business's core values of honesty, integrity, a can-do attitude, creativity, hospitality and who share a commitment to sustainability.

In fact, employees can expect a unique experience working for Trillium Haven: the opportunity to get their hands dirty on the Jenison-based Trillium Haven Farm, a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) operation also owned by Mast and VanderBrug. Employees will have the chance to work shift cycles that include restaurant time as well as time on the farm, learning the farming practices so they can provide customers with that knowledge.

"It is so important for the wait staff to cycle through the farm," Mast says, "so that they can tell people 'Oh my gosh, such and such was just harvested literally at six this morning. The chef literally invented something new an hour ago. This was not on the menu, it's here for you.'"

Mast says that the restaurant's slogan to customers is "just try it," and that employees will be responsible for helping to present this message.

"The way we want our staff to approach people is to welcome them into an experience that's already happening. This is already a little different, let us help you navigate," Mast says. "It's our job for them to walk out and say, 'oh my gosh, I tried something new it was so awesome.'"

Source: Anja Mast, Trillium Haven
Writer: Charlsie Dewey, Freelance Reporter

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Pine Rest's planned mother-baby program for postpartum depression brings jobs to West Michigan

A groundbreaking new program for treating postpartum depression and perinatal mood disorders is on the drawing board at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services (300 68th St. SE, Grand Rapids).
The proposed Mother-Baby Partial Hospitalization Program, one of three in the U.S., will treat new mothers and pregnant women for postpartum depression and perinatal mood disorders while allowing the mother to bring her baby with her so mother-baby bonding can continue.
The program has created three full-time-equivalent positions that include one full-time therapist position, a full-time nursery attendant position, and a position that combines the hours of a part-time therapist, a nurse and a recreational therapist.
"Patients will come in the morning, receive treatment all day and then go home at night," says Gretchen Johnson, clinical services manager. "You have to be well enough to function at home, but the goal is to get patients into this program before they're so sick they won't be able to be at home anymore. Many women often don't understand what's going on until they're so sick they really need to go into a hospital, and that's traumatic because they have to leave their baby home."
Besides getting mental health therapy, the patients will receive expert help with medications, help with bonding with their baby, practice in calming cranky babies, and support from other women experiencing the same issues.
"So many women say they missed the whole first year of their baby's life because they were so depressed they couldn't function," Johnson says. "We want to help them avoid all this and to help them learn how to enjoy their baby."
The Mother-Baby Partial Hospitalization Program begins this fall.
For more information on jobs at Pine Rest, click here.
Source: Gretchen Johnson, Pine Rest
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor


New Grand Rapids veterinary clinic opens its doors to pets, brings more jobs to region

With the opening of Modern Health Veterinary Hospital comes new jobs to the Grand Rapids area. The hospital, 1971 East Beltline Ave. next to El Burrito Loco, opened in April, offering an array of veterinary services for dogs, cats, hamsters, rats, guinea pigs, reptiles and exotic pets.
The hospital brought one full-time and two part-time veterinary technician positions to the area, says owner Shane Thellman, DVM.
"We looked for veterinary assistants with veterinary experience to help with tasks from vaccines, to surgeries, to cleaning the hospital," Dr. Thellman says. "We don't separate between receptionist, vet tech and hospital; we do it all, depending on what a patient needs."
Modern Health Veterinary Hospital offers routine wellness care, dental services, elective and medical surgeries, spay and neuter procedures, ultrasound, a full service pharmacy, a testing laboratory through a local lab, and hospitalization for critical patients, Thellman says.
"We believe in an individual approach -- not every dog needs every vaccine, not every dog needs de-wormers," Thellman says. "For example, for our senior pets, we recommend seeing them twice a year because they're aging a lot faster than we are and it allows us to stay current on the possible development of heart disease and kidney disease."
Source: Shane Thellman, DVM, Modern Health Veterinary Hospital
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

AppleTree Christian Learning Center to fill 70 jobs at two new Grand Rapids locations

As AppleTree Christian Learning Centers adds another two locations in West Michigan, the company has plans to hire another 70 employees, about 30 of whom will be teachers and another 30 teachers' aides.
AppleTree, which serves as a daycare, a preschool and a before/after school childcare facility for children ages six weeks to 12 years, has 12 locations throughout West Michigan. The company recently broke ground on a new venue on Cascade Road in Forest Hills and breaks ground on Mon., June 18 on a new facility on the East Beltline near Knapp St. NE (3100 Learning Lane, Grand Rapids).
Each location will employ 15 teachers, 15 teachers' aides, three administrative staff to oversee the management of the learning center, plus cooks and bus drivers, says owner and founder Bridgett Tubbs. She adds that about 75 percent of the jobs are full-time positions.
"We have our own program to help children develop socially, emotionally and academically," Tubbs says. "From the time they're infants, they're learning baby sign language and they keep on learning throughout the time they're here. We're looking for peoples who have experience working with children; we love moms that are getting back into the workforce and moms with young children."
Tubbs says the teachers must be certified to teach in Michigan and the administrators need Bachelor degrees. She says the corporate culture is one where every decision is based on what's best for the children.
AppleTree Christian Learning Centers began in 1997 and has some 420 employees corporate-wide.
To apply online for a job, click here.
Source: Bridgett Tubbs, AppleTree Christian Learning Centers
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Amway to invest $81M in new high-tech manufacturing near Ada, 200 new jobs

Amway Corporation will invest some $81 million in a new state-of-the-art vitamin, mineral and dietary supplement manufacturing facility at its Spaulding Avenue site in Ada, which will create 200 jobs over the next three years.

The company will develop the facility to manufacture its Nutrilite brand of products, the first Michigan-based facility for Nutrilite, which will continue to be produced at existing plants in Buena Park, CA and Quincy, WA. Expansions at those two facilities, combined, will total $74 million and produce 30 jobs in Quincy.

Construction in Ada will begin in early 2013 and will be complete in 2015, says George Calvert, VP of supply chain and R & D. The jobs created span a variety of skill sets, including plant management, equipment management, process management, chemical engineering, materials planning, materials purchasing, inventory control, tableting and softgel encapsulation.

"Manufacturing will use advance work systems where we flow people to the work," Calvert says. "Our technicians will be cross-trained across a variety of skill sets; the people we hire will get a lot of training and we'll work to enhance their skills."

Calvert says Nutrilite is the world's number one selling vitamin brand and sales represent 45 percent of Amway's business. A company media release states that Nutrilite sales were $4.7 billion in 2011.

"Nutrilite grew 17 percent last year and we're out of capacity in California and Washington," Calvert says. "We looked at building in California and in the southeast and southwest of the United States, but the better thing for us and for the community was to put the plant right there on Spaulding."

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation approved a $1.6 million incentive from the Michigan Business Development Program to support construction of the new facility.

Source: George Calvert, Amway Corporation; Media Release, Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Women's Lifestyle Magazine's successes mean new staff, increased circulation

Women's Lifestyle Magazine owner, founder and publisher Victoria Upton couldn't be more excited. The success of her 14-year-old endeavor to create a magazine for women in Greater Grand Rapids has, in turn, created a need for 15 new staff members and freelance employees. In addition, the magazine is now available in over 450 locations throughout the region, up from 400 locations just six months ago.

"Businesses call us to put magazines in their stores, and that's always increasing," Upton says. "There's no way we can accommodate every request -- we'd have to print a lot of magazines!"

But that popularity is precisely what has driven the magazine's need for 13 additional freelance writers, a full-time graphic designer/webmaster and a full-time sales and advertising person.

Besides the local magazine for the Grand Rapids area, Women's Lifestyle Magazine also syndicates the magazine to publishers in Detroit, Lansing, Kalamazoo and Muskegon who use their own local content to customize the publication for their readers.  

The magazine, which is always free, is also available in its entirety on a new interactive website.

"The website puts us on an equal playing field with the rest of the media because we can use social media and can create audio and video content," Upton says. "We're very retail-friendly and we fill a need for local boutiques, shops and one-of-a-kind businesses to have a place to promote their businesses in an affordable manner. We're also a great source for resources, information and positive inspiration. We let you know that there are all these things that are fun to do in our community and you're invited."

Source: Victoria Upton, Women's Lifestyle Magazine
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Grand Rapids' ArtPrize seeks full-time development director, plus interns, volunteers

Grand Rapids-based ArtPrize, the nonprofit entity that oversees the world's largest open art competition each September and October, is growing. With that growth comes the need for a full-time director of development to develop relationships with donors and help the organization succeed financially.

"This is a high level position and a unique opportunity for the right person," says Amelea Pegman, community volunteer director. "We're looking for someone with a wealth of experiences and who has a passion for what we're doing."

ArtPrize operates with a small staff of 15 and has recently added four part-time contractors: an exhibitions coordinator, an events assistant, a volunteer assistant and a digital media specialist. In addition, there are several unpaid internships available for 10 to 20 hours each week of the summer through the end of ArtPrize 2012 (Sept. 19 through Oct. 7, 2012).

"We're looking to fill intern positions that include communications and marketing, logistics support and educational programming," Pegman says. "We have our interns manage important projects so they can get valuable experience and college credit. We'll do anything they need to help them fulfill their college requirements."

Pegman also says ArtPrize needs 500 new volunteers for the event this year. The event operates with some 1,500 volunteers who give 10,000 hours to the community in pre-event planning and in-event tasks. This year, Pegman is busy developing responsibilities for a new Lead Volunteer effort for volunteers who want to offer a bit more time and commitment by helping to coordinate teams of volunteers.

For more information on the director of development position, click here.
For more information on internships, click here.
For more information on volunteering, click here.

Source: Amelea Pegman, ArtPrize
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

New Cheshire Grill in Grand Rapids brings family dining, jobs back to Cheshire business district

Up until the last few years, a large storefront at 2162 Plainfield Ave. NE was best known as The Cheshire Restaurant. Now, after changing hands and menus a few times, then sitting vacant awhile, another traditional family restaurant is back in the space -- The Cheshire Grill.

Owner Eric Vorpi opened The Cheshire Grill in January, featuring real, old-fashioned sodas made by hand at the soda counter, and made-from-scratch foods like sausage gravy, French rolled omelets and homemade jams.

Vorpi says he filled 18 cook and server positions when the restaurant opened, and hopes to add another four or five when he adds a dinner shift. Right now, he's working to build up a regular clientele for breakfast and lunch hours, and hopes to open for the dinner hour as soon as the business is ready.

"All the loyal customer following was let go during several rebuilds, and we have to build it back up," Vorpi says. "We wanted everything dialed in before we went crazy with what we wanted to offer."

Inside, the restaurant still has its checkerboard floors, the soda/ice cream counter and three main dining rooms. The front door still connects to Sweetland's Candy Shop next door, like it has for decades. Vorpi says the place is beginning to attract business and church groups as a regular gathering spot for breakfast and lunch meetings.

Hours: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., daily.

Source: Eric Vorpi, The Cheshire Restaurant
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

New Mexican restaurant in Grand Rapids' Creston district brings hospitality jobs

A new restaurant in Grand Rapids' Creston business district has done more than bring the area its only Mexican restaurant -- it has also brought jobs. La Huasteca, owned by Jose and Flor Torres, opened last week with three employees filling existing positions, and more jobs to come as the eatery grows.

Flor Torres, 30, says she decided to bring authentic, fresh Mexican cuisine to the neighborhood (1811 Plainfield Ave. NE, next to Screaming Needle Tattoo) after attending the business management program at Grand Rapids Community College. Jose, 31, who owns and operates Torres Tire Shop (830 Lafayette Ave. NE), already has several years' experience running his own business, and that gave them the confidence to start a second venture.

"We serve authentic Mexican food," says Flor Torres. "Everything we make, we cook from scratch. We buy the meat in bulk and cut it ourselves. How much fresher can you get than that?"

The restaurant hired a full-time cook and a prep cook, plus a server. Flor is also a server and is on the premises to welcome guests. The small eatery's focus is on take-out orders, but also has space to seat 15 diners.

Both Jose and Flor were born in Mexico and came to the U.S. when they were nine years old. They've lived in Grand Rapids over 20 years. Flor named the restaurant after a waterfall in Mexico. The family traveled there two years ago to baptize their youngest child and "fell in love with the place," Flor says.

Restaurant hours: Mon. - Thurs., 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri. and Sat., 10 to midnight.

Source: Flor Torres, La Huasteca
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

New sub-acute care wing at Metron of Forest Hills creates need for nurses, CNAs

The renovation of 11 longterm care semi-private rooms at Metron of Forest Hills into 11 private rooms for sub-acute care patients has created a need for more nurses and certified nurse assistants at the facility.

Metron of Forest Hills opened at 1095 Medical Park Dr. SE, just off Cascade Rd., 35 years ago, and the demand for separate sub-acute care rooms spurred the company to create a space specifically for those patients who still need nursing care before going home, but don't require longterm care. The renovations include new lobby areas, entrances and technology upgrades. The remodeled wing opened to the public this week.

"We are hiring now, and have ads in the papers and on our website," says LauraAnn Gordon, executive director. "We're adding five registered nurses and 10 certified nurse assistants for the sub-acute care section. As we're able to build up patient flow, the number of nursing and CNA positions will increase."

Gordon says the parent company, Metron Integrated Health Systems, is privately owned with other locations in Belding, Greenville, Cedar Springs, Big Rapids and Lamont. The Forest Hills location is licensed for 123 patients; sub-acute care patients stay an average of 28 days.

"The environment is an upscale facility that very warm, caring and compassionate," Gordon says. "And it's very conducive to the skills we're asking the nurses and CNAs to perform."

For more information on the jobs or to apply online, click here.

Source: LauraAnn Gordon, Metron Integrated Health Systems
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
222 Job Creation Articles | Page: | Show All
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