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Ferris State University seeks qualified applicants for 20-40 jobs in Grand Rapids, Big Rapids

Perusing Ferris State University's (FSU) job postings on any given day will likely return 20-40 job openings that run the gamut from faculty to administration, including hourly and salaried positions in both the Big Rapids and Grand Rapids locations.

Between January and March 2012, FSU added 17 new hires, and the university looks to fill 13 additional positions. Michelle Balliet, manager of employment and compensation, says that late spring often offers increased job opportunities because that's when the university fills many faculty positions.

Balliet highlighted a handful of openings the school needs to fill right now, including a faculty position in the international studies department, associate VP of human resources and a clerical position in the automotive department. Additional clerical, faculty and information technology positions are available.

"A good fit for the university is anyone who is willing to learn new aspects of a professional work environment," Balliet says. "Higher education is very different than a corporate or business environment. We deal with a lot of diverse populations between our students, faculty and staff . . . just because we hire you for a part-time clerical position doesn't mean you won't be doing a lot of different things, maybe event planning or program work. There is a lot of exposure at Ferris State University for folks to really learn about the entire institution."

FSU updates its list of openings every Friday and asks job candidates to apply online for all positions. If a candidate has questions or needs help, FSU offers assistance via email or by phone and has kiosks available in the human resources office (420 Oak Street, Prakken 150, Big Rapids) where job seekers can apply.

To view current positions click here, or call (231) 591-2150 for more information.

Source: Michelle Balliet, Ferris State University
Writer: Charlsie Dewey, Freelance Reporter

West Michigan Bike & Fitness hiring for Grandville, Holland and Kentwood stores

It’s the beginning of the peak cycling season and West Michigan Bike & Fitness is looking for cycling enthusiasts to fill several part-time and full-time positions in retail locations in Grandville, Holland and Kentwood.

"We want to have people who are energetic and goal-driven," says Evert Klomp III, Kentwood location store manager. "We want them to have a passion for cycling. We want them to be involved in the industry we are in, and that is a huge thing for us . . . so that customers can see that."

The company, which typically employs 20-25 people throughout the year and 30 during the peak season, needs two to three full-time employees as well as up to six part-time workers. The full-time positions include both service and sales opportunities.

Service employees will handle new-bike assembly, repairs and parts sales, while sales employees will be on the floor focusing on selling new bikes, accessories and fitness equipment.

In addition to its sales and service positions, West Michigan Bike & Fitness is a sponsor of several race events and group rides throughout the summer. All employees have the opportunity to work those events in various capacities.

"It's laid back, but fairly fast paced," Klomp says. "It's a busy store, but I think it’s a fairly fun, energetic place. There's a great group of people on the sales side. You've got a younger crowd. They're all very passionate about what they are doing. I'd like to believe they like to be here."

Anyone who is interested can click here to apply online.

Source: Evert Klomp III, West Michigan Bike & Fitness
Writer: Charlsie Dewey, Freelance Reporter

Stone Plastics aims to add 25 skilled manufacturing positions to employee rolls in Zeeland

With less than 12 years in business, Zeeland-based Stone Plastics & Manufacturing, Inc. already has 176 full-time employees. But with resurgence in the automotive industry, the custom injection molding company expects to add 25 employees in coming months.

Four machine operator positions are open right now, says Employee Development Manager Steve Heethuis, and another three positions in engineering, tooling and scheduling are open to internal candidates with a chance of going to the public if they're not filled.

"Every job we fill has first gone through our posting board internally," Heethuis says. "There are skilled individuals out there, but part of the reason we develop from within is because we can identify individuals with skills who fit our culture."

Heethuis says the company is designing its own custom injection molding machine right now, and expects that to be up and working in the coming months. Once the machine is operational, the company will need another 18 people to fulfill the contracts associated with that machine -- three coaches/supervisors, 12 machine operators and three apprentices.

He adds that Stone Plastics invests in its employees through specialized training opportunities.

"We put 18 individuals through Grand Rapids Community College this past semester for plastics, tooling and maintenance and one to Davenport," he says. "We're helping them grow their technical proficiency so they can move up to better paying positions as they become available."
For more information on the jobs available at Stone Plastics (8245 Riley, Zeeland), click here.

Source: Steve Heethuis, Stone Plastics & Manufacturing, Inc.
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

New Grandville Bagger Dave's restaurant to fill 55 full- and part-time openings

On Sunday, May 13, a new Bagger Dave's Legendary Burger Tavern near Rivertown Crossings mall will open its doors, creating not only a fun, casual hamburger and beer joint, but 55 new restaurant jobs, to boot.

Some of the positions have been filled, but many have not, and the restaurant (4553 Canal Ave. SW, Grandville), which offers healthcare benefits to both its full- and part-time employees, is still accepting applications.

"We have been hiring for the last couple of weeks already," says Michael Ansley, president and CEO of Diversified Restaurant Holdings, owner of Bagger Dave's. "We still need servers, bartenders, cooks, cashiers and food runners. We pay 100 percent of the healthcare benefits for our salaried employees, and cover 50 percent of the cost for hourly employees who work at least 28 hours a week."

Employees will also receive ServSafe alcohol and food certification training, says Ansley.

The 4,000-square-foot restaurant will feature Bagger Dave's signature burgers -- beef, turkey or black bean -- with 30 toppings to choose from for the build-your-own-burger part of the menu. The bar features eight taps of Michigan craft beers, a wine selection and a few liquor options.

The casual atmosphere highlights historic photos of Grand Rapids and Grandville, and an electric train circles the restaurant high up on the wall.
To complete an online application and an assessment test, click here.

Source: Michael Ansley, Diversified Restaurant Holdings and Bagger Dave's Legendary Burger Tavern
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Bobby J's restaurant opens at Grand Rapids Centennial Country Club, brings 18 jobs online

Bobby J's at Centennial Country Club opened this week with a new menu of tempting pork, beef, salmon and chicken dishes all created from meats smoked on site. To get all that delicious food to patrons, the restaurant has hired 14 new employees and expects to add at least four more.

Bob Johnson bought Centennial Country Club (3361 Charlevoix Dr. SE, Grand Rapids) two years ago, and revamped the former C's Grill space for the new Bobby J's eatery. The revamp includes the purchase of a large smokehouse where Johnson says the magic happens.

"We smoke all of our own salmon, chicken and beef," he says. "We have brisket, pulled pork, our own bacon. Our menu has a mango curry chicken salad that uses our smoked chicken. Our sampler platter has a bit of all the different types of meat and seven signature sauces we created in-house, like cherry barbeque, honey bourbon barbecue and root beer barbecue, which rocks."

Johnson says he and head chef Justin Piper created a selection of sides to complement the smoked meats, including a honey mustard sweet potato salad, maple bacon baked beans and black bean and corn relish. Bobby J's also offers a full bar and happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Four more full- and part-time jobs still need to be filled, says Johnson -- two bartender positions and two server jobs.

Source: Bob Johnson, Bobby J's at Centennial Country Club
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Muskegon's Mercy Health Partners seeks over 60 healthcare workers

Mercy Health Partners in Muskegon has over 60 healthcare jobs to fill, and several of those positions are entry-level clinician jobs.

As of Monday, 68 jobs were available in the Greater Muskegon area -- jobs that include assistant, clinical care coordinators (RNs), lab and medical positions within laboratories, pharmacy openings, physician's assistant, nurse practitioner and more.

"We always have jobs available and always need for RNs and staff nurses," says Cynthia Hines, director of employment and diversity. "We're always marketing that West Michigan is not just a great place to live and to work, but to also play. If an individual is looking to relocate in West Michigan, and if they have healthcare experience, this would be the place to be."

Mercy Health Partners has several Muskegon locations, including the Mercy Campus at US-31 and Sherman, the Hackley Hospital Campus, the Lakeshore Campus in Shelby, and other locations.

The jobs are spread throughout the region. Specific jobs and their locations are noted on the company website at www.mercyhealthmuskegon.com. Interested persons can submit an application online.

Hines says that, while most of the available jobs are healthcare positions, there are a number of jobs that are non-clinical, such as housekeeping and janitorial positions. All are listed on the website.

Source: Cynthia Hines, Mercy Health Partners
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

EmploymentGroup has 100-plus West Michigan manufacturing jobs to fill

EmploymentGroup President and CEO Mark Lancaster says there are lots of manufacturing jobs in West Michigan, and right now his company has over 100 of them to fill.

The jobs are a mixture of temporary staffing, temp-to-hire and permanent positions ranging from entry-level jobs on the manufacturing floor to customer services, management and quality engineering jobs.

"People are hiring in West Michigan," Lancaster says. "Certainly auto supply is a big part of it, but there are also fast food suppliers, consumer electronics and telecom -- it's broad based and companies are hiring. Certainly the Great Recession reset pay rates across the board, but at least in the category of entry-level manufacturing the pay is certainly equal to what it was. There's a lack of skilled workers, so in some cases there are apprenticeships and on-the-job training."

Lancaster says that temporary placements often become permanent jobs. He says that already this year, EmploymentGroup has seen 269 temporary positions become full-time positions at client companies. He says that in 2011, the client company hired 1,384 of EmploymentGroup's temporary placements.

To see the jobs available, visit www.egnow.com or click here.

Source: Mark Lancaster, EmploymentGroup; Amanda Passage, Lambert Edwards & Associates
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Manufacturing firm adding jobs in Walker

With a new facility nearing completion and the automotive industry continuing to rebound, Plasan Carbon Composites is ready for the future.

According to Tony Roslanic, plant manager, the firm is looking to add hundreds of jobs in the not too distant future. "We are on track to hire 40-50 in 2012," Roslanic says, adding that by the summer of 2013, another 200 jobs will be filled.

Roslanic points out that working at their firm is not the same as having a  stereotypical manufacturing job. He refers to the work more as an "art form" than the repetitive, assembly line jobs of the past. "The positions require very good eye/hand coordination," he says.

Roslanic also says that Plasan has a very distinct work culture. "It's fun, but we are very quality conscious. We look for a strong work ethic and the individuals need a great deal of flexibility due to the amount of cross-training that is required."

To learn more Plasan Carbon Composites, you can visit their site here.

Source:  Tony Roslanic, Plasan Carbon Composites
Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor

West Michigan job fair to connect lakeshore employers, potential employees across several industries

This Friday the 13th could be a lucky day for job seekers. The Pure Michigan Opportunity West Coast networking event will connect them with 35 Muskegon- and Grand Haven-area employers looking to fill about 200 jobs in a number of industries, including hospitality, manufacturing, banking, law, information technology and government.

The event begins at with a welcome and luncheon at 11 a.m. at the Lake House Waterfront Grille on Muskegon Lake in downtown Muskegon, and continues with career networking with the employers at Grand Valley State University's Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center (MAREC). The event ends with a tour of a number of places to live and play in Muskegon and Grand Haven, and a reception at Kirby House in Grand Haven.

Bus transportation to/from Livonia, Ann Arbor and East Lansing is included in the $15 cost, which also includes lunch and the reception. Interested persons can click here to review the schedule, see the participating employers, review the job descriptions, upload their résumés and register for the event.  

"A lot of people are relocating, and a lot of talent is graduating from our universities and we want to try to retain those individuals in Michigan," says Gina Brown, Muskegon Area First business development manager. The event is a cooperative effort by Muskegon Area First, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Grand Haven Chamber of Commerce.

"There are a lot of skilled positions available and we want to be sure people know what those opportunities are," Brown says.

Employers will have the opportunity at the event to interview candidates they might be interested in, Brown says. There will also be opportunities for candidates to connect with MichiganWorks!, SCORE, eMerge West Michigan and the Muskegon, White Lake and Grand Haven Chambers of Commerce.

Job seekers unable to attend can contact Muskegon Area First at 231.722.3751 for assistance in connecting with the employers represented.

Source: Gina Brown, Muskegon Area First; Media Release, Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Agape Plastics to bring 25 new manufacturing jobs to Grand Rapids with facility expansion

A 23,000-square-foot facility expansion at Grand Rapids' Agape Plastics, Inc. will bring some 20 to 25 manufacturing jobs to the area over the next 18 months, says VP Jeff Powers.

Powers says the City of Grand Rapids Board of Zoning Appeals approved the company's expansion plans Monday night, and construction could begin this week.

The company, which operates with 125 employees and a 54,000-square-foot plant at 11474 1st Ave. NW, does custom injection molding for the automotive industry, creating a variety of automobile components for steering columns, drive trains, interior trim, fascia attachments and more.

"During the economic downturn, we lost volume of the projects we had, but we didn't lose any jobs," Powers says. "Coming out of the downturn, we had the ability to invest in new programs and new equipment and some of our competitors couldn't do that. That positioned us to win programs from existing customers and from new customers as well."

That influx of new work means Agape Plastics will begin adding jobs this summer and will continue over the next 18 months as the expanded facility and new equipment gets up to speed, Powers says.

The company aims to add injection mold process technicians, plastic engineering positions, salaried engineering staff and injection mold operators.

"Not only will we be hiring local, talented people, we'll be continuing to grow our business with local vendors," Powers says. "We think Grand Rapids is the ideal place to manufacture these parts -- this is where we are, this is where we want to be, this is where we want to invest our tax dollars; we don't want to go anyplace else."

For more information on the company, click here.

Source: Jeff Powers, Agape Plastics, Inc.
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Muskegon, Montague Manpower offices aim to fill 30+ skilled trades, administrative positions now

The Manpower offices in Muskegon and Montague have over 30 administrative, skilled trades and manufacturing supervisor positions to fill immediately, and at least 20 percent of those are permanent placements in local companies.

The information comes from Cathy Monton, branch manager of the two offices, who says that Manpower will be looking for prime candidates at this Friday's Pure Michigan Opportunity West Coast career networking event sponsored by Muskegon Area First, the Grand Haven Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Some 35 companies will participate in the event.

Monton says several area manufacturers need CNC operators, quality technicians and other skilled tradesmen. All the jobs, including the supervisory and administrative positions, are open now and ready to be filled.

"When candidates walk in the door, they need to bring their résumés, a positive attitude and their smiles," Monton says. "I was at a career fair today and saw people wearing pajama pants -- candidates need to dress in appropriate business attire. They need to engage with the companies at the event -- walk up and shake hands, introduce themselves. Those people are standouts."

She adds that successful candidates come prepared with a one- to two-minute verbal résumé that outlines their work experience, training, skills and why the company should hire them.

For permanent placements, Manpower recruits candidates for the employer. Temp-to-hire positions work for Manpower initially, with an opportunity to become full-time employees of the company where they are placed.

"The skilled trades have a shortage (of workers)," Monton says. "Manpower is doing a lot of studies to discover the reasons for the talent shortage. Many employers are starting to do on-the-job training, and we offer the Manpower training and development center. A lot of times [the region's] students think they have to leave the state to get good jobs, when there are jobs right here in our backyard."
Source: Cathy Monton, Manpower
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Restaurant jobs come to Grand Rapids with opening of new downtown Subs-N-More

Attracted by the big city feel and business opportunities in Grand Rapids, husband and wife entrepreneurs Ryan and Heather Johnson have opened their third location of Subs-N-More in the downtown core. With that opening come eight part-time jobs with plans to add more full-time and part-time positions.

The sub shop started in South Haven in 1989 with Ryan's mom, Tracy Irwin, and a business partner. Ryan and Heather opened a second location in Holland in 1999, and then bought the South Haven store in 2008. The newest location is in McKay Tower, at 149 Monroe Center NE, with its entrance on the Pearl St. side of the building.

One of the shop's attractions is its homemade, handmade bread and pizza dough that Ryan makes in the wee hours every day at the South Haven shop, then delivers to Grand Rapids in time for the lunch crowd. The "N-More" part of the name includes handmade pizzas with fresh vegetables, crisp salads and homemade chili and soups.

"We wanted to try the metro side of things and had considered [opening in] Chicago," says Heather Johnson. "Our South Haven shop gets a lot of Chicago visitors in the summer and we had several requests. But we thought we'd keep it in Michigan a little longer and make the commute a little shorter."

Johnson says four of the jobs will become full-time positions as the shop gets busier. The growth plan includes adding another four part-time jobs.

The grand opening is today (April 5) at 5 p.m. with a free pizza party and a ribbon cutting ceremony with Mayor George Heartwell.

Source: Heather Johnson, Subs-N-More; Media Release, Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Leader in recognition-themed products growing and adding jobs

West Michigan-based Baudville, specializing in corporate gifts and employee recognition, has hired 11 new team members to its outbound sales department in the past six months, and continues to look for more hires.

According to Cori Curtis, marketing communications specialist, the outbound sales department began only three years ago with two people and has been a major catalyst for growth. "We traditionally have been a catalog company,  but have been diversifying our sales channels, of which outbound sales has played a big role," Curtis says. Curtis says the department is now home to 18 individuals.

Besides looking for more sales representatives, Baudville also has openings in product development and brand management. "All our products are designed in-house. We are looking for a person to focus on product development and bringing new products to market. We also have a second brand IDville, and we are looking for a marketing manager to lead this team."

Curtis describes the Baudville culture as "work hard, play hard." All jobs are posted on Baudville's website, which can be reviewed here.

Source: Cori Curtis, Baudville
Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs Editor

Grand Rapids' Baker Book House gets new retail store, has jobs to fill

Grand Rapids' Baker Book House will break ground today on a new 28,166-square-foot renovation and expansion of its bookstore and warehouse at 2768 East Paris SE. And, the company is on the lookout to fill two new jobs right away -- one in the current retail store and one data entry person for the Internet sales side of the business.

Baker Books, a Christian book publishing company, offers hundreds of thousands of books, including 90,000 used books and a growing Internet sales division.

Set back from the road, the retail shop looks much like the warehouse it's attached to, and that has confused customers and kept the business from being seen easily from the road. All that is about to change with the addition of a two-story-tall façade with storefront windows.

Inside, other changes will update the retail store to contemporary customer expectations with a full coffee shop and café and a fireplace with plenty of cushy seating.

"We will have a permanent event place for author readings and book signings and live music performances," says Sue Smith, store manager. "Right now, we have to set up and take down chairs and move fixtures when we have an event. We wanted a space to leave 40 to 60 chairs set up with a stage, a projector and flat screen TVs."

Smith says that bookstore growth is unusual in this economy, but she says Baker saw a 12 percent sales increase in its 2010-2011 fiscal year. Internet sales account for 15 to 17 percent of all monthly sales, she says.

Smith plans to have a grand opening of the new store in August. Integrated Architecture created the design. Orion Construction is the construction manager.

For more information about the jobs, Smith says to stop by the store and pick up and application.

Source: Sue Smith, Baker Book House
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Grand Haven-based Media 1 looking for Microsoft SharePoint programmers for continued success

As Grand Haven-based Media 1 wraps up its 19th year, the company continues to move ahead with positioning itself as a consultant in business performance improvement. Along with that comes a need for Microsoft SharePoint programmers and developers to join the company.

Although Media 1's VP of Operations Harrison Withers didn't pin down an exact number of how many programmers the company needs, he did say, "it's one of those things that we pretty much are always looking for; I have been, and am constantly looking for, SharePoint help."

Withers continues, "We're not actively trying to hire six, but if six great [programmers] that I could afford came along, I could probably keep them busy."

SharePoint-related projects at Media 1 have grown in the past two years, says Withers. The need for experienced SharePoint programmers is made more difficult by the fact that there aren't many in the workforce to start with, and, of those, most are either already embedded in a company or they can pretty much name their own price, which puts them out of a small company's reach.

Withers says Media 1 has 17 employees right now, including a new SharePoint programmer that started this week.

According to a recent Media 1 press release, the company has positioned itself as an "expert in aligning people, process and technology to drive Business Performance Improvement."

"Our clients have a need for a great number of applications," says Withers. "Everything from onboarding systems to specialized-demand collecting applications to career development or performance-improvement directed portals. We don't want to necessarily tie ourselves to SharePoint all the time, but at end of day, it's about business processes improvement and increasing business performance."

Inquiries can be made by emailing solutions@media1.us.

Source: Harrison Withers, Media 1
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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