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Lighthouse Group looks to add sales and account management people across Michigan

Lighthouse Group, a Holland-based insurance provider with locations across Lower Michigan, says it has added 20 new people in the past year and looks to add another five to ten jobs in 2012.

The company has 24 locations from Holland to Port Huron, and each office tends to have its own personality and fills a specific need within its community, says Director of Marketing Carrie Farnum.

"We have a large portfolio of insurance and title clients, so we've added account management staff as the client base grows," Farnum says. "That creates the need for more support in I.T. and administration, and, as a snowball effect, that adds perpetual growth and sales."

In 2003, Farnum says Lighthouse Group had 150 employees. Today it has over 200. And the company has immediate openings in new business sales, account management and a few I.T. positions.

"We have bricks and mortar in all the communities we serve, and we feel that we can't assess community needs unless we have bricks and mortar locations in those communities," Farnum says. "I was in Port Huron yesterday, and [that office] has a totally different feel than in Grand Rapids and Holland."

Email info@lighthousegroup.net for more information or to submit a résumé.

Source: Carrie Farnum, Lighthouse Group
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Global brand supports local retail scene

Opening on the first day of ArtPrize in 2011, The Wolverine Company Store at MoDiv celebrated its six-month anniversary on March 21 with an official grand opening.

The shoe store, which employs one full-time and two part-time employees, is one the biggest names in the retail incubator and is part of a growing trend of urban retail recently profiled in Rapid Growth.

According to Brian Cousins, proprietor, the store's function goes beyond just selling shoes. "It's a great commitment by Wolverine Worldwide to Grand Rapids.  We want to help grow and inspire downtown shopping."

Cousins feels the downtown store is a kindred spirit to long-time downtown retailer Gina's Boutique and newcomer Central District Cyclery as they work together, with city officials and developers, to bring people downtown to shop.

He also adds that the store complements Wolverine Worldwide's other downtown initiative, GRid70. "It is also a place where Wolverine Worldwide can showcase new products. Our designers can visit the store on a regular basis and interact with our customers to see what they like or don't like, or even what they would like to see in the future."

To learn more about the company store, you can visit their website here or Facebook page here.

Source: Brian Cousins, The Wolverine Company Store
Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor

JetCo Solutions' growth means new sales, technical writing jobs for Grand Rapids

JetCo Solutions says its proactive and reactive processes for helping clients sell to the government has put the company on a growth track. That, in turn, means finding people to fill three new job positions the company just opened.

JetCo Solutions helps clients find government contracts for their product or service, works through the bidding process with them, helps them manage the proposal and follows up after submitting the proposals, says VP Sue Tellier.

"The capabilities are quite specific," says Tellier. Tellier's husband, Jon Tellier, founded the company in 2006. "We spent a lot of time trying to find the person with the perfect background, the perfect skills. But we've found that what we prefer is someone with the raw skills, someone who is not rigid, that we can train."

Tellier says the company will bring on a technical writer in the next two months. JetCo is also looking for two account managers to be "the main face" of the organization. And while experience is preferred, it's not a requirement.

The company is open to hiring a recent college graduate who has a degree in technical writing, says Tellier. And though she'd like to hire sales managers with procurement experience, she says that if someone understands how the federal budget works and how agencies spend money, they can teach the procurement piece.

JetCo Solutions has a diverse clientele, says Tellier, and does not take on clients who could compete with each other. Clients include companies from a number of industries, including healthcare staffing, a flooring contractor, defense contractors, air quality services and a lighting manufacturer.

For more information on JetCo Solutions, click here.

Source: Sue Tellier, JetCo Solutions; Kim Bode, 834 Design & Marketing
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Rockford's Morris Builders seeks carpenters, production manager for fulltime positions

Rockford-based Morris Builders, Inc. is so busy the company is ready to bring aboard four fulltime, permanent workers to move the company to the next level.

Morris Builders, owned and operated by husband and wife team Kirk and Joy Morris, is a family business founded 27 years ago when Kirk, working alone, was the entire company. Now, there are six employees and a need for more.

The company's focus is residential remodeling that ranges from handyman jobs to whole-house makeovers. A small portion of the business is dedicated to commercial remodeling. Morris Builders recently purchased and renovated a former office building at 143 Cortland St. for its new company headquarters.

"We work as a team and can take projects from design to framing to painting and flooring," says Kirk Morris. "We have slowly grown to add workforce and that means getting more business. It's the right time to grow, we're making conservative growth and we're stepping forward."

Morris looks to add three carpenters full-time -- two to step in as lead carpenters who will head-up projects, and one carpenter who will transition to a lead carpenter after gaining on-the-job experience and training.

In the office, the addition of a full-time estimator/production manager will provide one more person to estimate project costs, acquire major ticket items, and work with clients on deadlines, expectations and project status. Morris says the job requires someone who can keep projects moving forward, who can track budgets, is very friendly and able to multitask.

"Small business is where it's at," says Morris. "We have lots of work to keep everybody busy."

Source: Kirk Morris, Morris Builders
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

New Zeeland truck driving training school first mile marker on transportation career path

A new West Michigan truck driving training center could put students in the driver's seat for more than just a career in driving trucks -- it could be the road to future opportunities in transportation management.

The new Baker College Trucking and Logistics training school is a partnership between Baker College of Cadillac and Hudsonville-based Anthony Luurtsema Truck Lines (ALTL). An enhanced facility with over 2,000 square feet of classroom space and a truck driving range opens Thurs., March 15 at 9548 Adams St., Zeeland.

Students will receive 20 weeks of training that includes 58 hours of behind-the-wheel experience on the range and on actual runs with ALTL drivers, plus 30 hours of vehicle inspection training. The course will prepare them to sit for the Michigan Commercial Driver Licensing Class A exam, and will provide students with 30 college credit hours.

"Truck driving is an entry-level position into the transportation field because, many times, companies look at drivers to find management, dispatchers, safety specialists, logistics people -- the opportunities are huge," says Tim Baker, director of transportation for Baker College of Cadillac. Baker College has offered truck driving training at its Cadillac campus for over a decade.

"There is a shortage of about 400,000 drivers in the trucking industry right now," Baker says. "In Michigan, Schneider National, Inc. hires only [truck driving students] from Baker College. Many of the major trucking companies also waive the two-year experience rule if the driver goes through one of our schools."

Spring quarter begins April 2, 2012. The school will accept 24 students at the Zeeland facility. Classes run twice a week from 5 to 10 p.m., plus scheduled driving times with ALTL drivers. Tim Baker says the student population includes recent high school graduates as well as middle-aged workers who have been laid off or seek career changes. About eight percent of students are women.

For more information, call 616.879.0007 or click here.

Source: Tim Baker, Baker College of Cadillac
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Booming business at Muskegon's Shoreline Inn means 50 more summer jobs

A booming tourist and conference business at Muskegon's refurbished Shoreline Inn & Conference Center is going to bring some 50 seasonal jobs to the lakeshore.

The Shoreline Inn (750 Terrace Point Blvd.) was in poor shape when Parkland Properties of Michigan acquired it in 2009. Only half of its 140 rooms were open, it was down to 12 employees and brought in $900,000, says Jon Rooks, Parkland associate broker/owner. Now, after millions in redevelopment, the four-acre complex that includes the inn and conference center, Terrace Point Marina and The Lake House Waterfront Grille has 130 employees, with 2011's revenue at over $5 million, Rooks says.

With the renovation complete, the Shoreline
"We obtained the inn through a loan default which ended with a friendly transfer of ownership and the employees never lost their jobs," Rooks says. "We took over in the midst of the Great Recession and we thought we could try to sell it, but in a down market and the shape it was in at the time, the chance of selling it was dismal."
Inn played host to some 52,000 guests last year, Rooks says. The hope is to gain even more momentum as tourism rises along the lakeshore.

The summer jobs include restaurant, front desk, kitchen, housekeeping and marina positions.

"A variety of positions are available to a wide range of people," says General Manager Doug Pollock. "Muskegon's uniquely suited to the tourism industry. I think the fact that we've been able to move this property from 20 percent occupancy to 40 percent occupancy and provide jobs could be the spearhead for an entire industry here that could help a lot of people."

To apply, pick up an application at the inn or bring your résumé to the inn's job fair on April 26 and 27, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Source: Jon Rooks, Parkland Properties of Michigan; Doug Pollock, Shoreline Inn & Conference Center
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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Great Lakes Specialty Hospital opens soon in Grand Rapids, still has 40 healthcare jobs to fill

With the opening of the new Great Lakes Specialty Hospital in Grand Rapids just days away, hospital leaders say 50 healthcare workers are in place. With an expected 90 jobs total, that leaves 40 positions open -- openings the hospital looks to fill from now until early fall.

Great Lakes Specialty Hospital is a new facility situated on the fifth floor of Saint Mary's Health Care (200 Jefferson Ave. SE) offering 20 private beds for chronically critically ill patients who no longer need acute care, but are not ready to go home or to rehabilitation. The facility will open to patients on March 14.

"The vast majority [of the jobs] are direct caregiver positions for registered nurses, nurse aides and respiratory therapists," says Brian Pangle, CEO. "From a support standpoint, we'll need unit secretaries, and have a very small handful of other support roles like supply chain support and health information management support."

Twenty of the jobs transferred from the Muskegon location of the Great Lakes Specialty Hospital that was on the Mercy General campus, Pangle says. That location will close once the hospital opens a 31-bed renovated facility at Hackley Hospital.  

"Our patients are chronically critically ill, and we give them longer-term care in the hospital and that gives them a longer time for healing," Pangle says. "We focus on the rehabilitation of these people so they can go home or to a lower level of care. What's so valuable about being here at Saint Mary's is that an emergency can be addressed immediately without having to move that patient from one facility to another."

The public is invited to an open house on Friday, March 9 from 1 to 5 p.m. where they can experience the new hospital firsthand.

To see current job openings or to submit a résumé, click here.

Source: Brian Pangle, Great Lakes Specialty Hospital
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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90 medical jobs come to Grand Rapids, Muskegon with new Great Lakes Specialty Hospital

Grand Rapids City Clerk looks to hire an estimated 300 election workers

With local and statewide elections scheduled for May 8 and August 7, and the presidential election on November 6, Grand Rapids City Clerk Lauri S. Parks says she's looking for 200 to 300 people to work at the polls.

Some 500 election workers are already on the books, Parks says, and not all existing and new workers will be needed in May and August. But at least 200 new workers will be needed in November to accommodate a greater voter turnout for the presidential bid.

"An applicant must be a registered voter in Kent County and they have to be available to work on election day," Parks says. "They also have to come to mandatory training prior to working, and indicate whether they are a republican or democrat, because when we place the workers we have to have political balance at the precincts."

This year, a few polling precincts will have electronic poll books, so Parks says the city is looking for some of the applicants to have experience operating computers. Over the next couple of years, the city will transition all polling locations to e-poll books.

Parks says she always has more workers available than are needed because she needs to fill in for workers who have family obligations, vacations or illness. Others only want to work certain elections.

The election day workday begins at 6 a.m. and ends sometime after the polls close at 8 p.m. and the closing work is complete. Workers get breaks for lunch and supper, and earn $125 per day.

"It's a wonderful experience; people really enjoy it," Parks says. "They're always surprised at how detailed everything is that goes into the election and how many checks and balances are already in place."

To apply, pick up an application at the City Clerk's Office, 300 Monroe Ave. NW, 2nd floor (City Hall) or click here.

Source: Lauri S. Parks, Grand Rapids City Clerk
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Priority Health looks to hire dozens of nurses, healthcare workers and office staff

As Grand Rapids-based Priority Health continues to expand its reach across Lower Michigan and add physicians to its provider base, the company finds increasing opportunities to hire people with skills that range from accounting and actuarial know-how to registered nurse case managers who work closely with doctors and patients. The company also looks to bring on 15 to 17 paid interns.

Priority Health currently employs 1,000, most of whom work in Grand Rapids. But with satellite offices in Traverse City, Farmington Hills, Jackson, Holland and Kalamazoo, there are work opportunities in those regions, as well.

Two big areas of growth are adding physicians as in-network providers, and analyzing data to determine trending healthcare issues to access the need for development of specific wellness programs, says Jason Jones, senior HR business consultant. As a result, more account managers and health informatics consultants are needed.

"We're also anticipating growth on the nursing side," says Jennifer Parks, senior HR business consultant. "This requires called RN case managers who work with our members to manage and coordinate different doctors, medications, different health conditions."

Parks says there are licensed practical nurse positions and office positions open. A formal internship program could bring on 17 paid interns who can work in the medical, legal and IT arenas, or at offsite locations with providers.

"We obviously have jobs that require specific certifications and licenses," Parks says, "but we also want people who are very much driven for results, who are innovative and customer oriented. We always have jobs out there where we're looking for qualified candidates. A lot of our work over the next couple of years is in anticipation of what healthcare reform will bring to the table in 2014."

For more information on jobs and internships currently available, click here, then scroll down to current openings.

Source: Jennifer Parks and Jason Jones, Priority Health
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

New statewide consultant job opens door to the future for historic building preservation

A national grant awarded to the Michigan Historic Preservation Network opens the door to future preservation efforts by funding a new consultant position to help develop a revolving fund for the nonprofit.

The 1772 Foundation, a Connecticut-based nonprofit that funds U.S. restoration and agricultural projects, awarded $19,000 to MHPN to enable the hiring of a consultant who will continue development of an ongoing funding source for the preservation of buildings that have historical significance in Michigan.

"We feel that a historic barn is just as important as a historic mansion or historic downtown,"
says Nancy Finegood, executive director. "We go into the community and do some grassroots organizing to get the building saved. We're thinking we could establish some small grants to help them with small [preservation] projects. We have the skeleton of the program, but need someone to help us make final decisions to get the program up and running."

The Lansing-based MHPN is looking for a consultant with experience in the real estate industry and in historic preservation -- someone who can work closely with the organization to establish a model for the revolving fund by early October 2012. The position will post nationwide in compliance with the terms of the grant; the consultant can work from anywhere in the U.S. and does not need to report in person to the Lansing office.

Finegood says the MHPN partners with grassroots groups to help them secure funding for particular projects and to educate them on what it takes to preserve a building. Two of their current projects include a protection of a trio of buildings in downtown Chelsea that were to be razed and are now for sale for $1, and a partnership to save Belding's historic clock tower.

For more information on the position, visit the MHPN website here, or apply for the position by sending a letter of interest and a résumé to Nancy Finegood, 107 East Grand River Ave., Lansing, MI 48906.

Source: Nancy Finegood, Michigan Historic Preservation Network
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

John Ball Zoo to fill 144 seasonal jobs; work continues on $7M facelift, funicular, "tree"house

John Ball Zoo swings wide its gates on March 1, and visitors will see a whole herd of changes in the works this summer: a new entrance plaza with new restrooms, an expanded gift shop and a first-ever funicular to take folks up the hill to a new children's play area and a "tree" house created for special events. As a result of the changes, the zoo has added 24 seasonal positions to its usual requirement of 120 workers, and so is looking for 144 people to fill an array of jobs.

The list of positions is long and varied. For example, because the new gift shop is triple the size of the old one, there's a need for more cashiers and stockers. The zoo will also need people to run the funicular and to staff the tree house (which isn't actually a tree house, but a new banquet and event space in the Idema Forest Realm). Other folks will operate an increased number of food carts that will be located on the hilltop, and the zoo needs guides for the nature trails in the Idema Forest Realm.

'We get a lot of college students [applying for jobs], because we offer a whole variety of positions in different fields like food service, marketing, retail, physical education, biology and zoology," says Brenda Stringer, executive director of The John Ball Zoo Society. "A lot of times, people who work for us in seasonal positions often end up working for us when full-time positions open up."
 
The bulk of the jobs run from May through August, but some jobs begin in March and April while some end in September or October.

Stringer says the zoo has 420,000 visitors a year who infuse the Grand Rapids economy with some $30 million annually. The projects already under construction will come in at about $7 million in enhancements. Over the next couple of years, other plans include renovating the grizzly bear exhibit and building a new tiger exhibit and a children's tree house on the hilltop.

To find out more or to submit an application, click here. Jobs opportunities will be updated throughout the coming weeks.

Construction manager: Owen-Ames-Kimball
Architect/design: Progressive AE

Source: Brenda Stringer, John Ball Zoo Society
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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Grove is hitting its groove

Grove, one of the newer and more hyper-local restaurants on the Grand Rapids food scene, made a recent splash courtesy of a blogger from the Big Apple.

The New York Grub Street restaurant blog highlighted a Grove creation as one of the best new desserts in the country. 

"There was a great buzz factor from the article. We had quite a bit of customer feedback and Valentine's Day was great," says GM Rob Tamburello. He adds that the creativity and the ability to "push the envelope" at Grove is a natural evolution from "the success and trust of the Essence Restaurant Group."

Growth for Grove, which opened in September of 2011, will be manifested by  expanding options and "adding layers" says Tamburello. Currently, it has about 20 full-time employees, which he feels is just about the right size. "It's a small staff that are extra committed," he says. "Everyone is a professional and works at a very high level."

To learn more about Grove, you can visit their site here.

Source: Rob Tamburello, Grove
Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs New
222 job creation Articles | Page: | Show All
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