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Job Creation : Innovation + Job News

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New job openings at Elevator Up and coLearning

Elevator Up, the West Michigan firm that specializes in building websites, apps and mobile experiences, is hiring.

Currently posted is the position for a new business developer. Two more positions, visual designer and product manager, will be posted in the near future. 

Aaron Schaap says the new positions reflect the need to serve the growth of their customers. "Hiring isn't a focus on getting larger but continuing to get better at what we do and putting the right people in place to lead. We continue to enhance our ability to not just help organizations balance business goals with users' needs, but to also help them craft those digital experiences and work with them to launch those products to market."

Besides the positions at Elevator Up, Schaap also has an immediate opening for his coLearning initiative, a learning platform that provides a wide variety of classes in the technical, design and marketing world taught by area professionals. "Now we're ready to develop a dedicated team to take it to the next level," he says. "Our 'admissions recruiter' is the first open position that will be responsible for filling classes and making sure people get into the right courses."

For both coLearning and Elevator Up positions, Schaap stresses the benefits of working for an organization that has a focus on intrinsic rewards. "We let people be part of the whole process. We have a lot of leadership opportunities in Elevator Up. There are specific roles but everyone has a lot of autonomy. We are very open as an organization."

To learn more about Elevator Up and coLearning, you can visit their sites here and here.

Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor.

"Positive momentum on east side of state" spurs growth in Grand Rapids marketing firm

Jeff Lambert says his company is "extremely bullish about where Michigan is headed," and that direction is all about finding Michigan's amazing talent and keeping that talent in the state.

Lambert is president and managing partner of the public relations and investor relations firm Lambert Edwards & Associates, which has recently hired some of that talent to fill three vital positions in the company's fastest-growing practice areas: retail, education, and consumer products; healthcare; and public affairs.

The new hires will operate out of Lambert Edwards' offices in Grand Rapids, Lansing, and downtown Detroit.

Lambert says the firm's use of Michigan-based talent is intentional.

"I think the west side of the state doesn't often understand that there's positive momentum on the east side of the state," says Lambert. "I think there's a big opportunity to export our talent, and by that I mean that we serve clients in 20 states, but all the employees are in Michigan. I think that you ultimately can find the very best talent here in Michigan, and I would encourage other employers to work hard and be intentional about recruiting initiatives here in Michigan."

Lambert notes that the company, founded in 1998, now has 45 employees throughout its three offices and has grown in revenue for 14 consecutive years.

The new hires fill positions associated with media relations, social media, event coordination, and writing. Two of the new hires were interns at Lambert Edwards. Internships have been "a great pipeline" for finding and hiring top talent, Lambert says.

"Whether it's service providers like us, manufacturers, or technology companies, there is opportunity to invest further and be part of the resurgence of the state," says Lambert, "and it's our responsibility to grow."

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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Lambert, Edwards & Associates adds three to its digital and social media team

Molecular research, medical technology jobs open up at new NxGen Mdx laboratory at Clark Place

With the opening of its state-of-the-art laboratory in Grand Rapids' Clark Place, molecular research lab NxGen Mdx has openings for several medical technologists, with plans to bring on even more before the year is out.  

NxGen Mdx provides genetic carrier screening for pregnant mothers who may be at risk of passing genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis (CF) to their unborn child. The laboratory works with OB/GYNs to test for CF, spinal muscular atrophy, Fragile X syndrome, 19 different Ashkenazi Jewish genetic diseases, and others.

The lab moved into 6,000 square feet of space at Clark Place, 801 Broadway NW, in American Seating Park, after getting its start in the medical research business incubator at Grand Valley State University's Cook DeVos Center for Health Sciences. The lab's testing method was developed by NxGen Mdx while at Cook DeVos.

All testing begins with a simple blood test to determine if an expectant mother is a carrier for a particular disease. If she is, then the father is tested. It takes a bad gene from each parent to affect a child, and that child has a one in four chance of having the disease. If both parents are carriers, NxGen Mdx can test the amniotic fluid of the unborn child, or do a blood test on a newborn, to determine if the child has the disease. Early detection means early treatment, which can positively affect the quality and longevity of the child's life.

"We sequence all the important parts of the gene and can detect even rare mutations of the gene," says Founder and President Alan Mack. "If we find something, we send the information to the physician, who can counsel their patient, or we can counsel the patient using our genetic counselors who walk the patient through the process of what the discovery means for them and their baby. Studies have shown that if you put a cystic fibrosis child on special therapies, they will live a longer, healthier life. A CF child's life expectancy is into their 20s, but with proper treatment, they can live into their 60s. And who's to say that in the next 10 years there isn't going to be a cure for CF?"

NxGen Mdx currently has one opening for a medical technologist. In February, there will be two more openings.

For more information on the genetic testing or the career opportunities, click here.

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Local nonprofit hiring, seeks research coordinator and office manager

The Grand Rapids African American Health Institute (GRAAHI) is hiring. The  non-profit organization, whose mission is to promote health care parity in the Grand Rapids African American community through advocacy, education, and research, is looking to add two members to its team.

GRAAHI is seeking to employ a full-time research coordinator to collaborate and coordinate development of research activities and a part-time office manager to handle the management of daily activities and maintain office services.

Shannon Wilson, Executive Director, says the research position will be a new position for the organization and they are looking for an individual who is ambitious and enjoys a challenge. "The research position is interesting. As a new position, the individual can chart their own course." Wilson says the individual will be instrumental in building the research arm of GRAAHI and will be working closely with area universities and neighborhood communities as part of the position.

The deadline to apply for both positions is Friday, December 20, 2013 by 5:00 p.m. For further information and full job descriptions, visit: http://graahi.org/About/EmploymentOpportunities.aspx

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

Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor

Website provides college students opportunity to build portfolio

It is the classic conundrum for college students getting ready to enter the workforce.  You need experience to get a good job. You need a good job to get experience.

The traditional solution to this dilemma has been an internship, which generally works well, but sometimes the timing for a semester-long commitment or the needs of an employer do not align with the students' schedule and career goals.

While attending Grand Rapids Community College, Jason Schemmel thought there had to be a better way for students to get relevant project-based experience. 

Inspired, Schemmel designed and launched ENTRPRSR, a website where students can register and then apply for project-based internships (minimum of eight weeks) and one-time projects that are posted by businesses. "This is much more flexible then an internship.  Students can build their portfolio, get real life experiences, get more references and expand their personal network," says Schemmel.

Since launching just over one year ago, Schemmel has received $5,000 funding through Start Garden, upgraded his site, and has helped six businesses staff projects. Schemmel says he has over 70 students registered on the site and has been working closely with career services and professors at area colleges to gain traction.

Schemmel says the projects remains a "full-time side project" but is confident that, as more students get enrolled and more employers post projects on the site, it will continue to grow and students will have more options to gain relevant experience to move their careers forward.

To learn more about ENTRPRSR you can view their website here or Facebook group here. You can also follow them on Twitter at @ENTRPRSR.

Writer: John Rumery, innovation and Jobs News Editor

Momentum builds as Retirement Wealth Advisors readies to hire 25 operations, financial professionals

Growth mode is in full swing at Jenison-based Retirement Wealth Advisors as the firm readies to bring on 10 to 25 financial planners, sales associates, and administrative professionals in 2014.

The company, an independent registered investment adviser platform, works with wealth and retirement advisors around the U.S., providing them with "back office" support.

And while the notion of wealth and financial planning conjures up images of old, stodgy, and stuffy, President Jason Wenk will be the first to tell you that Retirement Wealth Advisors is anything but.

"The finance industry is so dated and archaic," Wenk says. "There aren't a whole lot of people doing anything new or different or better. We're looking for people who are looking to break a 100-year-old industry and make it better with better technology, better design. We're one of the first firms in the country to have our own mobile app for iPhone and Droid. We want to come up with innovative ideas that change things and make them better."

To that end, Wenk says he has been recruiting through Grand Valley State University because all its finance graduates are already registered investment advisers with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, while all new hires don't need to be recent grads, all must be technologically proficient and able to provide virtual support to clients nationwide.

The company has 20 employees and contract workers, up from just seven in early 2012. Wenk aims to add several sales representatives to grow the client list. As more clients rely on the company, the need for support teams of administrative professionals, bookkeepers, and financial planners grows.

Retirement Wealth Advisors has offices in Jenison (9501 Baldwin St., Suite 203) and Spring Lake (114 W. Savidge St.); Redding and Laguna Beach, CA; Albuquerque, NM; Lafayette LA; and Scottsdale AZ.

To apply for a position, use the contact form found here.

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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Ongoing demand for temp, permanent industrial staffing spurs EmploymentGroup to add sales staff

The ongoing demand in West Michigan for skilled temporary workers for manufacturing positions has spurred Battle Creek-based EmploymentGroup to add sales staff in Grand Rapids and Lansing to keep up with the pace.

Rayeann Lackey joins the Grand Rapids office at 3230 Broadmoor SE as sales account manager for the Grand Rapids region. Bonnie Blair is the new sales account manager for the Lansing market.

"We wanted to hire professionals that were really dedicated to their markets and help our clients with their staffing needs," says President and CEO Mark Lancaster. "Our turnover in our temporary staff is less than half of our competition in the staffing industry. Rayeann and Bonnie will help us with our current customers to make sure we're staying on top of their needs, but at the end of the day, to help us with our growth in such important industrial markets, which continue to be very strong."

Lancaster says that in 2013, EmploymentGroup placed 6,000 workers in temporary industrial jobs, and over 1,000 of them were hired as permanent, full-time employees by their companies. In the past four years, EmploymentGroup has placed over 4,000 workers in permanent jobs.

To help build the skilled trades and advanced manufacturing employee base in Michigan, EmploymentGroup established a 5 In 5 Scholarship Program to celebrate the company's 55 years in business. The fund will award $5,000 for five years to community college students pursuing two-year industrial degrees or certifications. The deadline for the first round of scholarships is Dec. 31, 2013.

"We really want to shine the light on skilled trades and the need to get students trained in skilled trades," Lancaster says. "There's such a shortage in Michigan, and many skilled tradesmen are going to retire soon, which increases that shortage."

For more information on the scholarships, click here.    

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

30 Forest Hills jobs open up with the opening of Manna Café in new shopping center

As construction wraps up on a small shopping center at the corner of Ada Drive SE and Forest Hill Ave. SE, one of the new commercial tenants has plans to fill 25 job positions in the next week.

Manna Café is "a family-oriented, faith-based breakfast and lunch place," which has created some 30 full- and part-time jobs, says General Manager Mike McKay. Twenty-five of those positions are still open and the new eatery's leaders plan a job fair on Dec. 9 and 10 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the restaurant, 820 Forest Hill Ave. SE.
Job openings include chef positions, hosts/hostesses, servers, and dishwashers. Interested individuals should bring a résumé and be prepared for an onsite interview. Anyone interested in a job but unable to attend the job fare should send a résumé and cover letter to info@mannacafes.com.

"Manna Café will be a little more upscale than the general breakfast places in town," McKay says. McKay, a veteran restaurateur, got his experience working at Uccello's, followed by five years in management at Charlie's Crab. "Manna Café will be a fairly classy place, but will be very family friendly."

Local entrepreneurs Craig and Julie Witcher own the restaurant. The name "Manna Café" is biblically based and coincides with their Christian outreach organization, Manna Ministries.

The menu features traditional breakfast fare such as eggs benedict, pancakes, omelets, French toast, fresh-out-of-the-oven English muffins, and bacon and sausage -- but with a twist: Manna Café will smoke its own meats in-house and will make its own sausages. As much as possible, meats, fruits, and vegetables will be sourced from local farms.

Lunch temptations include a variety of fresh salads, pulled pork sandwiches, hamburgers made from house-ground beef, and a selection of soups made fresh daily.
McKay has his eye on a Dec. 19 opening date (6 a.m. for early risers), but says that day could shift a bit depending on construction.

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Steady growth of managed services means more GR jobs, I3 Business Solutions seeks network engineer

I3 Business Solutions won the small business of the year Epic award in June and just added two support center technicians this fall, and the company isn't done yet. Now I3 seeks an experienced network engineer to fill a senior position on its team that handles technical account management and VCIO (virtual chief information officer) consulting.

I3 has been around for about a decade, and now has 22 employees at its 560 Fifth St. NW office.

"Since 2012, we have grown our managed service programs revenue by 40 percent," says Kathy Labozzetta, a partner in the business with Mike Ritsema. "We offer an IT outsourcing option, and also do staff augmentation for existing staff for small businesses (10 to 250 end users). Bringing on three people for a company our size is a pretty big deal."

She adds that, where a lot of companies focus purely on technology, I3 looks for products that improve the productivity of the end users. "We look for ways to move technology to cloud computing, and provide services from helpdesk to proactive network administration to onsite assistance for troubleshooting and VCIO consulting."

In addition to being good at troubleshooting and network administration with at least five years' experience, a good candidate for this position needs to be comfortable speaking with executives, be comfortable working with end users, and be self-directed and performance-oriented.

"We're having the right conversations with the clients, talking about core competencies of their business, including things like mobile computing that's new and exciting for their business," Labozzetta says. "We're not just adding more employees, but growing the right areas with focus on the professional services segment and using technology to deliver technology."

To find out more about the Support Center Technician Level III (senior networking engineer) position or to apply, click here.

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of I3 Business Solutions

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C2AE seeks architects, engineers, project managers in West Michigan, Central Michigan

C2AE, an architectural, engineering, and planning firm headquartered in Lansing, looks to round out its internal teams with the addition of several entry-level and experienced workers, as well as a paid administrative internship. Although the jobs are based in the Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo regions, the new hires will have the opportunity to participate on a wide range of construction and infrastructure virtual teams with other C2AE offices in the Upper Peninsula, Northern Michigan, Kalamazoo, and New York state.

Grand Rapids jobs opportunities include one mechanical engineer position, one electrical engineer position, and a project manager with experience in healthcare construction. In Lansing, C2AE seeks a mechanical engineer, an electrical engineer, an information technology team member, and an administrative intern. A project architect position is available in the Kalamazoo office.

"Ideally, we'd like to find [new hires] in the location where we need them, but we don't want to pass up on the right individual just because they don't want to move out of, say, the Grand Rapids area," says President Bill Kimble. "If a person fits the company culture and doesn't want to relocate, we want to integrate them wherever we can. We have multiple offices connected with high-speed technology, and we have different people from different offices work on teams together."

C2AE is headquartered in Lansing, with satellite offices in Grand Rapids (648 Monroe North), Kalamazoo, Gaylord, Escanaba, and in Canton, NY.

Kimble says the company had to reduce staff at the beginning of the year and reassess where company growth is strongest in order to realign resources.

"We’re seeing health care [construction] pick up, industrial is staying very strong, and we're also seeing a pick-up in sewer and water main infrastructure. It's not an explosion of growth. The reality is, we did have a downward turn earlier in the year and now we see work coming in from different geographic areas."

The firm recently added a professional surveyor, a LEED-certified interior designer, and a design engineer.

To find out more or to apply, click here.
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

What's new at Springthrough? Glad you asked

When asked about "what's new" at Springthrough, neither CEO Mike Williams nor their new VP of Interactive, Michael Brown, hesitates in outlining an impressive list of projects, updates, and an optimistic vision for a collaborative and creative workforce in downtown Grand Rapids.

Brown cites a number of "significantly sized" proposals and bids on mobile projects involving iOS, Android and Windows 8 (It's not just an iOS world out there in West Michigan"), a "hot" market for touchscreen interactive, and Springthrough's Platinum Partnership with .NET web content management platform Sitefinity as examples of "what's new" for the 48-person (and growing) technology firm.

Williams follows up on Brown's updates, specifically highlighting the work the firm has done redesigning Haworth's website, Haworth.com. "Haworth has been a phenomenal partner. The launch of Haworth.com was a huge undertaking. It's become quite the partnership."  Springthrough's redesign of the site was awarded Top Five Site List by Sitefinity in June 2013.

Both Williams and Brown reference the potential in the marketplace for development of key strategic partnerships with local and regional creative agencies, with Springthrough adding the technology and enterprise expertise to complex, integrated projects such as the Haworth website and ecommerce store.

Looking at job growth, Williams said the firm is always looking for talent. "We have two distinct services; web and app development and consulting services. Both areas have openings. On the development side, we are currently looking for a senior software architect." Williams also adds that it is very possible they will also be adding 5-10 developers in the near future.

To learn more about Springthrough you can visit their site here.

Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor

Muskegon telecommunications, IT company adds technician job, drop-off computer repair service

Business is booming after Muskegon companies Logical Technologies and StarTek Communications merged in February to form Star Logic Solutions. After working together on a number of projects over the years, owners Jim Flood and Kevin Lloyd saw the growing crossover between technology and communications and merged the two firms.

Company growth since the merger created a new sales position and a new computer technician position, both of which were filled recently. But with the new salesperson in place to bring aboard new clients, and the launch of the company's first drop-off computer repair service, Star Logic Solutions expects to add another computer technician position in the next two to six months.

"While onsite serving the networks of our business customers, we often get requests from their employees asking us if we can work on their home computer and clean off viruses or repair it," says Sales Manager Elisabeth Major. "In the past we hadn't offered that service. But now, people can drop off their computers at our office for diagnosis and repair."

Customers can drop off their computers at the company headquarters, 3120 S. Getty St., Suite E.

Major says technicians interested in the future technician position will need to have an understanding of Microsoft Windows and the Windows server environment. In addition, the company wants a technician who can cut through the technical jargon and explain solutions to customers in plain language.

"We are working toward becoming a company's trusted technology advisor," Major says. "We come to you and help you do your business better by providing the technology solutions that help you do it better."

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
Photos courtesy of Star Logic Solutions

Microsoft opens office at the Grand Rapids Collaborative

The newest tenant for the Grand Rapids Collaborative (coLab) is tech giant Microsoft.

Nate Baum, principal productivity strategist with Microsoft, says the new office is really just a change of location, since Microsoft has had a presence in West Michigan for over 10 years. However, the move is very purposeful as Baum wanted the team to be more visible and be more active in the emerging technology community that is growing in the coLab space on 38 Fulton St. West. "I've been with Microsoft 11 years and spent six years in Seattle. This is much closer to the Microsoft vibe of what I experienced in Seattle."

The office is part of Microsoft's Heartland District. A ten-person team staffs the West Michigan office with a focus on technology sales and service. Baum says his team travels often throughout the country.

Baum is very optimistic about the how Grand Rapids is growing its technology community.  He references the highly collaborative atmosphere at the coLab space, including The Factory, Universal Mind, and the Device Lab. "We are making great progress to promote the technology scene. There is a strong talent base here."

You can learn more about the coLab space here. For more information on the Microsoft Heartland District, you can click here.

Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor

Firstronic in the process of adding 110 full-time jobs

Grand Rapids-based medical device manufacturer, Firstronic, has announced plans to invest $2.45 million in building renovations, machinery and equipment at its Michigan Street headquarters. 

With this investment, the company also announced it will be adding 110  full-time jobs (with benefits). The positions will range from engineers and technicians to entry-level electronic assembly operators and skilled hand solderers.

This announcement follows a successful collaboration between The Right Place, Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the City of Grand Rapids, which approved a $300,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant for Firstronic.

John Sammut, president, says the growth is a direct result of the firm's ability to compete on a global stage. "We won contracts against direct competition with offshore companies. In fact, much of the revenue from these contracts will be from our products being exported to Mexico, China, India, and Korea."

Sammut also credits their highly automated advanced manufacturing process, commitment to quality, and highly skilled workforce as being key to their global competitive advantage.

Firstronic provides advanced electronics manufacturing services and optimized supply chain solutions for companies in a wide range of industries including automotive, industrial and medical device

To learn more about the open positions at Firstronic, you can visit their site here.

Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor

Iserv covers ArtPrize hotspots with free Wi-Fi, seeks sales and tech folks to fill jobs

Grand Rapids-based Iserv has been incredibly busy covering some of ArtPrize's busiest hotspots in downtown Grand Rapids with free public Wi-Fi while also seeking new employees to fill call center technology-assistance jobs and sales positions. The job growth is due to the company's continued growth as a business-to-business provider of voice services, Internet services, data networking, and co-location services.

As a sponsor of ArtPrize, Iserv implemented free Wi-Fi at some of the highest traffic art venues in 2012 where 10,000 users tapped in. In 2013, free Wi-Fi zones include Rosa Parks Circle, inside the Grand Rapids Art Museum, inside the ArtPrize Hub on Sheldon Avenue, inside the ArtPrize Clubhouse at J. Gardella's, in the park between the Blue Bridge and the Grand Rapids Public Museum, and on the Blue Bridge. All free Wi-Fi zones except the ArtPrize Clubhouse zone will remain operational after ArtPrize.

"Wi-Fi is faster for accessing the ArtPrize app and for voting for art," says Iserv's Director of Business Development Jeff Potter. "The Wi-Fi augments some of the coverage areas where cellular coverage is weaker, like inside a building. Carriers have data limitations, so users tend to look for free Wi-Fi services so they can conserve on their data plan."

To access the free Wi-Fi, simply search for a network when you're within the zone, click on 1 FREE WIFI-ISERV and then on the button to connect you to the Internet.

Regarding the job openings, Iserv's HQ at 5222 33rd St. SE looks to fill a half-dozen positions, including a handful of call center technology support positions and at least one salaried account executive position.

The company, which has 50 employees, offers call center support 24/7 and these jobs are ideal for college students who have classes during the day and need part-time work in the evening, Potter says. The company is looking for people who are technology-centered, and who are committed to the local community and serving customers who live here.

To apply for a position or to get more information, click here.

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
222 Job Creation Articles | Page: | Show All
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