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Grand Rapids-based Atomic Object has acquired the Ann Arbor software development firm, SRT Solutions

The recent acquisition of SRT Solutions by Grand Rapids-based Atomic Object (AO) is a classic win-win scenario. 

Atomic Object gets a new office in Ann Arbor, one of Michigan's technology hubs, while acquiring more top talent.

The team at SRT becomes part of a larger organization with a very similar organizational culture while remaining in their existing offices, which they call home.

Carl Erickson, founder and president of AO, says the benefits to both firms is pretty simple. "The most exciting thing for Atomic Object is being present in the three major technology markets: Grand Rapids, Detroit and now Ann Arbor. This puts us at the table to help a lot of startups and exiting companies that are looking for software to be part of their innovation process."

Equally important as the geographic expansion is the talent acquisition. "We are getting four very talented developers, three very experienced and one young but with a lot of potential. They are in Ann Arbor. They like it. They are also very excited about being part of Atomic Object. That is a heck of a way to bootstrap an office in an industry with such a skill shortage."

After the acquisition, Atomic Object now employs 45, and the company is actively recruiting designers and developers for both its Ann Arbor and Detroit offices.

To learn more about the acquisition you can read Erickson's blog post here. You can also visit Atomic Object's site here.

Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor

West Michigan landscape management co. seeks mechanics, accountants, sales, and seasonal workers

Some 50 job seekers turned out for a career fair last week at DJ's Landscape Management in Grand Rapids, but the 80 percent of those who will be called back for second interviews won't begin to fill all the full-time, part-time, and seasonal jobs the company has in its Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Holland locations.

With well over 100 jobs available due to the company's growth, and with the busy snowfall season looming, company spokesperson Liz Young says the need for more applicants is large.

"Snow season is our busiest season," Young says. "Crew members are needed in several different departments, from irrigation to landscape installation and plant health. Many of the positions come with benefits. We'd love to fill 100 percent of the positions, but the goal is to fill 50 percent by October 31."

Young says the Grand Rapids office has 25-30 full-time openings and 75 seasonal openings; Kalamazoo has 30 seasonal and five full-time positions, and Holland has room for 15-20 seasonal workers and five full-time. Jobs range from snow shovelers starting at $19 per hour, to small equipment mechanics, large equipment mechanics, account managers, salespersons, a project estimator, crew members, crew leaders, and more.

Some positions, such as the project estimators and account managers, require some type of horticulture degree, such as landscape design or soil science.

Young says the company serves only commercial clients, not residential, and that it’s a great job for college students and high school seniors because it pays well and the hours are flexible. "We will work around their class schedules and they are considered part-time," she says. "It's a great way for college and high school seniors to make money seasonally, and is as easy as lifting a shovel."

For more information on the jobs available, or to apply for a job, click here.

Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Inclusiveness drives staffing and recruiting firm

There are many lessons that Sara Sherry has learned during the first eighteen months of running her business, with "keeping an open mind" being perhaps the most important.

Mixed Staffing is a staffing and recruiting firm that provides a variety of employment services for individuals and companies. A special focus of her firm has always been helping organizations be more inclusive in their hiring and recruiting.

However, it was a personal experience of Sherry's that made her consider an opportunity that was a bit out of her comfort zone but resulted in unexpected success. "I had a friend who received a DUI. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail on work release. He came to me during that time, asking if I could help a nice guy in there find a job when he was released because he needed to get his life back on track. My first response was, 'I don't hire felons.' At that point, I didn't know anything about the guy. Over the week I began to think about my response and thought, who was I to say something like that when I know nothing about the individual or what they are even capable of doing? So I thought, how can I help?"

Sherry's solution was to create an employment program within her firm that educates individuals who are part of the jail's work release program. The workshop focuses on resumes, interviewing, social skills and how to advance a career once workers are released. 

Since its inception, Sherry has run two programs (partnering with Chris Sain and Jahaun McKinley) with almost 60 people attending and resulting in the employment of 12 individuals upon release.

The next goal for this program is have 50 individuals employed. Sherry also is working on a similar program for military veterans, which she hopes to launch soon. To keep up with the increased programming, Mixed Staffing is also hiring, as Sherry says she is planning to add four new positions for sales, marketing and web development.

Besides keeping an open mind, Sherry says that another lesson she has learned is to embrace risk and overcome fears to be successful. "One of my largest fears prior to starting this program was jail. I had never stepped into a jail before in my life, so this  gave me a stomach ache even thinking about it. But we have the ability to give these guys a second chance and assist them in a opportunity once they are released."

To learn more about Mixed Staffing, you can view their site here.

Source:Sara J. Sherry, President, Mixed Staffing
Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Job News Editor

Expansion in historic Ledyard Building gives Grand Rapids law firm room to add jobs

With a recent 4,000-square-foot office expansion within the historic Ledyard Building (100 Monroe Center Ave. NW) and the addition of Muskegon-based law firm Even & Franks as part of its ranks, Michigan law firm Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge is growing and has room for even more growth.

Smith Haughey moved into three floors of the Ledyard Building in November 2011. In the past few months, the company has added the former Even & Franks' attorneys and staff, 10 people total, who will continue to operate Muskegon as a new Smith Haughey satellite location. Plus the firm has added four attorneys, a paralegal, and a legal secretary in Grand Rapids, and two more attorneys statewide. But there's even more to come as the firm grows specific practice areas, says COO Lori L. Gibson.

"We still need two attorneys in Ann Arbor," Gibson says. The openings are for a business attorney and a medical malpractice attorney.

"We would like to grow our corporate practice and commercial litigation practice. We were close to being at capacity (in Grand Rapids) and the new expansion is only partially occupied with space for future growth."

The firm also has an office in Traverse City. Gibson says all four locations are strategically located in the downtown areas to fulfill part of SHRR's mission to help stimulate growth in those urban areas.

Gibson says having the skills and experience is part of the story. "We look for somebody who would be a good a fit for our culture, which is very team based. We want to hire people who work well with the other attorneys in the firm and not just in their own silo."

To learn more or to apply, click here.

Source: Lori L. Gibson, Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge, Attorneys at Law
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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Nationwide electronics recycling company expanding capacity of Grand Rapids facility, plans to hire

Advanced Technology Recycling (ATR), an electronics-waste recycling operation located in Grand Rapids (702 Hall St. SW), recently announced plans for expanding its local processing capacity to recycle even more electronics and rebuild computers. This provides ATR the opportunity to bring additional jobs to the Grand Rapids area.

"West Michigan is a technology hub full of promising students and graduates from technical programs across different trade schools and universities," says Whitney Ehresman, business development manager, in a press release. "Our goal as a management team at the Grand Rapids facility is to reinforce the value West Michigan has to offer, so we strive to show national management our capabilities and ability to manage the workload of re-marketing up to 4,000 computers a week.

"Our team is committed to responsible recycling practices, and our attention to detail and dedication to getting the job done efficiently without compromising quality has earned us the opportunity to have equipment shipments come to our facility from our corporate partners on a national scale," says Ehresman.

According to ATR, the electronics recycling industry is a $5 Billion industry in the U.S., adding 30,000 jobs to the national economy. Since its start a year ago with just two employees, ATR's team has grown rapidly in size and strength. Ehresman says, "There are many advancement opportunities at ATR. We believe in developing employees and promoting internally."

ATR is currently seeking individuals who possess an IT aptitude and can work full-time in a warehouse environment as a technician. They are also searching for a full-time administrative assistant who can help with asset recovery. A part-time paid internship position for candidates enrolled in a technical program and at least halfway through their degree is also available.

Qualified candidates are encouraged to email cover letters and resumes to Team Lead Andy Labryn at A.Labryn@ATRecycle.com.

Source: Whitney Ehresman, Advanced Technology Recycling
Writer: Susan Julien Larimore, freelance reporter

Images courtesy of Advanced Technology Recycling

Web developer, graphic design jobs available in Grand Rapids, Muskegon with growth of PR firm Revel

West Michigan marketing firm Revel is in growth mode -- again -- and the result puts more technology jobs on the table in Grand Rapids and Muskegon.

Revel, which has offices at 900 Third St., Muskegon, and 25 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, has made its mark by telling its clients' stories effectively using radio, TV, branding, web development, video production, and print. The company has grown from 12 people in 2010 to 17 employees today -- with four of those coming aboard in the last 12 months.

The company seeks a web developer with at least five years' experience who is proficient in PHP, a variety of CMS systems, and is able to write custom code. And, although there isn't an official opening for a graphic designer, Revel partner Jason Piasecki says the company is always looking and welcomes opportunities to work with graphic designers on projects to see if the designer is a "fit" for the company for a future hire.

"We're looking for people that thrive in a collaborative environment -- you're not isolated on one project for six months, but will work on several different client projects at one time, interacting with clients and coworkers," Piasecki says. "We're pretty laid back. We're an ad agency, so it's an open work environment, and people can wear jeans or shorts or whatever they're comfortable in."

New hires will have an option to work at the Muskegon HQ, the Grand Rapids office, or even occasionally from a home office, Piasecki says. The group likes to keep the work environment fun, and is looking for a space-saving replacement for the Ping-Pong table the Muskegon office sacrificed to make room for more desks. The Grand Rapids office is in the heart of the entertainment district, which Piasecki says provides a diversion when needed.

Click here to learn more about the open positions or to apply.

Source: Jason Piasecki, Revel
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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Grand Rapids' flourishing Downtown Market in search of Creative Specialist, Facilities Manager

For those interested in contributing to the growth and development of a unique, year-round hub of local food innovation and healthy-living education, there are two full-time positions currently available at the Downtown Market. This one-of-a-kind food experience located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids (435 Ionia St. SW) is the first LEED-certified market in the country and boasts 25,000 square feet of market space.

Mimi Fritz, market president/CEO, says the Downtown Market is "a new, exciting place where the work you do makes a difference. You help provide the community access to fresh, local foods and education on preparing healthy foods."

The Creative Specialist will lead the Market's creative efforts and be accountable for the concepting, quality, and completion of deliverables for marketing communications and promotions. The ideal person will be skilled in social media management, proficient in design and video software, and adept at business communication. To learn more and apply, click here.

The Facilities Manager will plan, organize, and supervise the daily maintenance, custodial services, and repair of all structural features, furnishings, fixtures, operating systems, and landscaping. To learn more and apply, click here.

With the Outdoor Market having made its debut this past spring and the Indoor Market opening in late August/early September, the people hired to join the Downtown Market team have the rare opportunity to shape and define their roles through implementation. The Market is new and no one has previously held the positions.

Fritz says, "We're looking for people who will stay on top of things and keep it fresh and exciting."

Source: Mimi Fritz, Downtown Market
Writer: Susan Julien Larimore, Freelance Reporter

Images courtesy of Downtown Market

Downtown building completes renovation, becomes home for technology startups

Grand Rapids Collaborative, or coLab for short, recently finished renovations on the third floor of the Leonard building at 38 W. Fulton.

The building, formerly known as the Grand Rapids Tech Hub, features a wide variety of benefits including a shared kitchen, broadband Internet, coffee delivery from San Chez, a parking space, and a common space that encourages "startup" camaraderie.

Erik Hall says the coLab provides a unique opportunity for their tenants. 

"First thing, we are focused on startups and small businesses. An issue with real estate is that it can be difficult to enter into a lease. We are very flexible with short-term leases. Within the building, you can start in The Factory, incubate the business, then graduate into the smaller offices. As the business grows, you then can move into larger spaces."

After the renovations, the third floor features 15 office spaces and five conference rooms. The tenants include several businesses recently profiled by Rapid Growth, including Open Device Lab, Ambassador, and Huron River Ventures. The fourth floor of the building includes The Factory and Universal Mind. Moving forward, the second floor of the coLab remains a possibility for development. 

According to Hall, the name change is mostly about differentiating the building from other initiatives using "hub" in their name. It also plays off the popular "coLearning" technology and programming classes being offered at The Factory.

To learn more about the Grand Rapids Collaborative, you can view their site here.

Source: Erik Hall, Grand Rapids Collaborative
Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor

Grand Rapids DDA seeks marketing communications manager for new full-time position

As Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. -- a multi-function combination of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), Downtown Alliance, and Office of Special Events -- moves forward with plans to combine resources to promote entrepreneur and economic opportunities in Grand Rapids' core business district, the DDA plans to bring on two crucial new positions.

One, a transportation demand management professional (TDM), will work with companies and individuals to address vehicular congestion and help develop other ways, besides cars carrying only the driver, for downtown workers to get to their jobs. Candidates for this new position are already under consideration.

However, a second new position is still open: strategic marketing and communications manager. DDA Executive Director Kristopher Larson says he's looking for "an individual who will identify key messages and tailor them to our constituencies and take ownership of our marketing initiatives. We want to do more to spread the message about downtown opportunities for people to live, work, and play."

Ideally, the preferred candidate will have seven to 10 years' marketing and communications experience with the ability to think strategically, says Larson. The working environment is fast-paced and serves several constituencies, so the ability to balance different pressures from downtown stakeholders is crucial.

"We're looking for someone that doesn't need to be taught why to love downtown, but who already knows those reasons and believes them," Larson says. "There's a certain level of passion that helps differentiate the quality of the candidates, and that's the person we're looking for."

To find out more about the job and how to apply, see the link on the DDA's Facebook page or click here.

Source: Kristopher Larson, Downtown Development Authority
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

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Zeeland's ZBx Technology moving forward with plans to add 3 jobs to keep up with client demand

Zach Nordhof, owner of Zeeland-based ZBx Technology (135 N. State St.), says he started doing a "computer gig" back in 2003 when he was still in high school. After graduating college, he became a corporate IT guy, but became disillusioned with how the company pushed its own solutions and products on clients instead of listening to the client's needs.

So Zach, now 24, launched ZBx in 2007. Now with two employees working at client locations and in the ZBx office, the company has plans to add three more positions to keep up with demand: web developer, IT consultant, and a search engine optimization expert.

ZBx Technology offers IT consulting, helps clients deploy new software and phone systems, analyzes the efficiency and abilities of systems already in place, cleans up computer viruses, offers hardware repair and replacement, and does web design and development.

The company also provides voice over Internet protocol phone systems with all the bells and whistles, and is one of three Michigan companies to have a 3cx certified engineer.

"We're looking for college grads or someone close to graduation who has a degree in computer networking or in graphic design/web development/programming," Nordhof says. "Our goal is to have a fun-loving person. We're very serious about taking care of our customers, but we do it in a fun way. It's a pretty laid back environment, an open environment with no walls, and usually some sort of music playing. Everybody takes turns with their music."

Nordhof says the interview process starts with a phone interview, then moves to a lunch gathering with all the staff, then they invite promising candidates back in to the office to spend time with the team and observe the work flow.

For more information or to apply, click here.

Source: Zach Nordhof, ZBx Technology
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of ZBx Technology

Graphic design, web design, and marketing jobs open up as Grand Rapids' Cull Group grows

Dependency on social media and Internet technology has drastically changed how companies market their services and products. Grand Rapids-based Cull Group, a graphic design and marketing firm, is determined to stay ahead of client demand for these services by opening three new technology positions.

The 39-year-old company (103 College Ave. SE) plans to add a graphic designer, web developer/designer, and web marketing strategist over the next several weeks.

Cull Group owner Jefferson Seaver says the company added several new employees in the past year, bringing the staff count to nine. The demand for integrated social media and web marketing is driving much of the growth.

"There are things our clients didn't have to think about five years ago -- like social media -- and now they have to be on their toes, so we're seeing a large level of growth," Seaver says. "Social media is not an island, but has to integrate with a push on packaging to drive people to social media and your website. It could be a couponing campaign that gets driven as much through the website as it is through social media and getting the product promotion out on the street."

Seaver says that because the company's services are diverse, the people he hires need to have diverse talents and interests. The company handles packaging design, web design, copywriting, and social media management, and works with attorneys on patents and trademarks. The type of people he's looking for must have the basic skills for the job, but must also be interested in how things work, must have varied outside interests, and be motivated to learn.

"It's sometimes surprising," Seaver says, "but people who know manufacturing, who know technology, may also have expertise in cooking or gardening. Those varied interests often plug into what our clients do and provide news ways to bring things to the table that otherwise wouldn't happen."

Cull Group is reviewing résumés now. To apply, click here.   

Source: Jefferson Seaver, Cull Group
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Chicago creative moves to Grand Rapids to open marketing and design firm

Ralph "Nunzi" Annunziata, a 35-year veteran of the design and marketing industry, thinks Grand Rapids is the place to be.

Annunziata decided to establish his creative firm, nunziWorx, in Grand Rapids. The company will provide a wide variety of creative services to clients including print design, photography and lighting design, brand development, fine art photography, and web and brochure design.  

Previously based in Chicago, he became familiar with the Grand Rapids region after working with a client and decided to explore the area for opportunities. "I decided to get out of Chicago, settle down in a nice community that has a lot going on, and start my own consultation firm," he says.

Previous experience includes working for major corporations and global marketing agencies such as Schawk, and servicing Nike.com, Lord&Taylor.com, theBay.com, May and Sears Holding.

Promising to help his clients communicate their brand message "LOUD & CLEAR," Annunziata says his style is highly personal.

"I like to be belly to belly, shoulder to shoulder. I really enjoy working with people and figuring things out. To me, face to face is the most effective way to communicate."

To learn more nunziWorx, you can visit the site here. You can also contact him directly at ralph@nunziWorx.com or (312) 576-8570.

Source: Ralph Annuziata, nunziWorx
Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor

Acquisitions and growth at EPS Security bring new jobs to West Michigan

Grand Rapids-based EPS Security's strategic acquisitions of Eagle Security in 2012 and Browning Detection Systems earlier this year have placed the company squarely on the fast track to unprecedented growth. And that means jobs for West Michigan.

In the last three years, EPS Security has grown to over 200 employees, a 25 percent increase, says Director of Business Development David Hood. Keeping up with changing technology in the industry, namely the transition from analog to digital technology that allows the company's 18,000 commercial and residential customers to track their security systems via smartphones and computers, has kept the company on its technical toes.

"Smartphone apps and technology allows you to interact with your security system to arm and disarm the system remotely, or to receive text messages and email notifications of something happening with your alarm system, like an intrusion alarm or a thermostat notifying you of a changed status," Hood says. "With our video surveillance, you can get push notifications of motion detection within that camera's view and you can view what's happening at your home or business with live view or with recorded view."

EPS has at least eight technology-related job openings in several West Michigan regions, and that number could climb to 12. The open positions include two to three installation technicians, two to three alarm dispatchers, two to three regional service technicians, and two to three regional security and fire alarm sales representatives.

"If [candidates] already have experience, that's great, but if they don't and they're a good fit for the company, we can train them," Hood says. "Installers often have backgrounds in electrical, the military, telecommunications, IT, or computer networking and electronics. Alarm dispatchers need to be dependable and must be available to work all three shifts when there's an emergency, like when there's a major storm coming in. It's pretty demanding."

To inquire about the jobs or to apply online, click here.

Source: David Hood, EPS Security; Matt Jackson, Lambert, Edwards & Associates
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Images courtesy of EPS Security

New Ada branch of Lake Michigan Credit Union opens, brings new job opportunities

The former Bank of America building directly across from Amway at Ada Drive and E. Fulton St. celebrated a new grand opening this week as Lake Michigan Credit Union. The opening of the new branch (7580 Fulton St. East), the first branch LMCU has established in the far east side of the Grand Rapids metro area, created six new financial jobs.

The jobs include branch manager, a member service representative, three teller positions, and a mortgage loan officer position, says Don Bratt, VP of marketing.

The branch offers drive-thru banking, 24/7 ATM service, a full-service lobby with tellers and other financial officers available, and a night depository. LMCU says the company opened the branch in response to member requests for an Ada location.

To find out more about the jobs available at Lake Michigan Credit Union, click here.

Source: Don Bratt, Lake Michigan Credit Union
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor


With new home construction building momentum, Redstone Homes seeks construction manager

As the new home construction industry continues to rebuild itself from the ashes of the economic downturn, Grand Rapids construction firm Redstone Homes seeks additional construction professionals to handle the increase in demand.

Gary Hensch, president of Redstone Homes, says the company recently added a director of purchasing and seeks an experienced construction manager.

"Home building has picked up dramatically since October 2012 and most home builders who survived the recession are extremely busy," Hensch says. "With a little luck, Redstone Homes will add a second new construction manager in three or four months."

Redstone Homes, which specializes in building customized condominiums, celebrated 16 years last week and has seven employees. The company lists several area condominium communities on its list of achievements, including The Preserve at Boulder Creek Golf Club, Aberdeen Ridge, Evergreen Lakes, High Ridge Condominiums near Ada, and Trillium Glen.

"We have built 1,100 condos in Greater Grand Rapids, Grand Haven, Kalamazoo, and other areas," Hensch says. "We embrace customization and that's unusual for builders; builders shy away from customization. We are the developer, we do our own sales, we build the condos, and then work with the buyer to customize the condos."

Hensch says that because the customization can include everything from preserving trees on the land to be developed, adding square footage to a condo plan, bathroom and kitchen upgrades, and finished lower levels, the company seeks an experienced construction manager with a college degree in construction management. Construction experience is also a must-have.

Interested persons can click here to request more information about the jobs available. 

Source: Gary Hensch, Redstone Homes
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor
222 Job Creation Articles | Page: | Show All
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