GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Mar 11, 2014) — It’s considered their biggest job fair to date as employers hoped to fill 600 jobs during the Grand Rapids Community COllege annual job fair.
“I have a degree in creative writing and communications so ive come here to find some sort of administrative position,” explained Hannah Hall.
The 25 year-old graduated college two years ago and was worried her degree would limit the companies she could apply for. Hall was one of many job seekers who browsed 60 different companies during the day-long job fair.
According to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget, the state’s latest unemployment rate is just below 8% as of January.
That’s down from 9% last October, but still about a percent above the national average.
Employers, like Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital said they don’t typically have a difficult time finding qualified candidates. But if they’re looking for a specialized position, they require more of a certain skill.
From big companies to small businesses, employers were on the hunt, such as Pump House Frozen Yogurt Bar in Grand Rapids.
“We’re opening a second location so we’re going to need a lot of employees this summer,” explained Karen Avery. She opened her company about a year and a half ago and said they are expanding to Grand Haven this summer. She’s hoping to knock out 20 positions soon.
“We’re not only hiring for summer jobs, our team performers and team leaders, but we’re also looking for a pastry chef, a marketing intern, a business intern.”
Organizations like The Right Place, specifically working to advance West Michigan’s economy, released their new three-year economic outlook in January and sees the area adding 5,500 new jobs over the next few years. One of the big areas, communications, and that’s a good sign for Hall.
“I’ve already got six or seven places I can apply for.”