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Registration for the November 16 job fair opens on Monday, October 31. Learn more and register here>


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Our Commitment

The series of recent events highlighting the routine and perpetual inequities that people of color continue to face have reignited new frustrations about the lack of progress we’ve made in changing systems that perpetuate prejudice, bias and inequity.

Read more about our commitment to stand against inequity.

2022 Michigan Job Seeker Survey

Jacob Maas Headshot

Jacob Maas, Chief Executive Officer

As we approach the end of 2022, it is a great opportunity to reflect on what went well and opportunities for improvement as we head into 2023. At the recent Economic Club of Grand Rapids luncheon many of us heard from Talent First highlighting some of their great work around labor force participation and the challenge that all of us face: “where have all of the workers gone?” 

We also heard from a panel (including one of our very own rockstar board members Shana Lewis) highlighting some of the things Trinity Health has and will implement over the next few years. That said, I believe the overarching question isn’t where have they gone, but why aren’t individuals engaging in work (or school) and what can we as a community do about it?  

Our inaugural 2021 Michigan jobseeker survey gave a voice to employee experiences during a transitional period when businesses and industries were struggling with these questions and the country was emerging from the pandemic. The 2022 survey brings hope instead – job seekers and employees have a slightly better outlook. While we share that optimism, there is still a lot of work to be done.

As you consider the best employee recruitment and retention strategies in 2023 and beyond, we hope that you find the talent survey a useful tool.

Here is what we learned.

Let your employees know how you will address the economic impacts of the pandemic – in the midst of rapid inflation – when was the last time a wage and benefits analysis has been done? With many individuals needed for flexible hours and remote work options – have your schedules aligned to better meet individual’s needs? 

As you look to fill crucial positions in your organization, try to embrace older candidates. Many express frustration that despite their experience and qualifications, they are being overlooked for positions that suit them. What is your strategy to recruit older workers? Who are you sourcing talent from? What does your marketing material look like?

Help applicants learn how to best position themselves for employment, and reduce job search-related stress, by communicating frequently and transparently with them. What does your recruitment and hiring process look like?

To compete in today’s job market, explore strategies to increase wages and offer benefit packages that support an employee’s health and wellbeing. Jobseekers are concerned with finding work that provides wages to cover their daily needs, and benefits that support them as they care for their family and maintain employment. Have you explored Tri-Share or other benefits that may help counter the rising costs of childcare?

Together we are uniquely positioned to help job seekers and employers alike remove barriers to work. As we look to the new year we also look to strengthen our network of partnerships and programs to further position West Michigan as a business and industry leader for our state.  



Jacob Maas, Chief Executive Officer

The Retention Solutions Network @ West Michigan Works!

Engage Employees  |  Retain Your Workforce  |  Decrease Turnover Expenses

9/10 – number of employees who feel more stable & secure after utilizing services

85% – the retention rate of employees utilizing services

33% of the employee’s base pay –
the average cost to a company for every lost employee

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West Michigan Post

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Spotlight on Manufacturing

Exciting Opportunities Await at West Michigan Manufacturers Every other week beginning February 22, West Michigan Works! (WMW!) will be highlighting the five high demand industries in our region: agribusiness, construction, health care, information technology and manufacturing. This week, WMW! and Discover Manufacturing are featuring exciting careers in manufacturing.   What do office furniture, [...]

Spotlight on Construction

Building Better Communities Every other week beginning February 22, West Michigan Works! (WMW!) will highlight the five high-demand industries in our region: agribusiness, construction, health care, information technology and manufacturing. This week, WMW! is shining a light on careers in the construction industry.  If you are considering a career in [...]

Spotlight on Health Care

People Helping People Every other week beginning February 22, West Michigan Works! (WMW!) will highlight the five high-demand industries in our region: agribusiness, construction, health care, information technology and manufacturing. This week, WMW! and the West Michigan Health Careers Council are shining a light on careers in the health care industry.  Did you know that [...]

2020 Employer of the Year: Perrigo

Success Story

West Michigan Works! recognizes Perrigo as its 2020 Employer of the Year for its commitment to workforce strategies that increase skills, wages and retention of current employees; promotes a diverse workforce; and builds a workforce for the future.