Facilitating connections. It is central to our mission at the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.
Talent recruitment is one area where that task perhaps hits closest to our homes and individual communities. Specifically, I am talking about helping employers with open positions find motivated, qualified job candidates to fill them; and vice versa.
You may have seen or heard recent stories shared by the Flint & Genesee Chamber about there being upwards of 1,000 or more available with various companies in our area. The opportunities range from Lansingbased Peckham, Inc., looking to hire up to 200 sewing machine operators at its new facility in Flint Township; to Lear Corp. and Android Industries with openings in their manufacturing operations; to Huntington Bank and Diplomat Pharmacy needing staff for their respective call-center operations and other functions; to Molex and Spud Software recruiting for engineering positions, software developers and project managers.
The news is great because it demonstrates that businesses are willing to invest in Flint & Genesee because of the availability of talent here, among our other attributes. Moreover, sharing this information broadly with the community, across our various communication channels, is an important function in fulfilling our mission as a facilitator. What is also an advantage in our community are all the resources for job seekers to prepare before walking into an interview. There are a variety of programs that teach hard and soft skills that employers need as well as courses that provide coaching for interview preparation, such as tips, attire and some of the “do’s and don’ts”. This community resource list includes, but is not limited to:
Mott Community College Workforce Development, which offers tools for sharpening job search skills, interviewing preparation and resume writing.
GST Michigan Works!, designed to assist employers in finding skilled workers and job seekers prepare for, find and retain employment.
Flint STRIVE provides support and training that leads to livable wage employment and societal re-integration.
ReConnections, a faith-based, nonprofit organization to empower citizens with felonies through coaching, education and employment for re-connection within our communities.
The Disability Network, a provider of information about disability-related issues, resources and services to people with disabilities, families, professionals and the general public.
Career Edge, a program of the Flint & Genesee Chamber that features a series of workshops designed to help adults prepare for the job market. In fact, the April workshop schedule is available flintandgenesee.org/ career-edge.
Motivation and preparation are certainly essential to leveraging a job connection successfully. So, too, is having access to the potential opportunities. To that end, the Flint & Genesee Chamber, along with the business community, is going to where the people are, to ensure they are aware of the jobs available in their community.
Today’s (March 28) “Employer Meet & Greet: Not Your Typical Job Fair,” in partnership with the Mass Transportation Authority, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the at the MTA Transportation Center, 615 Harrison St., is one such example. Nearly a dozen employers will have information tables in the station lobby where bus commuters can learn more about the current opportunities with the local companies.
On May 2, the Chamber will host the Job & Resource Fair at the Genesee Valley Center, featuring businesses that are looking for entry-level employees.
Together with community stakeholders in business and talent development, we are employing multiple tactics to ensure greater alignment between the needs of our employers and those of job seekers. It key to driving economic growth in our region.
Kristina Johnston is a group vice president and chief administrative officer of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.