Local manufacturers are hiring; discover opportunities at next month’s virtual career fair

The VIEW from here



If you have driven around Genesee County lately, you have probably noticed a number of ‘help wanted’ signs dotting the roadsides in front of various businesses. It is a strong indication that, even in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the economy is on solid ground and businesses are clamoring for talent.

Moreover, we are seeing job growth and career opportunities in the local manufacturing sector. With Genesee County’s unemployment rate hovering around 7.3 percent, as of February (most recent data available), the time is right for a career matchmaking event.

The Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance, a division of the Flint & Genesee Group, is dedicated to helping employers find talent and job seekers discover employment opportunities. That’s why on May 10, the Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance and its workforce development partners – GST Michigan Works!, Mott Community College Workforce & Economic Development and Flint & Genesee Education & Talent – are hosting a virtual Manufacturing Career Fair. (The Flint & Genesee Group is formerly known as the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. The name change took effect on April 1.)

About two-dozen manufacturers are expected to participate in this free virtual event, which will take place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Resource partners will also be available to offer career and support services. A complete listing of participants will be posted on flintandgeneseee.org.

Career fairs are both an important and efficient recruitment tool for employers. They are also an effective way for job seekers to present themselves to potential employers. It is all done in a one-stop shopping format, for employers and prospective employees alike. A similar career fair was held earlier this month for the hospitality industry. Although large-scale, in-person gatherings and events remain largely on hold, user-friendly virtual technology platforms have emerged to fill the void. Next month’s career fair will use Brazen software to enable employers and job seekers to connect and interact virtually in real-time.

The online chat will allow participants to engage directly with company representatives from their home computers, smartphones or tablets. After signing in on the day of the career fair, job seekers will be able to explore the available information and opportunities and participate in 1-on-1 text-based chats.

This virtual platform, made possible by Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Employment and Training, is convenient, with built-in physical distancing. (And no masks required to participate.)

Interested persons will first need to create an account and complete the registration form. To get started, please visit flintandgenesee.org/jobfair.

A job in manufacturing isn’t what it used to be. These facilities are clean, flexible, and major contributors to Genesee County’s economy. Through the upcoming career fair, residents have the opportunity to get their foot in the door with a job and the potential to grow a lucrative career.

I encourage interested persons to explore this opportunity.

For questions about the Manufacturing Career Fair or accessing the online platform, contact our talent connection specialist Karena Hamlet at khamlet@flintandgenesee.org.

Kristina Johnston is the chief operating officer of the Flint & Genesee Group.