Hello West Michigan annual meeting Feb 9

February 5, 2012
| By Pete Daly |
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Hello West Michigan, a new organization that helps support the recruitment of key professionals to a wide variety of industry and business jobs in West Michigan, is holding its 2012 annual meeting at Herman Miller in Holland Feb. 9, and it is open to the public.

Formerly known as Quaeris, the name changed a year ago when the www.hellowestmichigan.com website went online. The two-person Hello West Michigan staff is housed at the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.

Hello West Michigan is an employer-driven, nonprofit membership organization that serves as an advocate and information source for professionals and their families who are considering relocating in West Michigan, from the Battle Creek/Kalamazoo region all the way north to Big Rapids.

Cindy Brown, executive director of Hello West Michigan since August, said the annual meeting this week will focus on its accomplishments in 2011, new programs being added and plans for the future.

“Through our new job board, we’re attracting thousands of individuals to local companies’ open positions,” said Brown, who previously served as project manager for the West Michigan Internship Initiative at the West Michigan Strategic Alliance for three years. “Our website, HelloWestMichigan.com, is the go-to resource when introducing employment candidates to the area. We look forward to sharing how more West Michigan companies can take advantage of this online tool and our other employment recruitment offerings.”

The website currently lists 177 open positions in health care, manufacturing, retailing, professional services and more. Twenty-nine businesses are members of Hello West Michigan, the newest member being Macatawa Bank.

“The (web) site is our product,” said Brown, who described it as a great source for professionals when they consider accepting employment in West Michigan.

“This is a great site for those candidates to take a look at what we have to offer here” in the way of schools, higher education, the arts, entertainment and outdoor activities, she said.

It is also useful for the spouse or significant other of the employment candidate, since their buy-in is crucial when someone is considering a major move for employment purposes.

Brown said Hello West Michigan also is compiling a list of professionals who left the region in the past but have indicated they might move back here to work if the right position could be found for them.

Human resource professionals, in particular, are benefitting from recruitment and retention best practices, résumé sharing and a range of other services provided by Hello West Michigan.

Quaeris is a Latin verb meaning “seek” and is contained in the Michigan state motto: “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.” A group representing major West Michigan employers first came together about three years ago to consider ways to attract professional talent here, according to Brown.

Brown said the organization’s member companies and institutions are growing “and the number of open jobs keeps increasing every day on our portal.”

The 2012 annual meeting is hosted and sponsored by Herman Miller Inc., a founding Hello West Michigan employer member. The meeting on Thursday runs from 4-6 p.m. at Herman Miller's GreenHouse facility at 10201 Adams St., Holland. Those wishing to attend may register at http://hwmannualmeeting2012.eventbrite.com. There is no cost to attend.

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