Holland Area Preparing For Jobs Boom

Companies in the Holland area are still looking for more qualified workers as they enjoy the highest job growth in the nation over the last year.

Thermotron in Holland is one of about ten companies participating in a week-long program called “Ready Now” to help make prospective workers more employable as companies are hiring.  Danielle Evans works in employee relations for the company and said they have 16 open positions. 

Evans said they’re looking for people with a variety of mechanical and manufacturing experience.  She said the job market has turned around in Ottawa County, making it more difficult to find the right workers.  

“We do a lot of training here in house," said Evans. "We look for people who have the beginnings of mechanical skills and some basic skills."

Gentex, Thermotron, Tiara Yachts, Stone Plastics, Plasciore, Request Foods, Boar’s Head Provisions, and The Stow Company are participating in Ready Now, with more than 100 open positions between them.  The program is five days, beginning February 6th and includes seminars, workshops, and discussions to help the unemployed and underemployed unite with employers.  Participants are guaranteed an interview at the end of the process.

Christine Powers, Business Services Director at Lakeshore Advantage, an economic development agency, said Ottawa County has seen 4.7 percent job growth from June 2010 to June 2011, the highest in the nation. She helped organize the program.

“They need employees to fill those basic, entry-level manufacturing positions," said Powers.

Ready Now runs from February 6th to the 10th at Central Wesleyan Church in Holland.  There are still 40 spots open.  To register, head to the Ottawa County Michigan Works website.