Grand Rapids area has positive jobs outlook

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The economic outlook for West Michigan is bright, a national study says — and so does local economic development agency The Right Place.

West Michigan-based Proos Manufacturing announced a $5.7 million, 50-job expansion Wednesday.  The company currently has a workforce of 83 people. The new jobs will be mostly production level, with some team leader positions available as well, said Vice President of Marketing for The Right Place Tim Mroz.

Inside woodtv.com: Proos hiring 50 as part of $5.7M expansion

And while 50 jobs may not seem significant in the overall scheme of West Michigan, Mroz said it is important.

“It validates. It gives one more example of the strength of West Michigan’s manufacturing supply chain,” Mroz said.

Manufacturing makes up about a quarter of the economic base of the West Michigan area, which is also a part of the region’s success, said Mroz. He said having a diverse set of strong industries also helps the economy.

The expansion comes on the heels of a national report from Milwaukee based human resources firm Manpower, saying that the Grand Rapids and Wyoming job market is one of the top in the country for the spring job outlook.

“Reports like this help reiterate the fact that this is a region that is growing. This is a region that is providing an opportunity for career advancement and opportunities for future employment,” Mroz said.

Mroz said these reports point out to the rest of the country and to those who may have lived in Grand Rapids at one point that the region is providing opportunities.

And for those who are having a difficult time finding work, Mroz had some advice.

“It’s tough, admittedly, it’s very difficult,” said Mroz. “You have to be open to change, and you have to be open to new career opportunities.”

If you are having a difficult time finding work, Mroz recommended connecting with people who know what the community wants and needs right now. He said places like community colleges can often connect you with the types of jobs employers are looking for right now, and let you know what if any more training you may need to fill the position.

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