More employers, bigger venue for Muskegon veterans job fair

An undated photo of veterans and other job hunters filling the USS LST 393 to visit companies hungry for workers. (Holly Hughes)

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — An annual event aimed at helping local veterans find jobs is expanding in Muskegon.

Tuesday’s veterans job fair took place at the L.C. Walker Arena and Event Center.

Republican Rep. Holly Hughes of Montague and Dave Eling, the director of the Veterans’ Center of Muskegon County, started the event in 2012.

“Five years ago when Dave and I started this, people were looking for work. Now work’s looking for people. So we’re real excited to have it at Walker Arena today,” Hughes said Tuesday morning.

The job fair was held aboard the USS LST 393 for the past five years, but organizers say they moved it this year to accommodate more employers and job seekers.

USS LST 393 in Muskegon. (May 16, 2016)

In the past, organizers had to turn away businesses with job openings because there wasn’t enough room for them to set up on the ship. The amount of participating businesses was capped at 65 last year.

This year, 24 Hour News 8 was told 80 employers participated in the veterans job fair.

“Lots of times it’s hard to get off work or travel around and find a job and go place to place. Here you have 80 businesses, all of them are hiring, at one spot,” said Eling.

Among those looking to hire were GE Aviation, Alcoa Howmet, Meijer, Mercy Health and Spectrum Health, according to Hughes. She says companies will provide training for entry-level employees; there are also executive jobs for those with experience.

Hughes’ two tips: Bring your resume and dress for success.

“We had somebody actually get a job right on the floor… last time. Fifty-thousand dollars plus benefits, on the spot. So it’s possible,” she said.

Tuesday’s job fair was held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the L.C. Walker Arena and Event Center, at 955 4th Street in Muskegon.


Muskegon County Department of Veterans Affairs