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Talent

Falling off the “benefits cliff,” declining higher education enrollment, and a widespread skills gap have each contributed to Michigan’s labor force participation rate dropping by nearly twice the national average over the past two decades.

Here are the staffing announcements from the Nov. 21, 2022 print edition. 

Grand Rapids-area employers raised wages by an average of 5.2 percent this year, an amount that exceeds historical norms as companies adjust pay to attract and retain people in a fiercely tight labor market.


Here are the staffing announcements from the Nov. 7, 2022 print edition. 

During the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, Julian Newman became disillusioned with all the back-and-forth arguing that was taking place in commentaries and on social media. 

GRAND RAPIDS — Davenport University wants to increase the number of Latino students enrolled at its campuses across Michigan and in online courses through a new outreach initiative.



The Wyoming Kentwood Chamber hopes a newly formed BIPOC Business Leader Advisory Council gives a voice to business owners and entrepreneurs from underrepresented yet demographically prominent communities.

GRAND RAPIDS — The West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology (WMCAT) recently received a $150,000 grant from Google to support the nonprofit’s new Adult Career Training Program.

Here are the staffing announcements from the Oct. 24, 2022 print edition. To subscribe (free to qualified business executives), visit mibiz.com/subscribe.


MUSKEGON — Alan Steinman, who helped grow Grand Valley State University’s Annis Water Resources Institute in size and prominence within the Great Lakes region during his 21 years as director, recently stepped down to focus on research full time.

GRAND RAPIDS — Western Michigan University and Grand Rapids Public Schools have formed a two-year dual-enrollment partnership to assist high school students interested in pursuing careers in integrated design and manufacturing. 

People in the News: A roundup of new hires, promotions and awards in West Michigan.



MECOSTA COUNTY — Landing large battery manufacturing plants that promise to drive billions of dollars in investments and create thousands of jobs represents not just major economic development for Michigan but also a significant opportunity for educators.

Throughout her career, Jodi Owczarski has learned to wear many different hats. She’s worked in human resources at a large manufacturing company, run a nonprofit organization, launched her own business and worked in operations for a global consulting firm. Now, Owczarski can add one more title: CEO of the Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce, an organization where she’s worked since 2017. Owczarski took over running the West Coast Chamber following the retirement of longtime leader and mentor Jane Clark, who was with the organization in various capacities for 32 years. Owczarski recently spoke with MiBiz about embarking on her new role and how she plans to help the West Coast Chamber and the local business community succeed. 

People in the News: A roundup of new hires, promotions and awards in West Michigan.


GRAND RAPIDS — The West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology, a nonprofit focused on increasing social and economic opportunities in the region, is launching a new tech education pathway within its Adult Career Training Program. 

People in the News: A roundup of new hires, promotions and awards in West Michigan.

Economic development agency The Right Place Inc. has launched plans to transform the greater Grand Rapids area into a technology and innovation hub over the next 10 years. 


People in the News: A roundup of new hires, promotions and awards in West Michigan.

The former CEO alliance known as Talent 2025 has rebranded as Talent First Inc., unveiled a fresh strategic initiative and will soon launch a five-part program designed to address employers’ needs amid a quickly evolving workforce. 

People in the News: A roundup of new hires, promotions and awards in West Michigan.


People in the News: A roundup of new hires, promotions and awards in West Michigan.

A nationwide bus driver shortage has forced school districts to cut routes and scheduled transit services to trim trips. 

People in the News: A roundup of new hires, promotions and awards in West Michigan.


KALAMAZOO — Western Michigan University’s longtime general counsel has joined law firm Miller Canfield PLC.

Here is the MiBiz People in the news report for July 5, 2022 

Grand Rapids staffing and human resources outsourcing firm Axios HR recently completed its merger with Petoskey-based PMP Personnel Services, creating an 11-office entity spanning Northern to Southwest Michigan.


Here is the MiBiz People in the news report for June 20, 2022 

Formed more than eight years ago, the psychiatry residency program at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services has been paying dividends by helping to ease an acute shortage of providers and expand services.

A new state law makes Michigan the 14th state to require personal finance education as a prerequisite for high school graduation. 


A social science research organization that abruptly split from Calvin University in recent months hopes to seize new opportunities to raise capital and work with more organizations that may have been hesitant to partner with a religious academic institution.

GRAND RAPIDS — A three-day conference slated to kick off Thursday in Grand Rapids will promote diversity in the technology industry.

The number of various West Michigan job positions paying $15 to $17 an hour has spiked since early 2020, illustrating how fast employers operating in a tight and fiercely competitive labor market have had to raise wages to attract workers.


West Michigan colleges and universities saw significant leadership turnover during the spring, bringing in a new crop of presidents as workforce development proves crucial during a widespread talent crunch.

A new rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor could jeopardize crucial funding for Michigan’s primary workforce development association, leading to the potential closure of at least 20 job training facilities and a loss of more than 200 staffers.

Here is the MiBiz People in the news report for June 6, 2022 


The Michigan Works! Association, which provides a wide range of services for both job seekers and employers throughout the state, says a proposed federal rule change would strip the agency of significant resources. 

Two longtime Grand Rapids-area communications professionals are on the move.

Business groups, organized labor officials, Democrats and Republicans are making strange bedfellows in support of a plan to reform term limits for statewide office, which restrict the amount of time lawmakers can spend in the House and Senate.


Here is the MiBiz People in the news report for May 23, 2022 

Here is the MiBiz People in the news report for April 25, 2022 

GRAND RAPIDS — Aquinas College has named Alicia Córdoba as its ninth president in the school’s 146-year history.


Here is the MiBiz People in the news report for April 25, 2022 

Diversity, equity and inclusion has emerged as an “important pressure point” in the past two years as companies compete for talent and regional economic development organizations seek to attract and retain industries, consultants and business advocates say.

Here is the MiBiz People in the news report for April 11, 2022 


Late last month, Calvin University’s board of trustees announced that Wiebe Boer would become the 11th president in the history of the Grand Rapids-based private institution.

GRAND RAPIDS — Calvin University has appointed Dr. Wiebe Boer as the 11th president in the school’s history.

Here is the MiBiz People in the news report for March 28, 2022