Kentwood Community Church hosts Job Fair March 11th

The public is invited to attend every month, 9 a.m. till noon

janice_limbaughAnyone who has lost a job for any reason knows that being unemployed can be devastating to their well-being. Not only does unemployment take a toll on personal finances but it can erode self-esteem, strain relationships and cause mental anguish. Finding support and guidance for coping with these trials can be just as difficult as finding a new job.

But when Kentwood Community Church (KCC) opened its Wyoming Campus in 2013, serving the area’s unemployed was top of mind.  Since May of last year, KCC has – and will continue to – host monthly job fairs to the public 9 a.m. until noon.

The shakers behind the KCC Job Fair: From left, Kristina Herron, administrative assistant, Pastor Rich Avery and Jayne Lindblom with Michigan Works!
The shakers behind the KCC Job Fair: From left, Kristina Herron, administrative assistant, Pastor Rich Avery and Jayne Lindblom with Michigan Works!

“We were given a miraculous gift to buy this building and we wanted to use it to bless the community,” explains Pastor Rich Avery.

What happened next was divine timing.

“We had ideas of helping people with personal and economic opportunities like finding a job or starting their own business when a community member doing a job fair for his own business said ‘Hey! Let’s bring some other businesses here and do it all together!”

“It just made sense,” adds Kristina Herron, administrative assistant. “We heard from job seekers who said ‘there were no jobs,’ and employers looking to hire say, ‘there were no people.’ We knew we had to bring them all together on our campus.”

The first job fair attracted 11 employers and roughly 26 people Herron says. Next Wednesday’s job fair will have at least 40 employers with 200 people expected to attend.

And because the Lord works in mysterious ways, early in the event planning, Pastor Rich remembered that a member of the congregation, Jayne Lindblom, worked for Michigan Works! as a business services representative. When approached, Lindblom said, “Yes, I’d love to help out! We do job fairs once a quarter through Michigan Works! By having them here, we can do them once a month.”

Representatives from Michigan Works! staff a table at the fair to talk to candidates about their skills, available jobs, and adding their resumes to the agency’s talent pool.

“It’s really been a blessing to partner with Michigan Works! to help make a difference in the community,” Pastor Rich adds.

The growing success of the KCC Job Fair has prompted the church to expand its support of personal and economic development in the community. Later this month KCC will open an employment center two days a week, offering job seekers help with resumes, interviewing skills, talent assessments, individual coaching and job placement.

“It will be open to anyone,” says Pastor Rich, “but we especially want to help those who’ve had barriers to employment in the past, like they’ve been in prison or have had a bad work history. We want to help them get it together and get back on their feet.”

The church will also offer a 10 week business startup course in the spring to help people start their own business. While the course costs $100, participants will receive a large binder filled with step-by-step resources on how to get a business started.

In the meantime, the Kentwood Community Church Job Fair on Wednesday is open to the community and possibly the answer to a job seeker’s prayers.

Below is the list of employers attending the KCC Job Fair on March 11th:

·        WJQK/ JQ99.3

·        Mercy Health

·        HOPE Network

·        Luxury Janitorial & Carpet Cleaning

·        DJ’s Landscape Management

·        Praxis Packaging

·        Crowne Plaza Hotel

·        National Hose Testing

·        Holland Special Delivery

·        Thermal-Tec Roofing

·        J & H Family Stores

·        Olameter Corporation

·        Attwood Corporation

·        Advance Packaging Corporation

·        Undercar Products Group

·        Securitas Security Services

·        Adecco

·        Advance Packaging Corporation

·        MOKA

·        Manpower

·        Autozone

·        New York Life Insurance Company

·        EverDry Waterproofing

·        Aflac

·        Fettig

·        Michigan Army National Guard

·        Teleperformance

·        Cascade Shell

·        Praxis Packaging

·        Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids

.        Ammaculot Sweeping Service Inc.

·        Electro Chemical Finishing

·        First United Credit Union


Editor’s note:  Next week on our website, watch for 10 tips on attending a job fair.