The Rapidian

Food Pantry and Employment Agency Continue Partnership with Drive-Up Job Fair

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Family Network will host Express Employment Professionals drive-up job fair twice in August to serve people looking to get back to work.
Drive Up Job Fair Taking Place Soon

Drive Up Job Fair Taking Place Soon

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Drive Up Job Fair Information

A Drive Up Job Fair will be held Wednesday, August 12 and Wednesday, August 26 from 1:30-4:30 p.m. at Family Network of Wyoming. The organization is located at 1029 44th St. SW, Wyoming, MI 49509. Express Employment Professionals will be on-site to connect people seeking full-time, permanent positions with employers who have light industrial and administrative office positions available. The jobs start between $12 and $15 an hour. Holding the drive up job fair during regular food pantry hours is intended to give community members a chance to receive two services in one place, at one time, in effort to reduce their stress and help build a stronger community.

People are facing tough times right now. The pandemic and the layoffs that resulted from the stay-at-home orders in the spring caused economic turmoil for families in Wyoming, Grandville, and around West Michigan. The unemployment system was overwhelmed when almost 25% of Michiganders lost work at the same time. Many turned to food pantries, like Family Network of Wyoming, for the first time in their lives.  As factories and other businesses reopened some people returned to work. Others received word that their employer was reducing their workforce, or closing altogether.  According to the United States Bureau for Labor Statistics, unemployment in Michigan in June was still at 14.8%.  

In order to help get neighbors back to work, Family Network of Wyoming is partnering with Express Employment Professionals of Grand Rapids to hold two on-site job fairs in August. The job fairs will take place on Wednesday, August 12 and Wednesday, August 26 from 1:30-4:30 p.m. at Family Network of Wyoming. The organization is located at 1029 44th St. SW, Wyoming, MI 49509.  "We wanted to hold the drive up job fair during our normal food pantry hours," said Karrie Brown, Executive Director of Development at Family Network.  "People are under a lot of stress with everything that is going on right now, so we wanted to make it easier for them to receive some extra help, all in one place at one time. They will be able to come through the drive through pantry, get over a week's worth of groceries, and then pull into a parking spot to talk to someone from Express Employment about getting back to work.  Hopefully, having one less trip to make will relieve some of that stress they are feeling." Karrie shared.  Express Employment coordinators will wear masks and maintain social distance as they talk to job seekers who will remain in their cars.  While the job fair is being held during pantry hours, it will not be limited to those who need food pantry assistance. Other community members seeking work are welcome to come and pull directly into a parking spot marked for the event.

Family Network of Wyoming and Express Employment Professionals have partnered together for many years to build a stronger community.  "There was a time when our Employee Engagement Coordinators were on-site at Family Network every time the pantry was open. People would check in for the food pantry and have a chance to talk about job opportunities while they waited," said Janis Petrini, owner of Express Employment Professionals of Grand Rapids. 

Family Network converted to holding their food pantry as a drive through model only when the pandemic began, which limited the ability to have conversations about other needs, like jobs, with those who came in need of help. "The drive up job fair offers a chance to get back to working together with Express Employment to help our neighbors move forward in life," Karrie said.  

Express Employment has openings for light industrial as well as administrative office positions at this time. "These are immediate openings, with pay ranging from $12-15 per hour. We specialize in long-term work only and are looking to connect people with a permanent, full-time job," Janis said.  "Before the pandemic we were conducting about 100 interviews per week and connect between 55 to 60 people with jobs," Janis shared.  Express held a drive up job fair at their location, 1760 44th St. SW, Suite 10, Wyoming, MI 49519, back in June that gained national attention in the Wall Street Journal.  Janis saw an opportunity to bring the service to the neighbors being served at Family Network too and connected with Karrie to schedule the event.  

"We're so glad to have community partners, like Express Employment, working with us to serve others. We're all in this together really means something when we can coordinate an event like this to benefit the community," Karrie said.

You can learn more about the food pantry and other services Family Network provides by visiting their website, www.fntw.org. If you are unable to attend the job fairs on August 12 or August 26, you can contact Express Employment now at www.expresspros.com/GrandRapidsMI/ to learn more about the positions they are seeking to fill.

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