How to get a job in Montcalm County

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 9:53 pm on Friday, June 08, 2012

Daily News/Kelli Ameling Central Area Michigan Works! Consortium works with local businesses, like Federal-Mogul in Greenville, to help find valuable workers for the work place. Pictured are is Kathy Jo VanderLaan, business solutions manager for Central Area Michigan Works! Consortium, left, talking with Dawn McGourty, Federal-Mogul Human Resources manager, center, and Katie Paulen, Federal-Mogul Human Resources representative, right, on the floor of Federal-Mogul. Daily News/Kelli Ameling

People who are trying to bounce back from a rough economy and find a new job may be worried they don’t have the right skills or education to get hired — especially since some people have worked in the same field for years.

However, whatever the situation may be, there are ways to overcome the challenges of finding new job.

“Jobs today may or may not require a four-year college degree, but they will require openness to lifelong learning,” said Kathy Jo VanderLaan, business solutions manager for the Central Area Michigan Works! Consortium.

According to its website, Michigan Works! was established in 1987 to provide services and support to the Michigan’s Workforce Development System. VanderLaan said they are here to not only help employers who are seeking new employees, but to help job seekers as well.

“We are trying to convey the message of what’s needed,” said Janet Bloomfield, vice president of employment training for the Central Area Michigan Works! Consortium, adding that things are very different today from when people searched for jobs 20 or 30 years ago.

Connie McKeown, owner of Clifford Lake Inn in Stanton, said when receiving applications for positions, it’s more about how the person presents themselves and not so much about what they know.

“We train for knowledge of our organization and industry, so I look for the personality and professionalism and train from there,” McKeown said.

Some issues McKeown has run into are hygiene and how a person dresses, even when coming in to fill out an application.

“I have people come in to fill out applications wearing pajama pants and slippers,” she said. “Basic job search and interview skills seem to be a major issue.”

Professionalism is something VanderLaan and Bloomfield both try to address to the job seekers.

Some dependability and reliability skills they talk to job seekers about are how to show up and show up on time, maintain appropriate grooming and hygiene, do not attend to personal business on the job and manage stressful situations effectively.

VanderLaan said one important thing a job seeker must remember is integrity. They should be honest with an employer because most lies will be found out — including felonies, which will show up on background checks.

“Honesty and integrity are the top two important traits I expect,” McKeown said.

Not only do VanderLaan and Bloomfield promote integrity, but they say a job seeker should also use good manners, maintain confidentiality as appropriate, treat supervisors and co-workers with respect and perform quality work.

When applying for jobs, a person must realize wages are different now for a job.

McKeown said an issue she is running into when receiving applications are statements such as, “I don’t care what I do as long as I make $10 an hour,” or receiving applications from people with little experience wanting top pay.

“Some careers just do not pay what they use to,” Bloomfield said.

Maybe 10 years ago a line of work would pay $15 an hour, but today it is not that high, Bloomfield said.

When applying for jobs, VanderLaan and Bloomfield encourage job seekers to use resources like Central Area Michigan Works! Consortium to review resumes and work on skills.

They also encourage employers to use these services to help cut down on employee turnover.

VanderLaan said it could be costly for an employer to hire the wrong person and could save money by getting the right person from the beginning.

For more information, visit or online.


Hiring guidelines 

1. Dependability/Reliability: Displaying responsible behaviors at work.

• Show up on time

• Maintain appropriate grooming and hygiene

• Do not attend to personal business on the job – put away the cell phones

• Manage stressful situations effectively

2. Integrity: Displaying accepted social and work behaviors.

• Use good manners

• Maintain confidentiality as appropriate about matters encountered in the workplace

• Treat supervisors and co-workers with respect

• Perform quality work

• Practice honesty with regard to company time and property

3.  Motivation: Demonstrating a willingness to work.

• Take responsibility for completing one’s own work assignment

• Show initiative in carrying out work assignments

• Take initiative in seeking opportunities to learn new skills and tasks

• Able to work in teams

• Able to problem-solve

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