The Rapidian

Beyond tourism: GoSite collaborates with Hello West Michigan to attract, retain top talent

Opening this year in downtown Grand Rapids, the GoSite will offer an engaging physical location with information reflecting the many compelling reasons to live, work and play in West Michigan.
Underwriting support from:
Cindy Brown, Executive Director of Hello West Michigan

Cindy Brown, Executive Director of Hello West Michigan /Courtesy of Hello West Michigan

Find your reason to love West Michigan!

Find your reason to love West Michigan! /courtesy Hello West Michigan

Live in West Michigan

Live in West Michigan /courtesy Hello West Michigan

When mentioning a new information center coming soon to downtown, the first target audience that comes to mind is likely visitors from outside the area. The GoSite space will certainly cater to this demographic, but there are a few other segments that will find value in the resources and services as well.

Local residents and college students will find a vibrant, comfortable, centrally located space to meet up with friends or make new ones, share ideas on favorite things to do or new restaurants to try and generally get to know their city and the people in it a little better with each visit.

There’s one additional segment of the population that Cindy Brown, Executive Director of Hello West Michigan, is looking to introduce to this new downtown resource.

Hello West Michigan (HWM) is an organization that seeks opportunities for employers to collaborate on the common challenge of recruiting and retaining top talent. It also helps talent see all that West Michigan has to offer.

HWM is a first of its kind regional talent attraction initiative that combines a public website with helpful resources that member employers can access to improve their talent attraction and retention efforts, including a job portal through CareerBuilders.

Brown is looking forward to incorporating a visit to the GoSite space as one of the ways to highlight the region for prospective employees, and just as important, to the trailing significant others. The whole family needs to see that the area offers great choices, and is a vibrant and welcoming place to live, work and play.

“A lot of companies recruit candidates from outside of the area to work in West Michigan, but many times candidates are on their own for discovering the area,” said Brown. “I talk with dozens of candidates every month and encourage them to experience different parts of West Michigan, including downtown Grand Rapids. The GoSite will be a physical place I can point them to; a starting point for them to discover [places and things] that will be interesting to them. By making that first time experience more enjoyable for a potential candidate, it makes a big difference in whether or not they will relocate here.”

HWM also offers a program focused on internships, addressing the recruitment, development and retention of area interns. Helping students see the value in remaining in the area after graduation, co-organizing tours and events and creating a platform for conversation and networking is an opportunity where HWM and the GoSite can collaborate further.

According to HWM, the challenge to the area is that West Michigan has a talent shortage. In order to meet the demand for talent as forecasted by TALENT 2025, it needs to attract viable candidates to the region and retain transplanted individuals after relocation.

“By year 2025, one third of our workforce will have relocated here from outside of West Michigan,” added Brown. “Making sure we do all we can to attract talent is important not only for our members, but all businesses in West Michigan.”

Through collaborative effort with Hello West Michigan and other great organizations in Grand Rapids, the GoSite will do its part to help shine a light on the many reasons that this place matters when it comes to finding a new home.

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