GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Hello West Michigan was started in 2007 to spotlight West Michigan as a great place to work. The organization wants to educate people about the type of lifestyle that is available in here, actively attract new people to West Michigan, and help connect people interested in moving here. 

Through this, Hello West Michigan has a partnership with The Right Place, which is the economic developer for West Michigan. 

The Right Place works to retain and attract companies to Oceana County and West Michigan. Talent attraction is a big issue for companies, which is why the organization is excited to partner with Hello West Michigan on the ReThink West Michigan event.

ReThink West Michigan is Hello West Michigan's most important event of the year. 

It's the in-person version of what Hello West Michigan does all year long: talking to people about what it's like here and connecting them with employers. 

A lot of people come back to West Michigan for the Thanksgiving holiday, so we invite them out for a casual networking event on Thanksgiving Eve (biggest bar night of the year).

Many know it as a "Thanksgiving eve event at The BOB." What they might not know is there are actually five different events happening around West Michigan at the same time doing the same thing. 

So besides The BOB, there are events in Grand Rapids, Hastings, Muskegon, Fremont, Oceana County, and Ludington. 

Each event location has different employers present. Attendees will find everything from Spectrum Health-largest employer in West Michigan, to smaller local companies like Oceana Foods.  

Last year, there were almost 50 different employers that participated across the six events. At the Oceana County location, they will have Spectrum Health, Michigan Works West Central, Oceana Foods, Peterson Farms, Double J Resort, Gray and Company, West Short Educational Service District.

But the organization knows no one wants to go to a stuffy career fair on their Thanksgiving vacation. So attendees can show up in casual apparel. There are between 8 and 15 companies at each location to keep it manageable and intimate. 

This event is for people who maybe grew up in Michigan, moved away, and are considering to move back to Michigan. Employers are looking to fill all different types of positions, so take a look on the website. Healthcare, engineers, maintenance, educators, and skilled trades are all in high demand.

Check out http://bit.ly/31W6K6H for a list of companies and all event locations. You can also see what companies are hiring for. 

If you're thinking "this would be great for my.... adult children, college buddies, my out-of-town friend... then tell them about it! Now is the time to share the event info as people are making their holiday travel plans. 

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