• Workforce & Talent Development

  • At the Chamber, we are working on many important projects focusing on growing, attracting and retaining the best talent on the West Coast. 

    One of major importance is FuturePrep Connections.  Offered by Ottawa Area Intermediate School District (OAISD) in partnership with Holland/Zeeland Model Community Initiatives, Lakeshore Advantage, and Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce, the futurePREP Connections program is an unprecedented system-wide partnership linking local businesses with 7 major school districts in our community, focused on significantly improving our local talent pool. This program embeds career exploration and employer based learning into the education process to inspire and prepare students during the critical middle and high school years.

    We Make It Here Videos:

    "We Make It Here" videos highlight various employees' career paths and their current positions within participating businesses.  The videos will be utilized with students to highlight what local businesses do, the range of career options that exist locally, and the journey various individuals took to get to where they are.

     

    Gentex Corporation:  Home to more than 3,500 employees, this Zeeland, Michigan company makes more than 90% of the world's automotive dimming mirrors. 

    Passionate People Featured:
    Paul Flynn, Vice President, Operations
    Dan Quintanilla, Manufacturing Group Leader
    Markus Lenoir, Test & Measurement Project Engineer
    Angelica Velez, Quality Warranty Manager

     

     

    Metal Flow:  This company produces 6 million sophisticated custom metal components and assemblies each week. Many of these parts are used in the automotive industry for applications such as safety restraints, fuel systems, and engine controls. 

    Passionate People Featured:
    Kevin Brown, Vice President of Human Resources
    Chelsea Brown, Project Manager
    Chris McCleary, Journeyman Tool & Die Maker
    Todd Boeve, Advanced Sales Engineer
    Dave Prentice, Journeyman Toolmaker/Supervisor

     

     

     

     Primera Plastics:  This Zeeland, Michigan company makes precision injection molded plastic components for automobiles and office furniture used by people around the world. This global company has customers in Japan, Germany, Mexico and Canada.

    Passionate People Featured:
    Noel Cuellar, President & Chief Executive Officer
    Ivan Teeple, Senior Process Technician
    Jeff Norr, Director of Engineering
    Ed Lopez, 3rd Shift Supervisor

     

     

    Haworth:  This company's success is rooted in a culture that embraces innovation, creation, collaboration and a commitment to clients worldwide to translate physical environments into real-life business goals. It's world headquarters are in Holland, Michigan, with operations in 126 countries.  

    Passionate People Featured:
    Franco Bianchi, President & Chief Executive Officer
    Kyle Seehase, Staffing and Diversity
    Steffen Lipsky, Senior Industrial Designer
    Frances Hogsten, Vice President of Global Sourcing

     

     

     Herman Miller:  This Zeeland, Michigan based company works for a better world around you - with inventive designs, technologies and related services that improve the human experience wherever people work, heal, learn, and live.

    Passionate People Featured:
    Brian Walker, Chief Executive Officer & President
    Michael Dura, Small & Medium Business Sales Consultant
    Lillian Felix, Associate Product Manager
    Adam Zapata, Operations Facilitator

     

     

    Johnson Controls:  This company serves the building and automotive industries in more than 150 countries, aided by 165,000 employees worldwide. With 6 facilities in the greater Holland-Zeeland area, nearly 2,500 employees are part of the Power Solutions and Automotive Experience divisions.

    Passionate People Featured:
    Elizabeth Rolinski, Vice President of Engineering Operations
    Andy Brown, Lead Process Technician
    Chris Banks, Quality Technician
    Jack Johnson, Manager - Advanced Manufacturing Hybrid Battery

     

     

    City Government:  The cities of Holland and Zeeland provide services and create policies that affect our lives each and every day. Providing clean water, electricity, parks, recreation, shopping districts and a safe place to live are just some of the things that city employees focus their efforts on to make our community a great place to live, work and have fun!

    Passionate People Featured:
    Kurt Dykstra, Mayor, City of Holland
    Angela Badron, Electric Production Services Supervisor, Holland Board of Public Works
    Kevin Klynstra, Mayor, City of Zeeland
    Officer Ko Magee, Zeeland Police Department
    Abby deRoo, City of Zeeland Marketing Director

     

     

    For more information about futurePREP, please click here.

     

     

     

     

    To view a short video on the Connections partnership view the clip below.

     

     

    futurePREP Connections Conversation:  Franco Bianchi, CEO of Haworth, Inc., and Brian Walker, CEO of Herman Miller, talk about why two highly competitive companies came together to help launch futurePREP Connections.

     

     

     

    We are also proud to partner with the Ottawa area schools as they work to collaborate with companies and organizations across the region to champion an effort designed to showcase the high quality education currently being delivered throughout our region. Read more about how we all can do more together.

     

    Finding talent on the West Coast: 

    Proud to Support Pure Michigan Talent Connect

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