SHIAWASSEE COUNTY — The head of the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership recently received inquiries about summer jobs — not from college kids or graduating high school students, but their parents.
“Parents approached me, saying their kid is graduating in May and they’re not going to college so they need a job,” SEDP President/CEO Justin Horvath said. “Or they said their college kid is coming home, and they don’t want them sitting around all summer.”
Horvath reached out to multiple businesses in Shiawassee County, asking if they were interested in summer help or new hires straight out of high school. He was amazed by the response: 25 employers responded with a wide variety of skilled and unskilled open positions.
“I was blown away by all the businesses who were interested in talking to young people about jobs and internships,” he said. “These are specific opportunities available now to people who are looking for summer jobs or full-time positions.”
Jobs range from greenhouse workers to general labor, receptionist, tractor mechanic, welder, finance and nursing assistant. Some of the positions are permanent full-time while others are summer jobs or internships.
Employers include the county’s largest, Memorial Healthcare, the city of Durand and Sobak’s Home Medical in downtown Owosso. Types of businesses include large, small and mid-size manufacturers; retailers; and recycling, bus, engineering, utility, mortgage and health care companies.
Ace Quality Hardware in Durand is seeking two or three people to work in the store’s greenhouse. Experience with plants is preferred.
“They are summer jobs, but if a candidate is qualified we might keep them year-round, working in the store after October,” said store manager Dave Wood. “The pay depends on their experience.”
Candidates for the warehouse job at Precision Electric Motors in Owosso must be able to lift 40 pounds. There’s one open job, inside the company’s warehouse in Corunna.
Precision Electric Motors’ Michigan warehouse manager, Eric Stibitz, said he recently had to let someone go and now has a spot to fill.
“This is a slow time for us, so it’s a good time to train somebody,” he said.
The warehouse gig is a ground-floor position, but there’s room for growth.
“There’s always a chance of moving up,” Stibitz said.
From the roughly 2,000 young people graduating in a month or so from local high schools, about half will be looking for a job or internship this summer.
“There are a lot of opportunities for kids here,” Horvath said. “Employers in the area desperately need people. They have hiring needs right now.”
But it’s not only college and high school age candidates employers are interested in.
“These employers are willing to talk to anybody,” Horvath said. “Adults, too.”