Networking Event to Virtually Connect Former West Michiganders With Local, Hiring Employers

GRAND RAPIDS – On Nov. 10, The Right Place, Inc. and Hello West Michigan will partner to host a virtual networking event to attract talent to West Michigan. The 10th annual ReThink West Michigan event will be hosted by both organizations, regional partners, and local businesses to attract former West Michigan residents back to the region and convince them that it is time to “rethink” West Michigan.

The event series is designed around Thanksgiving holiday visits to give former residents the opportunity to connect with employers while visiting home during Thanksgiving. With holiday visits still lower than normal because of the pandemic, the annual networking event will be held virtually.

ReThink West Michigan will be held as a virtual career fair Nov. 10. During the event, job seekers can chat virtually one-on-one with recruiters from local companies who are hiring. Community ambassadors will also be on hand.

“ReThink West Michigan is our signature event: it’s the embodiment of what we do all year long to attract talent,” said Rachel Gray, Executive Director of Hello West Michigan. “Everyone knows someone that has moved away and they’d like to come back. Now is the time to tell them about this event and encourage them to explore what relocation could look like.”

Spectrum Health is the Regional Champion Sponsor for the event. West Michigan Works! Is a Regional Supporting Sponsor. Consumers Energy is a Back to Michigan Statewide Supporting Sponsor. Other participating companies include: Herman Miller, Padnos, Express Employment Professionals, Steelcase, Consumers Credit Union, Meijer, Gen3 Aerospace and Defense, OST, Progressive AE, GVSU and the county of Muskegon.

“As the largest employer in West Michigan, we are always excited to sponsor this event,” said Eric Van Duren, Senior Director, Talent Acquisition at Spectrum Health. “Across the U.S. we are seeing historic lows in the labor force participation rate which makes access to talent even more imperative. Once people learn about Michigan it becomes an easy sell on why this is a wonderful place to live and work.”

ReThink West Michigan is a part of a larger statewide effort under the Back to Michigan event series. The Back to Michigan efforts received two awards in Excellence in Economic Development from the International Economic Development Council in 2021. Five regions around the state will host a mix of in person and virtual events between Nov. 10 and Dec. 8—West Michigan’s event being Nov. 10.

ReThink West Michigan and Back to Michigan events are geared to target people living outside of West Michigan, former residents, locals who are unemployed, or people who recently relocated to attract talent to the area. Companies are hiring in many fields, including IT, engineering, finance, advanced manufacturing, health care, art and design, professional services, government, hospitality and more. The event is free to attend, only requiring interested attendees to register online at:

Details on the West Michigan event:

Date:                    Nov. 10, 2021

Location:             happening virtually

Time:                   3:00 – 6 p.m. est (event is open-house style and attendees do not have to be logged on the entire time)

Registration:      Register for FREE at