It’s Go Time in the Great Lakes Bay Region

Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! service centers in Alma, Bay City, Midland, Mt. Pleasant, and Saginaw are reopening for in-person services by appointment on February 1. The agency said many employers are looking to fill jobs and are actively recruiting. They said nearly half the region’s workers laid off for COVID-19 reasons are still not back to work, some choosing to stay home for various reasons, including fear of exposure to the virus or helping children with virtual school.

Chris Rishko, CEO, and his team at Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! believe it’s rarely better “career-wise” to choose unemployment over having a job. To help spread that message, Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! is launching an initiative called
“It’s Go Time in the Great Lakes Bay Region.”

“Employers are ready,” Rishko explains. “They are trying to fill a wide variety of good jobs. We need to communicate a sense of urgency to
our region’s workforce so individuals understand the long-term value of employment over unemployment.”

“There are so many job openings right now that employers are ready and willing to train for,” says Janet Stoll, president and CFO of
Chesaning Manufacturing dba Jetool. “I hear from many fellow business owners that labor is hard to get these days, and that people do not want to work. It is always good to put yourself out there and be part of a growing firm or community. It might not be what you a seeking right now, but it might point you in the right direction to what gives you income and happiness.”

Colleen Markel, MSN, RN, SHRM-CP, manager of workforce development at MidMichigan Health in Midland points to the vast opportunities in health care. “There are so many industries like ours that have a variety of jobs available for people to earn decent pay with benefits so they can care of themselves and their families,” Markel says. “Even within healthcare, we have jobs available in many of our departments –both clinical and nonclinical – that afford an opportunity for someone to flourish.”

Ed Little, manager of human resources at Bavarian Inn & Lodge in Frankenmuth views today’s job market as a time of opportunity for
unemployed individuals to sharpen their skills rather than stay home. “If you don’t use it, you lose it,” he says. “It’s definitely not better to
stay at home just looking for that perfect job. Any job will help you polish your talents and develop new skills which can help throughout
your lifetime.”

Though Great Lakes Bay Michigan Works! service centers in each county are delivering services in-person by appointment only due to COVID-19 safety concerns, staff are available for virtual appointments, phone consults, and email conversations. The website at offers a series of valuable online workshops to help job seekers prepare as well.