GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - More than 120 part-time jobs are available at soon-to-open Kroc Center on South Division, and applicants can apply at a job fair Thursday.
Officially named The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center of Grand Rapids, the new facility needs to fill positions for the front desk, recreation aide, lifeguards, mascot performer, food service specialists and child watch assistants.
The part-time jobs pay between $8-$9.50 per hour. You must be at least 18, and experience helps.
The job fair begins at 4 p.m. at the center, 2500 South Division. You'll be asked to fill out an application, then qualified candidates will be asked back later. If you go, dress suitably.
Major Mark Johnson, the Kroc Center's director, said there has been no problems finding candidates.
"You mention high unemployment, people having difficulty finding work, taking work or staying on unemployment, I find people would rather work and do something constructive and help someone," he said. "Here at the Kroc Center, it's a service, an opportunity to affect people's lives in a significant way."
There is one factor you need, Johnson said. "You need to have a good work ethic. You need to have a good attitude towards work. We can train for the various positions, but your attitude is what really shines through."
But not all job fairs have this kind of turnout.
Mark Zacha, the owner of Beacon Staffing in Grand Rapids, runs job fairs to help fill 300 positions each month and told 24 Hour News 8 it's been a challenge.
"We're having a tough time finding people," he said. "As a matter of fact, we had a job fair today in Dowagiac and we had to cancel it because no one showed up."
Zacha blames it in part on unemployment extension benefits. He calculates the maximum benefit pays $9 an hour for a 40-hour week, about $1 more than many jobs. He's put together charts showing how it can be more beneficial to work.
"What they don't realize is many of positions really do lead to full-time employment, but customers aren't willing to commit to a full time job right now."
And in some cases, you can collect Social Security income and unemployment and work. Zacha thinks it's a no-brainer for people who don't want to stay unemployed for years
"When I see resumes that have two years of unemployment, I begin to wonder if that person was really looking for a job."
But two young men at the Kroc Center job fair would be willing to work parttime for $8 an hour.
"I'd want a job either way because you have chances for bonuses and overtime," Darryl Finch said. "With unemployment, you only have so long before you lose your money."
And Jason Brady said, "It's more opportunity for job growth and more opportunites that you'd get, just sitting home collecting unemployment."
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