GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WOOD)- A locally owned and operated employment agency is working to meet the basic needs of people looking for jobs.

AIMS Advantage, located at 2916 Chicago Drive Southwest, has been in business for 28 years, working to help candidates find employment opportunities throughout West Michigan.

Talent Acquisition Manager Joe Homrich saw a bigger opportunity when an employee recently walked through the door wearing sandals.

“All of our jobs have a minimum requirement for a regular pair of tennis shoes. He was going through a rough time and was open with us, explaining what was going on with him. Shoes would get him to work, but he was still struggling with other needs,” said Homrich.

Staff at AIMS Advantage sprung into action to meet the employee’s needs. Human Resource Office Manager Vicki Strickfaden supplied the man with socks, shoes and a coat the same day.

Owner Dan Noordyke says several candidates are seeking work with only the items that are on their backs. He realized his business could help more people get employed by donating necessities needed for daily work.

“Even if that means we help a few families, it will be worth it,” said Noordyke.

AIMS Advantage is seeking donations of gently used and new clothing from the community for the next few months to help support the cause and has already seen a big response.

Rolling racks of jackets, work boots, polos, and tennis shoes are lined up in the front office – next to a separate section of children’s coats, shoes and backpacks.

“We want to be able to help families, not just the individual,” said Homrich.

Strickfaden says some candidates bring children into the office to fill out employment applications.

“Half of [the children] come in with socks on. Being able to give them shoes and coats can help a lot because winter is coming,” said Strickfaden.

Noordyke realizes another obstacle some candidates face is food insecurity. It’s part of the reason why the office is also collecting boxed and canned food to feed candidates and their families before they collect paychecks.

Clothing and food donations can be dropped off at the Chicago Drive location Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Friday between 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Candidates who need supplies are encouraged to take what they need during business hours.