GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids ranked high on a recently released study showcasing the number of companies hiring in the nation’s top 100 metro areas.
Grand Rapids ranked second in the study by ManpowerGroup, a national staffing agency. The agency ranked metropolitan areas based on the percentage of companies in each area that planned to expand their workforce in the third quarter, the period between July and September.
The study showed 36% of companies in Grand Rapids planned to expand their workforce. Only Madison, Wisconsin, topped Grand Rapids on the list at 37%.
Experts say the numbers are good news and reflect a healthy and growing economy. Leaders at The Right Place, an economic development organization headquartered in Grand Rapids, say it comes as no surprise.
“It’s a great sign,” Cindy Brown, vice president of talent initiatives for The Right Place, told 24 Hour News 8 Wednesday. “We’ve been hearing a lot from employers that they’re seeing growth.”
Brown said the growth has caused companies to get creative with attracting talent. That effort, she said, brings more talent to the area than the individuals being sought.
“We’re seeing a lot of people being recruited by companies, bringing along family members and significant others,” Brown said.
The press that comes with ranking high on the list is also a plus for the area, Brown said.
“Getting the word out about how great the hiring is here in West Michigan can only help us continue to grow in the future,” Brown said.
To meet demand, The Right Place is working with its partners to encourage K-12 students to consider a skilled trades education.
The industries that showed the greatest growth forecast in the Midwest were leisure and hospitality and construction, with growth forecasts at 42% and 36%, respectively, for the third quarter.