Talent Connect declared a success

December 23, 2013

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LUDINGTON — Susan Sizemore grew up in Ludington and has had a successful career in Nashville, Tenn. However, after being gone for over 30 years, she would like to come home and be closer to her family. Monday night the public relations professional had the opportunity to talk to potential Ludington area employers about her future.
She and several dozen job seekers attended Talent Connect Ludington at The MItten Bar in downtown.
The intent of the event was to reach people who no longer live in the area but would like to come home. Holding the event just before Christmas was intentional, taking advantage of people who are home for the holidays.
“This was a great way to reconnect and see what opportunities exist in the Ludington area,” Sizemore said.
“I think this has been a wonderful opportunity,” said Andrea Large, superintendent of Ludington Area Schools. “We are currently looking to fill a newly created IT position and I’ve gotten some leads tonight.”
The event was organized by the Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce and West Shore Community College. It is based on Pure Michigan Talent Connect, a statewide effort to bring people back to Michigan.
“This has been a great success,” said Kathy Maclean, CEO/president of the chamber. “We’ve had both employers and job seekers saying they were pleased with the network opportunities.”
The job was not a job fair but more of a network event, targeting those with college degrees.
“This is a very cool idea,” said Hilary Lenzo, a Ludington native who now is teacher in southern Michigan. “I would like to come back to the area so this has been a great chance to see what’s out there.”
While not everyone immediately had success finding work in their career path, Larry Richert of Carrom Company said he set up an appointment with an IT candidate for Friday.
“This has been a huge success,” he said. “I had no idea this many people are out there looking to come back to the area.”
After hearing about the Pure Michigan Talent Connect, Jim Scatena, president and CEO of Floracraft, decided that Ludington needed to do something to get back its youth.
“This event is a real win-win for our community,” Scatena said. “It gives the community the chance to show the opportunities that exist for long-term careers and also to see howt he community has grown and changed since many of these young people left town. It also gives the business community an opportunity to attract young talented local residents and have them return home.”

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