Last week, the first ever virtual Michigan Works! Association Impact Awards were celebrated with local lawmakers and statewide talent development officials gathering safely online.
The virtual event recognized MWC and Capital Area Michigan Works! for promoting the importance of community partnerships and involvement through initiatives to benefit residents and the overall community.
MWC, a large-scale cheese-and-whey protein manufacturer in St. Johns, is a joint venture between the Dairy Farmers of America, Select Milk Producers Inc. and Glanbia Nutritionals.
In partnership with local workforce development organizations, Capital Area Michigan Works! has assisted MWC in applying for Going PRO Talent Fund grants, developing recruitment
strategies, establishing hiring requirements, and providing MWC’s staff with information about the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and potential grants for the federal On-the-Job Training program. Additionally, MWC has partnered with other manufacturing companies to host job fairs and participated in local events, all while welcoming the advice and guidance from partner organizations.
“Capital Area Michigan Works! was supportive from day one in our hiring plans,” said Kate Studley, human resources business partner for Glanbia Nutritionals, which owns 50% of the venture. “They have assisted with making sure our rates were competitive for Michigan’s market. They helped with planning, advertising and assisting us in our two hiring fairs, as well as connecting us with multiple businesses and community connections, sending multiple candidates our way, and hosting a virtual job fair.
Capital Area Michigan Works! has been a resource to MWC during the early days of planning and hiring in MWC’s startup.
MWC is in the early stages of community involvement and giving back, and the organization has plans to meet the growing demand of the company while prioritizing the community.
The facility will soon be processing 8 million pounds of milk, 800,000 pounds of American-style cheeses and 350,000 pounds of whey powders daily. To meet this volume, the company will employ approximately 260 people in the Greater St. Johns area. The 2.9 billion annual pounds of milk processed at the facility will come from over 20% of Michigan’s milk supply, supporting hundreds of Michigan dairy farms.
“Capital Area Michigan Works! is a key partner for local businesses, and their collaboration helps ensure that talent needs are met in the best way possible,” said state Sen. Tom Barrett, R-Charlotte. “The work they have done, and continue to do, with MWC is key to providing great career opportunities in this region.”
The Impact Awards hosted by the Michigan Works! Association recognizes the economic development success being achieved in communities across the state. During the event, local lawmakers presented tributes to dozens of honorees. Award winners included Michigan businesses, partners, employees and Michigan Works! organizations.