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My Town: Meijer to hire thousands ahead of holidays

My Town: Meijer to hire thousands ahead of holidays


WALKER, Mich.—  A Walker-based retail store is hiring thousands more workers ahead of the holiday season.

Meijer recently announced it plans to hire more than 10,000 additional employees for stores in five states. Nearly half of the new hires, approximately 4,800 people, will happen in Michigan. The additional employees are needed to cover duties newly opened stores, as well as the upcoming busy holiday shopping season.  Meijer opened or is opening nine new stores in 2014; the retailer plans to open additional locations in 2015.

The openings will be for a variety of positions, from cashiers to meat cutting.  The majority of positions will be part time and seasonal.  Interested candidates can apply online on Meijer’s website

Meijer currently operates 213 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.

My Town: New Cafe takes shape in Portage

My Town: New Cafe takes shape in Portage

PORTAGE, Mich.—A new coffee shop is popping up in Portage.

Water Street Coffee Joint is working on opening its fourth storefront at the Portage Centre Plaza, at 245 West Centre Street, Suite B.  The café will include a full service coffee bar, sandwiches, soups, salads, desserts, flowers, bagged coffee and tea and a gift area.  The business will also include new features, including a slow bar for coffees brewed by the cup and a drive-through.

Water Street Coffee Joint operates five businesses in Kalamazoo, including a coffee roaster site and kitchen.  The new storefront is expected to open late this year. 

My Town Kalamazoo: Henderson Castle 'wine cave' approved

My Town Kalamazoo: Henderson Castle 'wine cave' approved

KALAMAZOO, Mich.---  The wine will soon be flowing from a "cave" at a Kalamazoo landmark.

On Thursday, Aug. 14,  Kalamazoo Project Coordinator Pete Eldridge says the zoning board of appeals unanimously approved allowing the proprietor of Henderson Castle  open a 180-square-foot “wine cave” on the property.  The board also waived a city ordinance requiring additional off-street parking.

My Town: Massive dryer to travel from Kalamazoo to North Dakota

My Town: Massive dryer to travel from Kalamazoo to North Dakota

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—What is 70 feet long, 11 feet across and weighs nearly 300,000 pounds?  One of the largest items to come out of a former GM plant in Kalamazoo.

W. Soule’s Soule Fabrication Group facility at Midlink is getting ready to ship its newest creation- a large steam-powered dryer.  The dryer, which is comprised of carbon steel, will go to an ethanol plant in North Dakota to dry corn. 

 “It is physically one of the largest pieces we’ve ever built,” says W. Soule’s Chief Operating Officer Gary Cline, who has worked at the company for 28 years.

My Town: Local brewery among best in the U.S.

My Town: Local brewery among best in the U.S.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—  Grand Rapids is home to the best craft brewery in the nation, according to The Daily Meal.

Founders Brewing Co. took the most votes during the food and drink publication’s online survey. Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo also made the cut, coming in at No. 5. More than 13,000 votes were cast nationwide. 

The contest started with 118 nominations by a panel of craft beer experts with The Daily Meal; online voters helped narrow down the list to 50 finalists, which included several of last year’s winners.

To see the entire list, visit The Daily Meal’s website here.

My Town GR Central: Economic Bright Spot Award goes to Varnum

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. –  Varnum is among the companies being honored with a 2014 Michigan Economic Bright Spot Award from Corp! Magazine.

The magazine selected winners based on their growth over the past year, as well as their impact on the state's economy.  Varnum earned the distinction in part because of its MiSpringboard program, through which the firm will give away up to $1 million in legal services to new and developing businesses over a five-year period.  The company's innovative pricing models designed to deliver budget predictability to clients also played a role.

Varnum partner Eric Nemeth accepted the firm's award during a recent ceremony at VisTaTech Center in Livonia.

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards nearly $39K to nonprofits

My Town: Consumers Energy Foundation awards nearly $39K to nonprofits

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—Dozens of nonprofit organizations that are close to the hearts of Consumers Energy employees are getting a financial boost.

The Consumers Energy Foundation recently awarded 78 grants worth $38,350 to organizations in Michigan where Consumers employees and retirees volunteer.  Last year, nonprofits in the state received more than $8 million from Consumers Energy and its employees, retirees, foundation and parent company, CMS Energy.  

The 2014 second quarter grant recipients include:

Allegan County

  • $450 to Fennville Public Schools Youth Baseball (Loren Barnes)
  • $550 to Fennville Public Schools Youth Football (Loren Barnes)

Ionia County

  • $550 to Portland Public Schools Wrestling Club (Chad Miller)

Kalamazoo County