Mayor's Roundtable Talent Focus Groups

Posted in Blog on February 26, 2019

The Mayor’s Roundtable event is an annual display of the partnership between the City of Holland and area students. Connecting our future workforce to employers, this year’s event welcomed nearly 70 students to the Holland Civic Center with a taco bar dinner with nine of this area’s largest employers participating with student leaders in focus groups sessions. These focus groups led the students to a better understanding of area employers and what products or services they provide, their values and culture and career opportunities available. Employers gained  a better understanding of what these future employees are looking for in a career and workplace culture.  

Dressed to impress, these students partnered with human resources leaders at each company and reported out on what they learned. I was struck by the continuity of what was said. Despite the variety of employers and the variety of specific interests, common themes emerged. Students are looking for a workplace where they are treated with respect, and their work contributes to a greater purpose. Tuition assistance and sustainable practices were mentioned by multiple groups. Employers are looking for future employees who respect others, and who want to do work worth doing. Employers post for their ideal candidate, and are willing to invest to train the right person for the company.  

One employer said, “Flexibility, work that matters, connection to community, time to do the things we enjoy and be with the people we love, these values are not that much different than the current employees we are hiring.” 

After the sessions, another student commented, “I kind of knew what each of these companies did or the products they make. What I didn’t know was how each of them is involved in the community and their green, sustainability efforts. That was really cool.” 

The diversity of the student leaders was terrific. They were thoughtful, engaged and smart. With these student leaders being a representation of our future workforce, our employers and our community are well positioned for a vibrant economic future. 

Special thanks to the employers and students who attended, to the City of Holland including us in this event, and to the West Coast Chamber for partnering in the event’s execution.  

Participating employers:  

  • Gentex 

  • Haworth 

  • Herman Miller 

  • JR Automation 

  • Koops 

  • LG Chem 

  • Padnos 

  • Trans-Matic 

  • Worksighted 

Participating High Schools: 

  • Holland High School 

  • West Ottawa High School 

  • West Ottawa High School 

  • Holland Christian High School 

  • Holland Early College 

  •  Zeeland Venture 

  • Hamilton 

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    To see more pictures from the event, check out our Facebook page HERE.