Posted in News on June 26, 2017

06/26/2017 // Zeeland, Michigan –Rebeca, a marketing and events intern originally from Boyne City, MI, helps plan the Holland Street Performer Series. She is one of over 150 interns engaged so far this summer with the Michigan Smart Coast Summer Intern Program, a talent attraction and retention effort administered by Lakeshore Advantage in partnership with Holland Young Professionals and West Coast Chamber.
“Our employers offer tremendous career building opportunities for West Michigan interns,” said Jennifer Owens, president of Lakeshore Advantage. “Michigan Smart Coast efforts round out that experience by connecting interns and college-aged students with other young professionals and assets of living in West Michigan so they fall in love with the region and return here for their careers.”
The next Michigan Smart Coast opportunity is Coffee and Conversation this Thursday, June 29. Leadership Matters: Young Leaders Along the Lakeshore panel promises to inspire with stories about what it’s like to live, work, start a business and build a successful career in West Michigan. The free event is at Baker Lofts from 7:30am-9:00am and includes complimentary coffee and pastries. Registration is requested at www.behyp.org.
"We believe that engaging young talent is key to our community’s future success,” said Nicole Paquette, HYP president. “Our HYP members work to inspire area interns to see the lakeshore as their next home and show them the impact they can have here.”
Lake Michigan Credit Union and Gentex Corporation are sponsors of the 2017 Michigan Smart Coast Internship series that includes social and networking events, as well as a road show that brings information directly to interns at their places of employment in a lunch-and-learn style.
"Talent attraction and development are critical for us and for the region," said Matt Cook, vice president of Community Relations at Lake Michigan Credit Union, a local financial organization that hosts between four and 10 interns each semester. "The Michigan Smart Coast program does an excellent job of showcasing West Michigan to interns so they will want to return to the area for their careers."
Gentex Corporation also believes that offering internships is a fundamental step in helping their business recruit better qualified candidates. Gentex runs a formal intern program designed to introduce new engineering talent to the company and West Michigan, with nearly 60 interns this summer.
“When interns experience our unique corporate culture and develop an appreciation for the dynamic community in which we operate, we’re better able to recruit and retain graduates with the aptitudes that make great employees and engaged citizens,” said Craig Piersma, director of marketing at Gentex.

Ottawa County Parks donated 150 seasonal park passes to encourage interns to explore outdoors this summer. All area interns and college students are encouraged to attend the free Michigan Smart Coast Summer Intern Program educational, networking and social events.  
“It’s great to showcase our community to interns from across the country," said Jane Clark, president of West Coast Chamber. "We know that Ottawa County is a wonderful place to launch a career. Through Michigan Smart Coast programming and opportunities at area employers, these talented young people are building impactful connections as they begin their summer experiences.”
Registration for Michigan Smart Coast events is recommended and is available through http://michigansmartcoast.com/.
About Michigan Smart Coast
Michigan Smart Coast is an identity that tells the story of what living, working and connecting with community is like for those living along West Michigan’s lakeshore region to help area companies and communities grow. Michigan Smart Coast aims to create a sense of pride and ownership for living and working in West Michigan, engaging professionals through events, the website and social media interaction. The Michigan Smart Coast brand and program is administered by Lakeshore Advantage. More at www.michigansmartcoast.com
About Lakeshore Advantage
Lakeshore Advantage is a non-profit economic development organization that catalyzes resources to drive economic growth in West Michigan. Lakeshore Advantage works to maintain a robust primary business base at all stages of development, from startups to large world-class corporations.
Lakeshore Advantage links area companies with the tools and resources needed for continued growth. In 2016, Lakeshore Advantage assisted with 26 growth projects resulting in over $205 million dollars in new private sector investment and 1,052 new jobs. More information is available at lakeshoreadvantage.com.