Lansing Job Market Changes

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

When looking for opportunities in the high tech sector, most people turn towards Silicon Valley. But in Okemos, there's software developer TechSmith, and they're hiring.

"We're planning to increase our employee base by 40 percent, roughly another 50 people added to our head count," says human resource manager Amy Walsh.

Walsh says companies like TechSmith tend to fly under the radar when it comes to job opportunities.

"We have MSU here. We have U of M. We have lots of great colleges that are feeding great minds into our communities, and these people want to stay here. They just don't know there are options to stay here," she says.

But according to the latest Manpower survey on the Lansing job market, TechSmith is one of a decreasing number of companies looking to add more employees.

Twenty percent of companies surveyed say they'll hire next quarter (January through March). That number is down 10 percent from last quarter. And even with the new GM Delta Township plant, manufacturing jobs are slimming down and high tech is buffing up.

"Employees need to look internally within themselves to see what they like to do, and what skills they can build on," says Manpower area manager Elaine DeVlieger.

Some people may be intimidated when they hear "high tech." But at TechSmith, there are a wide variety of jobs available not just software writers.

"We're like a normal company. We need people in places like marketing and customer service. We're hiring throughout the spectrum," Walsh says.

DeVlieger says the key to finding a new job in Lansing in 2007 is being open to trying new things.

"It's definitely a challenge," she admits.

"The number one thing we look for no matter the position is if employees are able to learn, grow and adapt to changing environments," says Walsh.

And in the high tech community, an ever-changing environment and ever-growing businesses will continue to bring a need for more able-bodied workers, no matter their professional background.


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