There are times in life when you have to face facts and do something you’d rather not just to make sure you get through. We in the entertainment industry have certainly weathered some tough times throughout history be it fighting for the right to organize or putting our lives and livelihoods at risk organizing when companies were hiring strikebreakers to do our jobs while we walked the line. We’ve seen wars, we’ve seen economic collapse, we’ve seen full-blown depressions. We have always made it out the other side.
What we haven’t always done, however, was make it through by continuing to work in the entertainment industry. When gatherings of over 50 people were forbidden our industry came to a screeching halt, leaving uncertainty, worry, and unemployment in its wake. We all decided to wait and see for a bit, hoping maybe it wouldn’t last long. Then we all decided to apply for unemployment benefits, because that money is there for just this occasion.
It may not be enough. With Broadway now seriously considering staying closed until May or June, we may have to consider other avenues of employment whether we like it or not. Unemployment benefits, while extended, will not last forever. Meanwhile, we all have bills. We all need to eat. Even with staying home as much as possible to help stop the spread of COVID-19, there are things we need to do. We also must realize even when the industry starts back up it’ll be slow going, and especially for those lower on our seniority list it may be months before we’re back to work normally again.
The last week or so I’ve been posting places to go for food, things to do so you don’t go stir-crazy, and ways you can help others if you’re so inclined. Today I’m going to focus on companies in West Michigan who are currently hiring. A lot of it may be temporary work, but temporary is better than nothing, and with any luck at it will last until Local 26 can start referring you for work again.
First: Retail. Probably not small local stores, as they are either shutting down or running with a skeleton crew since this is hitting them hard as well. But did you know Meijer is currently hiring cashiers, stockers, and other positions? I single out Meijer specifically because the workers there are represented by UFCW Local 951. Not only do they enjoy regular union representation, but during this crisis Local 951 has negotiated an extra $2.00 per hour for Meijer employees. As I am not privy to the actual CBA I have no idea who/what positions are represented, but potential union representation is always better than not.
UFCW Local 951 also represents employees at: Harding’s, JLL, Grandville Nut Roasting Co., JBS, Knouse, Kroger, Meijer, Hallmark Living Sonova Benton Harbor, LM Foods, Polly’s and Rite Aid, among other places throughout West Michigan.
I’m going to highlight some jobs I’ve found online, in no particular order and with no endorsement of any of the companies mentioned by Local 26. These are simply jobs from Indeed.com that seem suited to our referents’ skills that could help them through this. This is by no means a comprehensive list of available jobs, nor does it compile information from all sources. Please continue to search on your own as well!
Full Time Substitute Custodian -Grand Rapids, MI
Offering $15/hour, full time job. This position requires travel throughout West Michigan, but they do reimburse for mileage at 25 cents/mile. This one is marked “urgently hiring”.
Hi / Lo Driver (001)
The listing does not mention a rate of pay or if it’s full- or part-time, but the description says they require a high school diploma, experience in a production setting, experience with a Hi-Lo, experience with QS9000 and AIB Standards, and experience in computer data entry.
Vork Brother Painting LLC – Grand Rapids, MI
No rate of pay mentioned here as well, but it is full time work. They require experience in interior and exterior painting work, comfortable with ladder work, flexible schedule, highly motivated, and an outgoing personality. This one, while listed on Indeed, requires you apply on their company site: https://recruiting.paylocity.com/recruiting/jobs/Details/259314/Vork-Brother-Painting-LLC/Painter
Warehouse Clerk, Relief Delivery Driver
Besco Water Treatment, Inc. – Kentwood, MI 49512
$15 – $18 an hour
This position requires a chauffeur’s license, D.O.T. med card, and provision of MVR.They also require at least 1 year driving/delivery experience, and prefer 1 year experience in forklift, inventory, and warehouse. You will need to lift 50 pounds regularly. It’s a full-time position delivering 5-gallon water bottles, coolers, coffee, brewers, and other products. The application is on Indeed, but unfortunately has no link. You can search the above job or company name and find it if you’re interested.
Spectrum Lanes and Woody’s Press Box – Wyoming, MI 49509
Hiring both full- and part-time, they require you be available nights and weekends and have knowledge of food safety and sanitation. You must have an ability to lift 50 pounds, and be able to “juggle ten things at once” (I assume they don’t mean literally, but I personally will give a dollar to anyone who actually juggles ten items during their interview). Duties also include mopping and sweeping, taking out trash, and maintaining restrooms. They do not list a rate of pay.
OTR Driver, CDL A Req. Michigan to Texas and back. Paper Logs.
Bliss Transportation – Wyoming, MI
$60,000 – $70,000 a year
This position requires a CDL A. They say you’ll be home weekly, and will receive a monthly bonus and weekly settlements. You’d be transporting reefer freight in a 2015 Coronado glider, and will not be required to touch freight. Routes run between Michigan and Texas with no trips to either coast, 3000 miles per week.
$18.50 an hour
This one is full-time, 40 hours per week Monday through Friday 8am – 5pm, with required emergency on call rotation. You must live within 20 miles of the apartment community. You need to be dependable, people-oriented, adaptable/flexible, and detail-oriented.
Jons To Go – Galesburg, MI 49053
$14 – $18 an hour
Successful candidates must be able to pass a DOT physical and drug screen, have an acceptable driving record, good work history, and medium to heavy truck driving experience. CDL preferred but not required. Must be able to pass a driving skills test and work 40-50 hours per week. They prefer 1 year driving experience, 1 year delivery experience, and 1 year customer service.
This post took an unexpected turn while I was writing it, since Governor Whitmer has announced Michigan is under a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order for at least the next three weeks. It is still good information to keep in your back pocket for the future, but for now look for an upcoming blog post explaining exactly what is meant by “Stay Home”, what you are and are not allowed to do while under the order, and more ideas for things to do while at home.
Be safe. Be well. And most importantly… WASH YOUR HANDS!