Getting a Job in the U.P., Part 1

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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Are you looking for a job, or do you know someone who is?

Two U.P. organizations that can help you not only find a job, but probably find one relatively quickly, and one that's a good fit for you, are Michigan Works and Manpower.

Michigan Works is a free public service for job seekers of any and all kinds. With 14 locations all across the U.P., they say their approach works because they cater to an individual's specific skills, experience, and career ambitions.

"When a job seeker walks through the door, we focus on that individual, and their individual needs, so it's not just a boilerplate service,” said Lewis Strom, a Michigan Works Talent Team Member.

Michigan Works does more than just set job seekers up with employers - they help them on resume and cover letter-building, practicing interviewing skills and also building up their confidence. They said they never turn anyone away, regardless of education, experience or industry.

Manpower is a staffing and recruiting business in Marquette, but they serve the entire U.P. They call themselves "matchmakers" that aim to fit the right person into the right job. Like Michigan Works, Manpower is a free service that works with just about every type of job seeker, the lone exception being those looking for clinical healthcare positions.

"We fill, I like to say, everything from Santa Claus at the mall to executives at the mine. So we're filling almost every industry in the Upper Peninsula,” said Manpower Branch Manager Brianne Farr. “Employment trends right now, we're in what we call a talent shortage, so we have a lot of companies looking to hire, but not many people looking for jobs. So I like to say if they're looking for work, it's a good time to be looking."

Michigan Works and Manpower said they're seeing the most opportunities in right now in skilled trades.

"Skilled trades and healthcare is kind of the two biggest industries that we see,” Strom said. “With the hospital and a lot of construction jobs available, I would say in the next six months, you'll see a lot more opening and a lot more opportunities in the skilled trades from labor to carpentry to welding to electrician to plumbing and pipe-fitting. There's a lot of different good paying jobs in that field."

"If I had to really get in on one specific industry, I would recommend people going into the skilled trades,” Farr said. “Not only right now do we have a shortage, but it's only going to get worse. We have a lot of baby boomer generation folks that are in the skilled trades, and they're looking to retire soon, and the companies are having a difficult time finding electricians, mechanics [and] welders to replace them."

Michigan Works is a walk-in service center, so you can drop in at any time and ask them to help you with your job search. To find the nearest Michigan Works location, visit their website,

If you're interested in working with Manpower, you can call them at (906) 226-2211 to schedule an appointment.

If you're disabled, you can check out Michigan Rehabilitations Services, who offer a similar service, but catered specifically to the needs of disabled job seekers. The Marquette MRS Office can be reached at (906) 226-6578 or you can visit their website:

Part two of this series will air on FOX UP at 10/9c Wednesday.

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