OWOSSO, Mich. (WJRT) - Now hiring: Woodard furniture, one of Shiawasee County’s largest employers, is looking to fill around 50 general labor positions.
This comes as the furniture company faces a massive backlog of orders along with continued pent up demand for its products.
ABC12 News learned that the company has one specific requirement of all its employees, that all employees are required to be vaccinated.
In fact, they mandated the COVID-19 vaccine back on Sept. 1, long before there was any talk of a federal vaccine mandate.
A couple hundred workers, such as seamstresses, welders, or assemblers show up to work everyday at Woodard furniture in Owosso.
But, they could use a little more help.
“We are hiring for all positions in the factory. We’re hiring welders, we’re hiring people in upholstery, we’re hiring assemblers, loaders, and in upholstery and in welding, we will train if someone’s interested in learning a trade,” said Plant Manager Lou Zelenka.
Zelenka said that there’s something that sets working at Woodard a part from other employers, and that’s the requirement that all employees are vaccinated from COVID-19.
“It wasn’t easy. There were some people that were not in favor of it, but the vast majority of our people agreed - so now we’re 98% I believe. There’s a few exceptions,” said Zelenka.
Woodard is one, if not the only employer in the county that has mandated the COVID-19 vaccine for all employees which was done earlier this fall.
It’s something that gives John Allison, who showed up to today’s job fair, a little more peace of mind.
“At least you don’t have to worry about wearing that mask. I’m just so glad to not have to wear that anymore,” said Allison.
Zelenka told ABC12 News that they did lose a few employees because of the mandate, but he’s hoping that because the mandate is in place, it will help attract and retain potential employees who may be looking for this specific of a work environment.
“Their confidence level is 100% the people they’re working with are vaccinated,” said Zelenka.
Starting pay for these open positions is between $13 and $16 an hour. It does include all standard benefits including medical, dental and a 401k.
There’s also the potential for Christmas bonuses and profit sharing.
If anyone who is interested missed today’s job fair, don’t worry, there is still time to apply online.
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