Lynette Philippus, of Holland, Mich., was in the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce office Monday morning looking for maps and information on housing.
She is employed at a hospital in Holland but the next task on her list was to look at local health care facilities while here. Her fiancee, who she declined to name, interviewed at Whirlpool.
The couple visited SkyRidge Medical Center Sunday afternoon. She said it appeared to be a little bigger than the hospital where she works now, but the two are comparable in cleanliness and new construction.
Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Farlow said the office is getting a number of relocation inquiries.
“We are hearing real estate people say they are starting to see people moving into the area. We’re still waiting on WACKER. They’ve got several people they are going to be hiring,” Farlow said. “They’ve got several engineering and construction types they are going to be hiring. From my understanding, they are going to be hiring eight or 10 people and most of them are from this general area, some are from outside the region, but they are trying to hire local. Other than that, we get requests for relocation information all the time.”
Farlow said all of the companies want to hire locally, if possible, because it just makes sense.
Philippus’ fiancee’s job search began on the Internet looking for openings near their hometown when a job in Cleveland showed up, at Whirlpool Corp. Whirlpool is based in Benton Harbor, Mich., about 50 miles south of Holland.
“We always travel in the South during spring breaks and vacations,” she said.
So, it seemed like a good idea to come to Cleveland for the weekend. They drove around Chattanooga Saturday and looked around Cleveland Sunday. While he interviewed for the job on Monday morning, Philippus went to the Chamber for information.
She has never been to Cleveland before and doesn’t know anyone here. Her first impressions of the city are positive.
“It’s a little bit bigger than I thought. I thought it would be smaller just from looking on the Internet and stuff. It’s got a lot of good industries,” she said. “One area we looked at in Ohio had a lot of vacant buildings and you don’t see that too much around here.
“You have your Family Dollar, Dollar General and Walmart stores like you would see anywhere else in the United States, but maybe more of them than from where I’m from,” she said.
Holland, a city of about 34,000 on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, is billed as “the all-American city with a Dutch accent” and is known for its annual Tulip Festival.
“Downtown Holland has a lot of little specialty shops like clothing stores and coffee shops. We probably have 50 shops where people come on Saturday and stroll through,” Philippus said. “Holland is close to Saugatuck and Grand Haven and other tourist locations. They have a lot of shops there, but it’s more like arts and crafts, which is what we saw when we were down in Chattanooga.”
“No,” Phillipus said when asked if she thought it was crowded in Cleveland.
She said the economy in western Michigan is beginning to return, but it is different than eastern Michigan around Detroit.
“I don’t know anything about the East side of the state,” she said.