KALAMAZOO, Mich. — The labor shortage is impacting businesses across the nation and even in West Michigan.
The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (KDPS) is preparing to host a basketball tournament this weekend, but it's not just for kids. They're hoping the event will help fill open jobs at local businesses.
"We are aware of the impacts that COVID-19 has had on employment across the area, more specific or largely ,across the nation, so that's why we came up with this event," said City of Kalamazoo Public Information Officer Ryan Bridges.
The event is being held to kick-off the 5th year of the Police Athletic Leagues (P.A.L.) football season in Kalamazoo, combining a 3-on-3 basketball tournament with a career fair.
"We know that nine times out of 10, in order to get the kids you have to have the parents bring them, so why not, you know, combine the two opportunities for youth sports, as well as a career fair for their parents or whoever might be bringing them that day," said Bridges.
The career fair being spearheaded by Michigan Works Southwest with several employers on hand like Bell's Brewery, Pizza Hut and Michigan State Police.
For the kids to get a little competitive, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament is also being held.
"We just really want this to be a good opportunity for the entire family. The 3-on-3 tournament, it's open to youth ages eight to 16, both boys and girls," said Bridges.
The event is being hosted at LaCrone Park in Kalamazoo's Northside neighborhood.
KDPS also said they'll be administering COVID-19 vaccines as well.
"We thought it'd be a great opportunity, knowing that we have this expectation that we're going to draw quite a few people out this weekend, and why not, you know, have COVID vaccinations on hand and available for those who are interested," said Bridges.
The 3-on-3 tournament and career fair will take place this upcoming Saturday, July 17. It is a free event.
Where: LaCrone Park, 535 W. Patterson St., Kalamazoo, MI
- Career Fair: 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic: 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- 3-on-3 Tournament: 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Click here to register ahead of time. Onsite registration is also available.