Career and Networking Resources

Kristin, Monica, Victoria and Rachel at a LocalFirst mixer.

AIGA West Michigan
Contact: (212) 807-1990
Purpose: To unite a group of professionals and students with diverse backgrounds and an interest in design. Focuses on inspiring, learning new things, and connecting with each other and the community.

American Advertising Federation of West Michigan
Purpose: Inspiration for advertising and marketing professionals. Activities include industry advocacy, social and community events and educational programs.

Purpose: To support and promote the growth of the interactive and technology industries throughout West Michigan.

Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE)
Contact: (616) 458-3404
Purpose: AWE, a division of Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW) offers a wide range of benefits, training, support and networking opportunities for women-owed businesses.

American Marketing Association of West Michigan
Purpose: To provide solid, marketing-oriented programs, unique and fun networking events and introductions to key marketing professionals at premier regional companies.

Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance
Purpose: To help women in all accounting and related fields achieve their full potential and contribute to the development of their profession.

Associated Builders & Contractors, West MI Chapter
Contact: (616) 942-9960
Purpose: An association of general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and associates who work together to improve the construction industry.

Association of Fundraising Professionals, West MI Chapter
Contact: (616) 222-6144 or
Purpose: Advancing philanthropy by enabling people and organizations to practice effective and ethical fundraising.

Association of Information Technology Professionals
Purpose: Facilitate awareness and effective use of information technology, and provide members with leadership opportunities.

Bl2end: Business Leaders Linked to Encourage New Directions
Purpose: To foster an environment where young professionals of color can connect with each other, develop professionally and contribute to the local community.

Business and Professional Women, Michigan
Contact: (313) 885-8338
Purpose: Supporting workforce development programs and policies that recognize the diverse needs of working women, communities and businesses.

Economic Club of Grand Rapids
Contact: (616) 454-1883 or
Purpose: To promote interest and enlighten members on governmental, economic and social issues that affect the local economy.

Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids
Contact: (616) 532-4200
Purpose: Provides free career planning services and access to computers at The Career Center. No appointment necessary. Goodwill also has job finding and job securing resources including training, placement, counseling, classes and referral programs.

Grand Rapids Association of Realtors
Contact: (616) 940-8200 or 888-940-GRAR
Purpose: Advancement of the West Michigan real estate community.

GR Current
Contact: (616) 719-3625 or
Purpose: Help turn ideas into a viable, sustainable business.

Greater Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce
Contact: (616) 771-0300
Purpose: Creating opportunities for West Michigan businesses to connect, grow and succeed.

Grand Rapids Bar Association
Contact: (616) 454-5550
Purpose: A climate in which lawyers and judges work together to improve the delivery of legal services.

Grand Rapids Inventors Network (GRIN)
Purpose: GRIN helps members to further their creative ideas. It’s also a place where inventors, marketers and creative people can learn and network.

Grand Rapids Network After Work
Purpose: To help make connections with other members of your business community while enjoying different Grand Rapids venues.

Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW)
Contact: (616) 458-3404
Purpose: Providing women with training and networking opportunities to acquire knowledge and develop skills to become economically self-sufficient.

Grand Rapids Young Professionals
Purpose:Providing young professionals with the opportunity to interact professionally and socially with each other through gatherings, volunteering, and leadership roles.

Grand Rapids Grant Writers Roundtable
Contact: or (616) 331- 6801
Purpose: An informal, monthly lunch group offering practical help and collegial support to attendees.

Grand Rapids Area Professionals for Excellence (GRAPE)
Purpose: An informal, monthly gathering of business professionals to network and learn from one another.

Greater Grand Rapids Association for Human Resource Management
Purpose: To provide information, professional development, and networking opportunities to human resource professionals.

Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council
Contact: (616) 574-7307 or
Purpose: Dedicated to educating the community and celebrating the legacies of local women, preserving knowledge of their past and inspiring visions for their future.

Hello West Michigan
Contact: (616) 818-9080 or
Purpose: To promote West Michigan as a place where business thrives and people want to live and work. Collaborates with organizations across the region to help new residents find their fit in West Michigan.

Home Builders Association of Greater Grand Rapids
Contact: (616) 281-2021 ext. 254 or
Purpose: Networking opportunities, educational programs, insurance and group benefits, legal advice and more.

HASU (Hook A Sister Up)
Purpose: To help women entrepreneurs by bringing awareness to their businesses, promoting their work and providing a supportive relationship with other women entrepreneurs as they launch  and sustain their businesses through  collaboration  and mentorship.

Contact: (616) 588-9400
Purpose: Providing networking opportunities for businesswomen to connect, discuss civic and business issues, and advance as leaders.

International Association of Administrative Professionals, Grand Rapids
Purpose: To promote excellence for administrative assistants, executive secretaries, office coordinators, information specialists and related administrative professionals.

LinkedUp Grand Rapids
Purpose: A professional online networking group for people in greater Grand Rapids and West Michigan.

Literacy Center
Contact: (616) 459-5151 or
Purpose: Programs that aid in improving literacy including English classes for adults in the workforce, as well as job seekers.

Local First West Michigan
Contact: (616) 808-3788
Purpose: To encourage the development of a vibrant, sustainable West Michigan economy by promoting local business ownership, social equity and environmental kinship through education, support and collaboration.

Michigan Nurses Association
Contact: or (517) 349-5640 or 888-MI-NURSE
Purpose: Providing educational opportunities and comprehensive services that advance the professional and economic interests of registered nurses.

Michigan Small Business Development Center
Contact: (616) 331-7480
Purpose: To provide services and support to the Michigan small business community in the areas of counsel, training, research and advocacy.

Michigan Women’s Foundation
Contact: (313) 962-1920
Purpose: To promote economic self-sufficiency and personal wellbeing for women and girls and to maximize their contributions to society.

Michigan Women’s Marketplace
Contact: (734) 677-1400
Purpose: An online information center for women business owners featuring articles, links and resources and business tools.

Michigan Works!
Contact: (517) 371-1100
Purpose: Provides assistance to job seekers in preparing for career opportunities and helps businesses find qualified employees.

Multiracial Association of Professionals (MAP)
Purpose: Connecting professional newcomers of color to the community through luncheons, tours and other events.

National Association of Legal Professionals of West Michigan (NALS)
Contact: (616) 752-2494
Purpose: Enhancing the knowledge of its members through continuing legal education, certifications, resource materials and networking opportunities.

National Association of Social Workers (NASW), MI Chapter or
Purpose: To enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards and to advance sound social policies.

National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), GR Chapter
Purpose: To enhance the success of women in the construction industry through scholarships, job site tours and industry speakers.

Neighborhood Ventures
Contact: (616) 301-3929 or
Purpose: NV is an information and advocacy organization for neighborhood businesses and districts.

Rotary Club of Grand Rapids
Contact: (616) 459-5640
Purpose: To provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and to help build goodwill and peace in our community.

SCORE, Counselors to America’s Small Business
Contact: (616) 771-0305 or
Purpose: Delivering free, confidential, valuable advice for your start-up or existing business needs.

Seemless IoT
Purpose: Giving selected startups access to intellectual and commercialization resources that will help them explore new market opportunities.

Small Business Resource Center (in GR Public Library)
Contact: (616) 988-5400
Purpose: To provide business information and classes to start, manage and grow your business.

Society of Women Engineers
Contact: 1(877) 793-4636
Purpose: SWE gives women engineers a unique place and voice within the engineering industry.

Start Garden
Purpose: A $15,000,000 fund investing $5,000 into a new idea each week with the general public endorsing ideas. Ideas can come from anywhere.

Toastmasters International
Contact: (949) 858-8255
Purpose: Members learn to improve their communication and leadership skills by attending and participating in meetings.

The Right Place Inc.
Contact: (616) 771-0325 or
Purpose: To promote wealth creation and economic growth in the areas of quality employment, productivity and innovation in West Michigan.

Unstoppable Women’s Networking
Purpose: To provide home-based entrepreneurs the benefits of being included in a business community that lead to inspiration and leadership.

West Michigan Public Relations Society of America (WMPRSA)
Purpose: To help public relations professionals develop the knowledge and skills needed for effective organization management.

Women In Development (WID)
Purpose: Meets at Wolfgang’s Restaurant on the last Thursday of each month from 7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m. for breakfast, networking and support. There are no dues, no rules and no obligation.

Women In Successful Enterprises (WISE)
Purpose: Connecting business women in an environment that facilitates growth and support in each other’s businesses.

Women’s Resource Center of Greater Grand Rapids
Contact: (616) 458-5443
Purpose: A career development agency, serving women of all economic and social backgrounds.

Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Greater Grand Rapids
Purpose: To provide emerging non-profit leaders under age 40 with opportunities for professional development, education, and networking.

Zonta Club of Grand Rapids
Purpose: A worldwide organization of business executives working together to advance the status of women. Local efforts have included annual Girls Only STEM Science fair, providing materials for Project Thrive and supporting community organizations with specific needs (such as purchased a van for YWCA’s Domestic Crisis Center to transport victims of domestic violence).

At WISE’s Reigning Women: Holding Hands and Throwing Punches panel discussion
At WISE’s Reigning Women: Holding Hands and Throwing Punches panel discussion




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