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Old 08-29-2011, 01:27 PM
 
9 posts, read 19,230 times
Reputation: 18

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Hello, I had a question for employees or friends of employees working at stryker at the engineering /technical position level. Is this is a good company to work for? Are there growth opportunities? What is it like living in Kalamazoo?
I am considering applying for a position which is a perfect match with my skill set, since stryker is a big company. However it is located in michigan, so was a little nervous about that...since my spouse would have to find a job too in kalamazoo.
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Old 08-29-2011, 01:58 PM
 
222 posts, read 737,923 times
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I have a relative who works at Stryker and seems to like it. Have heard nothing but good things about the company and its growth potential. On the down site, that relative's spouse has not found full time employment in over 18 month, just part time and temp jobs. Things may be slightly better in K-Zoo than some parts of Michigan (9.3% unemployment rate) but that is still not great compared to other parts of the country.

Cost of housing should be low, but that depends where you are coming from. Would suggest checking that out and would also suggest renting first so you get to know the area. Other pluses: Western Michigan University gives the town more options than a similar sized town without a major university. You are also only about 35-40 minutes from Lake Michigan and Grand Rapids, and a two hour drive from Chicago (you can also get there by train.) If you love the outdoors (winter and summer) then Michigan might just be the place for you. On the other hand, if you are from a large metropolitan area and used to all the trappings (good and bad) you may be disappointed in your limited options.

Some would say the state is turning around under new Governor Snyder, others think we are heading in the wrong direction. Only time will tell. The state still faces many challenges. At this time, while there ARE risks in coming to Michigan, working for Stryker in Kalamazoo would not be one of the bigger ones you could take, in my opinion.

Where are you coming from?

Last edited by michiganbob; 08-29-2011 at 01:58 PM.. Reason: correct spelling
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Old 08-29-2011, 07:56 PM
 
Location: FL
1,711 posts, read 2,690,323 times
Reputation: 1861
Only hearsay, but entry level non-skilled at Stryker is pretty dog eat dog, skilled-advanced positions, you probably won't have a problem. I wouldn't advertise or make it a point to say your not from MI, kinda fly under the radar if you know what I mean.

If it were me, I'd look into living a little North of K-Zoo, Plainwell/Otsego, Martin exits off of 131 (closer to Grand Rapids so one can have access to both job markets.). I don't think Stryker is going anywhere, their owners are on Forbes 400 of richest Americans and they are very loyal to Kalamazoo. Seems like they all but have a lock on hospital beds, I've seen them in VA hospitals across the country and even in our local hospital down here in FL. I believe they are in a high profit margin, low competition biz, so they're going to be around for awhile.
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,990 posts, read 11,767,331 times
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I've never worked for Stryker, but I'm from Kalamazoo. Obviously I'm biased, but I really think Kzoo is an excellent place to live -- it has everything you need, and the universities bring in cultural events, academic types and "non-traditional" people. If you absolutely need to escape to a bigger city, you can take the Amtrak and be in Chicago in 90 minutes (I wouldn't recommed driving, traffic in Chicago is BRUTAL).

The main part of Kalamazoo to avoid is the Northside -- very dangerous impoverished ghetto. The Eastside is pretty sketchy too, and Parchment (a nearby suburb) was nice but is going downhill pretty fast. The rest of the city is fine, though. Generally anything south of M-43 and west of Portage Ave will be nice, with few exceptions. The southside of the city is really nice and family-oriented, and it has the added bonus of being close to Stryker. The west side (including Oshtemo Township) is really nice, but full of college students. Kalamazoo schools are slightly sketchy, but adequate, but students graduating from the system get their (in-state) college tuition paid for through a city-run scholarship program.

If you want a more suburban atmosphere, Portage or Mattawan would be good choices, and they both have good school systems.

If you prefer a smaller town, Three Rivers, Paw Paw, Mendon and Delton are all good choices. Sturgis is nice too, but a little far away (45-50 minutes).

Kalamazoo's job market is very negative. I spent a year looking for a job there after I graduated from college, with no results. Most of my friends who are still there are underemployed or commute to other cities for work. Michigan as a whole is a very poor state to job search.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:42 AM
 
9 posts, read 19,230 times
Reputation: 18
Thanks to everyone for the replies. I am from the NE so the weather is ok. We were considering renting till we get an idea of the company culture. Until then, we just have to wait and see. I have already applied for the position.
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