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Grand Valley State University's Beacon Since 1963, Allendale, MI
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GVSU-MAREC brings in LongerDays.com

When one day LongerDays.com’s Chad Lawie wandered into Grand Valley State Univeristy’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center on the shores of Muskegon Lake, all it took was a quick discussion with MAREC director Arn Boezaart to begin turning the wheels that would eventually result in Lawie’s company becoming MAREC’s newest tennant.

Lawie’s company, LongerDays.com, provides virtual assistant service, is located just five minutes away in the historic Hovey House.

“We’re all about promoting technology and business start ups – Chad Lawie certainly falls under the category of a young entrepreneur,” Boezaart said. “(Bringing in LongerDays.com) fits our MAREC mission to be helpful and to help guide young people who are doing business start-ups.”

Those business start-ups are important not only to MAREC, but also the city of Muskegon, and Boezaart said that MAREC is committed to helping Muskegon build a new future for itself.

“What we do is combine the part time staffing needs across the United States as well as the world, and combine all these part time jobs into full time here in Muskegon,” Lawie said. “It’s a big positive for Muskegon. We’re bringing those jobs here completely and creating new revenue.”

That new revenue is bringing in money to Muskegon, but the ability to expand LongerDays.com – which will now share office space with MAREC – is one of the main objectives for Lawie.

“The ability to expand is a huge part of it, had we moved to a smaller office we can now grow into a larger space,” he said. “It’s going to be really helpful in creating more jobs, that’s what this is all about, really.”

While the mission of LongerDays.com focuses on outsourcing technology-related jobs to Muskegon among other places, the environmentally aware MAREC, focusing mainly on alternative and renewable energy, has a place for the high-technology business development brought by LongerDays.com.

“We have a real responsibility to offer any assurance we can to help him succeed,” Boezaart said. “He’s coming in with 10 employees, all under 30 … we want to say to our young adults in this community, ‘there are businesses in this area that can use your talents.’”
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