Virtual Job Fair represents 40+ employers seeking behavioral health services professionals

CMHA represents and advocates for Michigan’s public mental health system and the Michiganders it serves.

With support from the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Employment and Training, the Community Mental Health Association of Michigan (CMHA) is sponsoring a Behavioral Health Services Virtual Job Fair 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday Feb. 21, 2024.

Job seekers with relevant masters and bachelor level degrees can visit the virtual booths of more than 40 behavioral health providers from across the Upper and Lower Peninsula to learn more about current opportunities via online chat. Those interested can register here to explore information and opportunities or via the Facebook Live event.

Trish Cortes“Working in human services is a rewarding and mutually beneficial role,” says Trish Cortes, executive director of Washtenaw County Community Mental Health, one of the employers represented at the virtual job fair. “You gain the opportunity to work in the community, help others improve their lives and ultimately enhance the quality of life for those you serve and the community.  If you are looking to connect and make an impact, connect with Washtenaw County Community Mental Health."

Another reason CMHA is sponsoring the virtual job fair is to attract more people to behavioral health careers. Current and projected health care workforce shortages are hitting behavioral health hard — social workers are especially needed to meet Michiganders’ increasing need for professional behavioral health care.

“It is of no surprise that, across the nation, organizations are facing a workforce shortage. For Michigan, and for Washtenaw specifically, we are feeling this impact,” Cortes says. “In Washtenaw, we are always looking for new and innovative ways to connect with others to aid in our recruitment efforts.” 

MI Mental Health recently spoke with Allie McCrum, CMHA policy analyst and organizer of the virtual job fair.

Allie McCrumQ. How can people take part in the virtual job fair?

A. People are able to sign up to talk to an employer based on the locations that they like or the job descriptions that they like.  Then, they may be offered an interview or told how to apply for the position. There will be a lot of community mental health (CMH) programs as well as providers like Trinity Health, Hope Network, and housing providers.

We planned the date to line up with graduates of MSW and BSW degree programs so they would have an opportunity to see statewide where they can be employed. The job fair will especially help our rural CMHs that are struggling to find people.

Q. What kinds of positions will people with social work degrees be able to choose from?

A. Job seekers who have bachelor’s or master’s degrees in social work or other relevant majors  can apply for positions in case management for people with mental illness or developmental disabilities, therapist positions, and clinical positions.

I have been a case manager for the last year with the Community Mental Health Authority of Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham Counties. Usually, the CMH is the provider of last resort for people in poverty who are struggling, homeless, or can’t work due to their mental illness or disability. Just to be there, to see them be able to reenter society, regrow relationships with their families, get into housing, and get support from people who love them feels really great.

Maribeth Leonard
Another employer represented at the virtual job fair, LifeWays is a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic serving Jackson and Hillsdale counties — and one of the 150+ CMHA member organizations serving more than 300,000 Michiganders with mental illness, emotional disturbance, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and/or substance use disorders.

“We've participated in three virtual job fairs, and while we haven't made any hires directly from these events, we're optimistic about the potential they offer,” concludes Maribeth Leonard, CEO, LifeWays. “Despite not finding the exact skill set we were seeking, we're encouraged by the diverse talent pool we're able to connect with through these virtual platforms. Moving forward, we're excited about the opportunities that continued engagement in virtual career fairs will bring to our recruitment efforts.”  

Estelle Slootmaker is project editor for the MI Mental Health, Block by BlockEarly Education Matters, and Yours, Mine and Ours — Public Health series as well as author of the State of Health Series. Contact her at

CMHA photo by John Russell. Trish Cortes photo by Doug Coombe. Masthead photo by Diva Plavalaguna via
 Other photos courtesy CMHA and subjects.

The MI Mental Health series highlights the opportunities that Michigan's children, teens, and adults of all ages have to find the mental health help they need, when and where they need it. It is made possible with funding from the Community Mental Health Association of MichiganCenter for Health and Research TransformationLifeWaysMental Health Foundation of West MichiganNorthern Lakes CMH AuthorityOnPointSanilac County CMHSt. Clair County CMHSummit Pointe, and Washtenaw County CMH.

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