Main Message

Making West Michigan a leading region for talent

See how our CEO-led strategies provide leadership on complex talent challenges to ensure our region thrives.
Events

Insights to Action

Join other leading West Michigan employers to explore proven strategies to attract, develop and retain world-class talent.
Adult Interest in College Is High — But So Are Barriers
May 15, 2024

Adult Interest in College Is High — But So Are Barriers

A new study shows that most American adults recognize the value of a postsecondary credential for career...
Wellbeing @ Work
June 4, 2024

Wellbeing @ Work

Join us at GVSU's Seidman Center in Grand Rapids for a dynamic conversation with Frank Giampietro, EY's...
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Illuminate. Evaluate. Advocate.

TalentFirst is a catalyst working to ensure an ongoing supply of world-class talent for West Michigan. Composed of over 100 CEOs from the region, TalentFirst illuminates gaps, evaluates leading practices, and advocates for the implementation of those leading practices to make West Michigan a top 20% employment region.

Unmatched Collaboration for Regional Impact

TalentFirst serves 13 counties in West Michigan, engaging the industries, businesses, and nonprofit and educational institutions of each county. We chose this region — Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola and Ottawa counties — because it provides the talent pool from which local employers employ 83.6 percent of their workforce. We convene stakeholders from across sectors and facilitate efficient and effective collaboration.

Our Working Groups:
Where collaboration drives solutions

Ensure children have access to quality childcare and preschool that prepares them to enter kindergarten at…

Increase academic and college and career readiness measures and advocate for schools to adopt…

The Postsecondary Education Working Group aims to increase the number of students graduating from West…

The Workforce Development Working Group aims to create a best-in-class workforce system to engage and…

The Workforce Analytics Working Group aims to advance alignment across West Michigan’s talent…

Significantly reduce the racial and ethnic disparities in labor force participation, employment, and…

TalentFirst will be recognized as one of the most trusted resources for talent solutions among West Michigan…

Our Members

TalentFirst’s membership represents an array of the region’s business, educational, and civic leaders — a group as diverse as the region we serve. Together, they are a powerful force for meeting the talent demand of today and tomorrow. 

Our Insights

Mom in graduation cap and gown, with smiling daughter.

A new study shows that most American adults recognize the value of a postsecondary credential for career and financial success. At the same time, employers...

Toy cars in foreground of children playing on floor of classroom.

A lot of hard work was finally showing progress toward expanding access to high-quality preschool education and addressing the state’s child care crisis. New legislation...

Stressed woman at work putting her hands to her head.

Even as the initial shock of COVID-19 has diminished, employers and their teams continue to face challenges, stress and disruptions in their lives and the...