Investing in Child Care Pays Dividends to Employers — and All of Us
June 20, 2024

Investing in Child Care Pays Dividends to Employers — and All of Us

Child care is one of the biggest expenses facing working parents, often costing more than housing or...
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.
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Insights to Action

Join other leading West Michigan employers to explore proven strategies to attract, develop and retain world-class talent.
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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

A teacher high-fives one of several children sitting at a classroom table.

Child care is one of the biggest expenses facing working parents, often costing more than housing or health care. In Michigan, the average annual cost...

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Employers and their workers displayed a lot of resilience during the pandemic. But as weeks turned into months and years, the stress and anxiety took...

preschool classroom with children and teachers sitting at a table

The following opinion was originally published in The Detroit News on May 21 (subscriber link). By Kevin Stotts For more than a decade, Michigan has...