Points of View

  • Veterans in West Michigan

    Veterans in West Michigan

    We take a closer look at pockets of high unemployment and low labor force participation rates for veterans across the 13-county West Michigan region.

  • Why Michigan Should Defend “Ban the Box” Policy

    Why Michigan Should Defend “Ban the Box” Policy

    Last month, Governor Snyder enacted legislation to “ban the box,” or to stop asking applicants for state jobs or occupational license about their criminal histories. Some have argued against this change, but it is an important policy that is good for business. 

  • Adapting high schools for the future of work

    Adapting high schools for the future of work

    In an open letter to state policy leaders, XQ explains how high school curriculum can change to better prepare students for future jobs and automation.

  • A Young West Michigan?

    A Young West Michigan?

    Each year the U.S. Census Bureau releases detailed population estimates at the county-level, illustrating how local populations vary across the nation by age, race, ethnicity, and gender. These estimates are vital to gleaning more about our local communities, while also enabling us to quantify the diversity of the region and the potential size of the labor force with respect to age. In this post, we’d like to look briefly at what the age composition of the West Michigan region looks like and how it’s changed over the past five years.

  • Why IDs are a barrier for Returning Citizens

    Why IDs are a barrier for Returning Citizens

    Obtaining a state ID can be difficult for many leaving the criminal justice system. Learn more about this issue and what other states have done to address it.

  • Connecting employers, workers, and educators to strengthen hiring
  • Labor Force Diversity in West Michigan

    Labor Force Diversity in West Michigan

    Although they are often derived as a simplified look at the health of the economy, the unemployment rate and labor force participation rate of a region are among the most pervasive indicators of economic prosperity that we utilize. While both of these indicators have continued to improve in West Michigan since the end of the Great Recession in 2009, it is important to note that progress has not been dispersed equally among all members of our community. In this post, we will look at pockets of high unemployment and low labor force participation rates across racial and ethnic groups.

  • HireReach is Moving Forward

    HireReach is Moving Forward

    Learn more about HireReach and what is in store for the initiative’s next phase.