We Reflect on 2017
December 28, 2017Kevin Stotts
2017 marks the halfway point between Talent 2025’s inaugural year and our goal year of 2025. This year, we’ve moved closer to our goal of making West Michigan a top 20 employment region by focusing on key challenges our region faces. We are thankful for the leadership, collaboration, and achievements of our Working Groups, industry sector councils, and CEO Council. It is because of the involvement from local leaders that we can continue to improve talent development, attraction, and retention in West Michigan.
This year, Talent 2025 sought to increase our impact on West Michigan by identifying and sharing ideas, best practices, and research on issues related to talent development, attraction, and retention. We’ve released several publications, including:
- The 4th edition of the West Michigan Talent Assessment and Outlook,
- “Leading Practices for Hiring Returning Citizens,” a report which summarizes the barriers and leading practices surrounding hiring those with criminal histories and was made possible by piloting a Community of Practice for Returning Citizens with 18 employers,
- A research brief on West Michigan’s labor force participation, and
- A report from the Workforce Development Working Group titled “Increasing participation. Enhancing economics.” which identifies four major barriers to employment: child care, transportation, housing, and employment and training. Soon, we will address drug use as a fifth challenge to workforce participation.
In addition to these publications, we launched our new website to share ideas, news, and data from Talent 2025 Working Groups as well as business, education, and community leaders from all around West Michigan and the US. This includes the implementation of the regional dashboard to track progress and launching the blog in February.
At our CEO Council Meeting in October, we announced a new focus on two critical subjects: early childhood literacy and workforce diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a result, over 50 local companies have signed our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion CEO Commitment. The Early Childhood Development and K-12 Education Working Groups also released our “Roadmap to Regional Literacy,” outlining the challenges and strategies to improve literacy in West Michigan.
None of this would be possible without the help of local business, education, and community leaders. We thank them for their guidance and support, which is essential to Talent 2025’s success.
Continue to follow our work by following us on Twitter @WMTalent2025.