Carly J. Smyly
Director of Employer Talent Strategies & Engagement

Carly carries a Master of Science in Organizational Psychology and over 20 years of experience leading people, recruiting talent, building teams, and developing onboarding and training programs. Her career depicts a commitment to equipping others with the tools, knowledge, and confidence needed for thriving and growth. At TalentFirst, Carly brings a spirit of meaningful engagement to her partnerships with talent and diversity leaders across West Michigan as she collaborates with them to create strategies and solutions surrounding talent attraction, employee retention, talent development, and inclusive cultures.

Alex S. Andrews
Director of Business Intelligence & Workforce Innovation

Alex holds a Master of Public Policy and over 5 years of experience researching, evaluating, and developing solutions to address critical issues impacting Michigan’s workforce and economy. Alex has authored numerous publications detailing best practices for West Michigan businesses to attract, retain, develop, and engage workers more effectively. Alex leverages his analytical mind and partnerships with business, education, workforce, and community leaders to develop and execute strategies to improve the quality and scale of the workforce and alleviate poverty.

Helping West Michigan Thrive

TalentFirst is a CEO alliance providing leadership on today’s complex talent challenges. We rely on data and expertise to illuminate gaps, evaluate strategies, and advocate for solutions to attract, retain, and develop the talent West Michigan employers need and to ensure all individuals and the region can thrive.

Our Goals

  • Grow the labor force
  • Improve knowledge & skills
  • Expand economic opportunity

Our Strategies

  • P-20 Education
  • Workforce Development
  • Employer Strategies

Our Impact

  • 31,000+ kids (age 0-8) now get books when they see their doctor
  • 800+ business leaders & decision-makers received out insights & solutions
  • 1000+ of our Talent Solutions Playbooks distributed
  • 350+ downloads of our reports and strategies
  • 200+ K-12 educators collaborated with us to expand career education
  • 200+ HR leaders used our employer talent strategies
  • 10 bills signed into law — childcare (8), workforce training & education (2)
  • 1 Executive Order to make state investments in education & training programs

Participate in Our Talent Solutions Series

Employers hold the keys to a prosperous West Michigan where everyone can thrive. But first, they must have the talent they need. And this increasingly requires new tools and new strategies. 

Throughout the Talent Solution Series, we take an unprecedented and focused look at the most critical challenges in the new talent landscape. 

Each event brings together thought leaders, subject matter experts, and exemplar practitioners to give West Michigan employers resources, tactics, and networks to support talent attraction, recruitment & development, and to nurture an inclusive workplace culture. 

Learn more about all TalentFirst events and register for the Talent Solutions Series today!
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