WEDC encourages out-of-state alumni of Wisconsin colleges to “come home”

By Erin Eagan

Worker shortage is a primary concern of businesses across the state. Companies that once had to cut positions during the recession are now saddled with more job openings than skilled workers to fill them.

With this worker shortage expected to worsen in the next decade, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) has invested $6.8 million in a marketing campaign to attract and retain talented workers in Wisconsin to meet growing workforce demands.

As part of this marketing campaign, WEDC and Western Technical college launched an initiative to target out-of-state alumni and returning military service members to “come home” as well as encourage students to stay in Wisconsin after they graduate.

The campaign includes social media ads linking to a new alumni webpage on InWisconsin.com. The page features videos of graduates of Wisconsin colleges who have chosen Wisconsin as their career destination, either right after graduation or after leaving the state and returning here. The ads will appear nationally on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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We're doing our part as a college to help train that workforce, but we've trained so many that have chosen to cross the short border over to Minnesota. Maybe travel down to Iowa, maybe they thought Minneapolis was the right thing,” said Western Technical College President Roger Stanford at the campaign’s launch. “And if we can connect with alumni and show them what their roots were and remind them how great it was where they grew up I think it's the perfect place.”

Western is just one of nine Wisconsin colleges and universities joining the WEDC campaign. Other educational institutions working with WEDC on this initiative include the University of Wisconsin-Madison, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Whitewater, UW-Platteville, St. Norbert College and Lakeshore Technical College.

The campaign marks the first time the state has teamed up with Wisconsin colleges and universities on a marketing initiative aimed at talent attraction. The campaign will run through June 2019.