It’s no secret businesses and organizations are looking to the millennial generation — those born between 1981 and 1996 — to fill their job openings, whether they’re new jobs created by technology or filling roles vacated by retiring baby boomers. The story is no different here than elsewhere in the country, but a new survey suggests our region may have an edge when it comes to attracting millennials.
Review.org — an organization that analyzes data sets to create rankings in several areas — recently released a survey ranking the best places in the nation for millennials to start or grow their careers. Oshkosh was named to the No. 2 spot, and Sheboygan was No. 5. Overall, Wisconsin did well in the survey, with Appleton, Green Bay, Wausau, Eau Claire and La Crosse ending up in the top 25.
The survey’s rankings were based on four data points: unemployment rate, migration flows, housing costs and property crime. The report also called out unique elements about each city. In Oshkosh, it pointed to the high number of available production, material moving and health care support jobs, while Sheboygan ranked high for its community events (Bratwurst Days was cited), surfing on Lake Michigan and fishing.
As a member of the New North Marketing and Branding Committee, I found the survey results fascinating since we have spent a great deal of time discussing the attraction and retention of talent, with a special focus on that large millennial population.
The committee created several tools businesses can use to help attract talent to the region, including six videos highlighting the New North as a great place to live and work. Companies can post the videos on their websites for prospective employees to see or send them directly to applicants to give them a taste of what the region has to offer, from outdoor activities and cultural experiences to safe communities and good schools.
Many communities are doing their own part to attract millennials (and if it draws other generations, that’s even better). Sheboygan County created a website — someplacebetter.org — that focuses on the area’s assets, whether it’s a great community for runners or among the top 25 safest cities in the nation for families with children. Last summer, the city announced FreshTech, an innovation district that will include the LaunchPad innovation hub and serve as a place for entrepreneurs and universities to come together and share ideas and development opportunities for the market.
At a time when we may feel behind other regions of the country when it comes to worker recruitment, it was refreshing to see these recent survey results and know we have what millennials are seeking right here in Northeast Wisconsin.