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YPWeek aims to attract more young professionals to Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is teaming up with young professional organizations throughout the state on an initiative aimed at attracting and retaining young talent in Wisconsin.

The statewide initiative runs from April 22 to 29. YPWeek, created by the Milwaukee-based NEWaukee in 2012, is a weeklong platform of discovery, adventure and meaningful conversations about the issues that matter to young professionals. YPWeek Wisconsin has achieved statewide reach with the support of WEDC since 2015, and its participants have collaborated with the agency on a shared communication platform designed to retain, excite and grow the state’s talent pool. YPWeek incorporates this platform into its programming, leveraging “Think-Make-Happen” as an organizing theme.

“Companies across the globe are quickly realizing that demographic trends and innovation in manufacturing and product development have shifted corporate location strategies to increasingly focus on talent pipelines and workforce availability,” explains Tricia Braun, WEDC deputy secretary and COO. “Keeping the quality workforce that we’ve grown here in Wisconsin, as well as attracting workers from outside of the state, is vital for the future of our businesses and communities. WEDC and its many partners, including the state’s young professionals’ groups, are working together to promote Wisconsin as a destination for personal, professional and business success. That’s why it’s important for us to celebrate those who are putting the Think-Make-Happen concept into action.”

With 25 participating communities from across the state, more than 175 events and 30 public projects, the expansion of the award-winning YPWeek Wisconsin initiative positions the state as a national leader in Millennial engagement and dynamic workforce and leadership development, and as an ideal destination for younger workers. This marks the third year that YPWeek has been a statewide event, and the number of communities involved has quadrupled since 2015.

“YPWeek taps and channels the passion Wisconsin’s young professionals bring to the workplace to help build and sustain Wisconsin’s strong workforce and high quality of life,” explains Angela Damiani, CEO and co-founder of NEWaukee. “Through YPWeek we have created the nation’s most comprehensive and collaborative talent engagement strategy.”

In addition to its work on YPWeek Wisconsin, WEDC will continue to work with its partners to develop other strategies to help attract and retain a strong workforce. Those efforts are expected to include developing ways to integrate young professionals into their communities, enlisting university alumni groups in recruitment and attraction efforts, and promoting Wisconsin as a great place to live and work.

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Lee Matz

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