Gov. Scott Walker wants to launch a nearly $7 million national marketing campaign to persuade millennials and military veterans to move to his state to help with a worker shortage.
Walker on Wednesday called on the Legislature to approve funding for the $6.8 million ad campaign before the end of the current session in early 2018. He said the marketing campaign would pitch Wisconsin as a more affordable place for millennials to live where they could be spending more time in a canoe, having a drink with friends or attending a concert, rather than sitting in traffic.
Walker said it was “critically important” to “get more bodies” in Wisconsin. The effort would include $3.5 million in ads targeting military veterans and their families and $3 million marketing Wisconsin as a destination for young professionals, particularly those already living in nearby Midwest cities of Detroit, Minneapolis and Chicago, Walker said.
The effort would likely start after an already-funded $1 million ad campaign targeting University of Wisconsin alumni and millennials living in Chicago, said Tricia Braun, chief operating officer of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. That’s slated to run January through March, and the hope is the expanded campaign Walker announced would begin shortly after that, she said.
Walker is also calling for an additional $300,000 would be used to develop a mobile job resource center that could provide services and recruitment in areas in rural Wisconsin with limited access to permanent services.
“It’s not enough to just give speeches and talks, we have to put a whole campaign behind this,” Walker said.
Part of the effort would be to woo back young adults who attended college in Wisconsin. The key time to reach them is four or five years after graduation when they start thinking about where they want to live long term and raise children, Walker said.