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The 411 on Attracting Top Talent...Today!

  Whitney Daly     Apr 29, 2016

We recently hosted a webinar on workforce, and we discussed its current state, challenges associated with it, and whether development or attraction is a better strategy (note: no clear winner was chosen). In an effort to shed even more light on the topic, and show how communities are taking workforce strategies to the next level, we share with you one organization who is mastering the talent attraction market.

Our friends and colleagues at Fox Cities Regional Partnership have a secret sauce. A secret sauce for attracting and recruiting top talent to the region, which includes the cities, towns, and villages along the Fox River as it flows from Lake Winnebago northward into Green Bay (WI). The area is one of the 50 top manufacturing regions in the nation, which is part of the reason talent looks to Fox Cities as an ideal place to work and ultimately live. But that's not the secret sauce.

Fostering talent vs. finding talent: which is the best workforce strategy? 

So what is the real reason Fox Cities is so successful in attracting and retaining talent? Specifically, young, educated, and driven talent? Introducing Talent Upload. Talent Upload, aManny.jpg program developed by Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and the Fox Cities Regional Partnership, is a program designed to show college students why Fox Cities is a great place to live, work, and play.

Talent Upload was, and still is, championed by Manny Vasquez (VP, Economic Development) and Beth Pritzl (Director of Research and Beth.jpgTechnology) who were integral in the program's vision and initial launch.

Well aware of Fox Cities' workforce challenges (employers being able to find engineers and IT staff), Vasquez and Pritzl set their sights on overcoming this challenge by utilizing a local resource: the colleges and universities in the surrounding towns and cities.

In 2015, Talent Upload launched, and 159 students and 16 universities successfully participated in the three-day immersive events (held in the spring and fall). Students were picked up and brought to Fox Cities to familiarize themselves with the Midwest and the Fox Cities community, its top employers, and the limitless career paths available. Given that high-tech employers in the Fox Cities region depend on high-quality talent to meet their needs and allow for future growth, Talent Upload was the perfect matchmaker to facilitate such relationships. The event gave students an opportunity to explore life as a young professional in the Fox Cities and employers a chance to engage them before entering an ultra-competitive market.

During its inaugural event, Talent Upload saw dozens of offers, and 38 placements were made. This fall, Talent Upload is expecting students from 20 universities including those in Michigan, the University of Wisconsin schools, and colleges within the Twin Cities.

And there you have the secret sauce. Alright, so it's not the recipe in its entirety, but it is part of the successful equation at Fox Cities. So how does your community develop a vision for something equally as successful? Fox Cities Regional Partnership is happy to share their tried-and-true ways to attract, recruit, and retain the very best talent for communities across the U.S.

Define the best ways to attract talent for your community. Click here to download the slides from a recent webinar: "Winning the Talent War: Make It or Take It."

For more information on Talent Upload, visit 

Tags  Community Marketing workforce attraction talent attraction workforce development

Written by Whitney Daly


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