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Scott Walker, Governor
Reginald J. Newson, Secretary

Department of Workforce Development
Secretary's Office

201 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 7946
Madison, WI 53707-7946
Telephone: (608) 266-3131
Fax: (608) 266-1784
Email: sec@dwd.wisconsin.gov

Monday, June 15, 2015
CONTACT: DWD Communications, 608-266-2722
On the Web: http://dwd.wisconsin.gov/dwd/news.htm
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WIWorkforce
On Twitter: @WIWorkforce

Guest Column from DWD Secretary Reggie Newson: The Wisconsin Opportunity

"There are endless opportunities for growth and advancement right here in Wisconsin."
- Ian Abston, Young Professional and co-founder of NEWaukee

MADISON- With graduations happening across the state, great talent is ready to join Wisconsin's workforce. We have high school, technical college, four-year and graduate students completing their diplomas, credentials, and degrees.

These new graduates will see a myriad of good-paying job opportunities that offer career advancement across all sectors of the economy. If you are among our newest generation of workers, I want to assure you that you have a bright future right here in Wisconsin.

During one of my visits to employers and training sites across Wisconsin, I met a technical college student who expressed concern about our state's economy, based largely on what she was reading in the news media. Critics' voices had imparted a negative impression about her prospects in Wisconsin, and she was strongly considering relocating to a different state after graduation.

Even as I assured her then that Wisconsin's economy was on a long-term trajectory of job growth – just as it is today – this interaction has stayed with me.

If you are among today's graduates and are thinking about your future, my message to you is this: Wisconsin is a place of opportunity for you to work, live and pursue your dreams.

More people are working and fewer people are unemployed than a year ago. Monthly estimates show we've regained all of the private sector jobs that were lost during the Great Recession and more. Wisconsin will have almost a million jobs to fill over the next decade. Wisconsin employers believe in our state's future, recognize the added value of the new generation of Wisconsin's workers, and are actively recruiting young talent.

For example, Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual has received national attention for its strategies to recruit young professionals. With one-third of its field workforce consisting of Millennials, Northwestern Mutual recently commissioned a study on professional habits of the Millennial generation to strengthen the company's recruitment and retention efforts.

Ian Abston, the co-founder of NEWaukee, a Milwaukee-area organization that specializes in social architecture, or helping local employers attract and retain young talent, states: "As a young professional, I know that Wisconsin companies are actively recruiting young talent. Our organization has members from many backgrounds with careers in many different industries to meet that need. There are endless opportunities for growth and advancement right here in Wisconsin."

Organizations like NEWaukee symbolize the energy and spirit that abounds in Wisconsin's workforce, and they hold great optimism for our state's economy. I encourage you to join these bright young men and women and put your many talents to work here in Wisconsin.

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