The state of Wisconsin has launched a $1.9 million national marketing campaign to encourage military personnel and their spouses who are transitioning to civilian life to live and work in Wisconsin once they leave the service.
The campaign, a collaborative effort between the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD), the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) and the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, is a part of the state’s new $6.8 million marketing campaign aimed at attracting talent to address Wisconsin’s current and future workforce needs.
This marks the first time the state has launched a comprehensive talent attraction campaign aimed at military personnel and spouses.
“As our dedicated members of the military prepare to return to civilian life, they are looking for the best place possible to start a new career, raise a family and enjoy an outstanding quality of life. We are going to make a strong case that Wisconsin can meet all those needs – and more,” said Governor Walker, who announced the new initiative at Lippert Flooring and Tile in Menomonee Falls. “Through social media, online ads and personal engagement with veterans transitioning to civilian life, this innovative campaign will share the message that there is no better place than Wisconsin for veterans to start their post-military lives.”
“Wisconsin leads the nation in how states attract and employ veterans and their spouses after military service,” WDVA Secretary Daniel J. Zimmerman said. “We don’t wait for veterans and their families to find out on their own why Wisconsin is the ideal place to be. We are going out to where they’re stationed and, in collaboration with Wisconsin’s great employers, will get service members and their spouses jobs before they leave military service and help them transition their families into Wisconsin’s communities.”
“Between 200,000 and 250,000 members of the military leave the service every year, and this campaign provides us with a unique opportunity to reach out to them and raise their awareness of the career and lifestyle opportunities Wisconsin offers,” said Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch. “This innovative attraction strategy will play an important role in ensuring Wisconsin’s employers have enough talented workers to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow.”
A key element of the campaign will be the visits made by a delegation of state officials and representatives of veteran-friendly Wisconsin businesses to transition summits at more than a dozen military installations throughout the U.S. and overseas. The summits, hosted by the nonprofit Hiring our Heroes organization, are two-day events that help transitioning service members and their spouses prepare for civilian careers. Wisconsin will have an exhibit and other interactive opportunities at the summits, and members of the delegation will engage one-on-one with the service members to talk about all the state has to offer.
Wisconsin is the first and only state to nationally and internationally partner with Hiring our Heroes, part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The Wisconsin delegation’s first summit will be August 29 and 30 at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base in California. Other bases that will be visited over the next year are in Washington, North Carolina, Hawaii, Missouri, Texas, Georgia, Germany, and Japan.
The delegation also will engage with spouses of transitioning veterans by participating in spouse symposiums, roundtables, networking events and similar opportunities around the country. Military spouses are heavily involved in post-military decisions and bring unique and valuable skills to the workplace.