CCEDC’s economic development programs prioritize business expansion and retention (BEAR) above all else. Estimates show that approximately 60-80 percent of  all new jobs in a rural community are created through the expansion of the existing businesses that are already here. Chippewa County’s existing employers are the foundation of our local economy and must be supported through a strong BEAR program. The areas existing clusters of precision manufacturers, technology/e-commerce businesses, value-added agriculture/food processors, and healthcare employers are the backbone of our Chippewa economy.

On January 29th, 2020-BEAR endeavors continued in New Auburn, Wisconsin where over a dozen business leaders gathered for a conversation about “Attracting the Modern Employee.” As part of the BEAR Lunch and Learn series-Justin Vajko the Chief Conversationalist of the Dialog Design Company led the group though a discussion that highlighted the importance of throwing the traditional employee recruiting playbook out the window. “The old winning strategies of a attracting talent by adding a few Foosball tables, video game stations, and programs such as bring your pet to work days are not cutting it,” Vajko expressed, “what the next employees really want is to connect with something bigger than themselves. So, attracting them to our workplaces require new tactics especially in the web site arena.”

CCEDC organized this lunch to help local companies be more competitive in their talent searches. Business attendees were given some good tips on using alternative social media channels-the ones that current talent prospects are currently mining. If they haven’t done so already-our existing companies should start to move towards relying more on channels like Slack and short videos platforms such as BYTE, and SnapChat. Finally, the importance of establishing culture videos that illustrate why these local firms are great places to work should not be overlooked as well.

The next BEAR Lunch and Learn event will be in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin at the Hive (formerly Deb’s Cafe) on February 4th, from 11:30-1:00 pm. Dr. Emily Elsner Twesme will cover the issue of properly dealing with negative on-line reviews.

See ya there!