State Views: Wisconsin offers great opportunities for new graduates

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Reggie Newson
June 28, 2015

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 diplomas, credentials and degrees.

These graduates will see many well-paying job opportunities that offer career advancement across all sectors of the economy. If you're among our newest generation of workers, I assure you that you have a bright future 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 read in the news. Critics' voices had imparted a negative impression about her prospects in Wisconsin. 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're among today's graduates and thinking about your future, my message 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, Zendesk of Madison is an international customer service software firm that has been recognized by young professionals statewide as one of the best places for Wisconsin's millennial generation to work. Zendesk attracts and supports young professionals as they learn and succeed in their careers by providing them with opportunities to grow personally and professionally. The company develops talent by encouraging employees to start their careers in one role and follow their passion and hone their skills for work in another desired position. This type of recruitment strategy not only attracts young professionals but builds long-term workforce loyalty and retention.

Erin Hampe, a Madison area young professional, states, “As a recent graduate of UW-Madison and a current employee of Zendesk, I feel that Wisconsin is truly an excellent place to live and work. Employers across the state are actively pursuing young talent and recognize the new perspectives and value that we bring to the workplace.

“Zendesk constantly challenges me and helps develop important job skills to grow my career. The company and the Madison area are both fantastic places for Wisconsin's new generation of workers, and I'd be happy to stay for a long time!”

Employers such as Zendesk are leveraging the energy and spirit that abounds in Wisconsin's workforce to their success. The young professionals these companies attract hold great optimism for our state's future talent and economic growth. I encourage you to join these bright young men and women and put your many talents to work in Wisconsin.

Reggie Newson is secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development; phone 608-266-3131; email [email protected].


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