Green Bay-based colleges among nine higher education institutions joining WEDC campaign featuring graduates who have chosen Wisconsin as their career destination

Green Bay, WI. June 18, 2018 — The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and St. Norbert College today unveiled a new marketing campaign aimed at encouraging alumni of Wisconsin colleges and universities to pursue their personal and professional goals in Wisconsin.

The campaign includes social media ads that link to videos featuring the perspectives of young people who have studied in Wisconsin and landed their dream jobs here, either right out of school or after leaving the state and deciding to return here.

Among those featured in the “alumni snapshots” are Dr. Tina Sauerhammer Dean, a UW-Green Bay graduate who moved to Washington, D.C., after graduation in 1999 and returned to Wisconsin in 2014, and Maggie Berens, a 2014 St. Norbert College graduate who considered moving to Chicago but opted to stay in Wisconsin.

St. Norbert and UW-Green Bay are two of nine Wisconsin colleges and universities with alumni featured in the ads, which are appearing nationally on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. The ads are targeted specifically to reach graduates of more than 60 Wisconsin colleges and universities, or people who engage with those institutions on social media.

The campaign marks the first time the state has teamed up with Wisconsin colleges and universities on a marketing initiative aimed at talent attraction.

All ads link to a new alumni webpage on, where visitors are invited to explore both career and lifestyle opportunities in the state. The page includes job search and home search tools as well as a prompt that asks other Wisconsin graduates to “share your story,” which will increase engagement with, and awareness of, the campaign.

“While Wisconsin already is one of the top states for percentage of students who choose to remain or return after graduation, it’s imperative that we reach out to those who have left and make a strong case for why they should come back,” said Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, who was in Green Bay Monday to launch the new campaign. “Regardless of what your profession is or what type of quality of life you desire, there are so many reasons alumni should consider coming home.”

The alumni initiative is one of three components of a $6.8 million marketing campaign to attract and retain talented workers in Wisconsin to meet the workforce demands of today and tomorrow. Legislation authorizing funding for the campaign was signed into law by Governor Scott Walker in April. The campaign also will target transitioning military service members and their families and Midwest millennials living outside Wisconsin.

UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary Miller, who joined Lt. Governor Kleefisch at Monday’s event, said reaching out to alumni is an example of the type of innovative action needed to address the talent shortage in the region and throughout the state.

“Wisconsin overall and northeast Wisconsin in particular are special places,” Miller said. “It’s critical that our alumni know we want them to come home and help us build the region’s future economic and community infrastructure, one that is transformed by their talents and spirit of innovation.”

Dave Wegge, interim dean at the St. Norbert College’s Donald J Schneider School of Business and Economics, said the marketing campaign aligned with other initiatives taken by the college to address workforce development issues.

“Our research tells us that young professionals are looking for meaningful personal and professional growth opportunities,” Wegge said. “Our Center for Exceptional Leadership provides behavioral leadership training while our MBA program meets the professional development needs of another segment of business leaders. Several of our undergraduate students serve as interns in business and nonprofit organizations, with many being offered full-time positions in the organization following their internship. Providing these growth opportunities brings significant value not only to the individual but also to the organizations in which they work.”

The initiative also is supported by Jerry Murphy, executive director of The New North, a regional economic development organization serving northeast Wisconsin.

“Many economic-development decisions today are centered around available talent, and the New North region is no different in that regard,” Murphy said. “It’s great to see WEDC extend its workforce marketing campaign to the regional level through partnerships with UW-Green Bay, St. Norbert and Lakeshore Technical College. Reminding graduates through social media

channels of the many positive aspects of living and working in Northeast Wisconsin is an excellent way to recruit returning alumni to our region.”

Other educational institutions working with WEDC on this initiative include the University of Wisconsin-Madison, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Whitewater, UW-Platteville, Western Technical College in La Crosse and Lakeshore Technical College in Manitowoc County.

In addition to those nine institutions, WEDC also is developing a toolkit that will allow other Wisconsin colleges and universities to share their alumni success stories in Wisconsin in a co-branded fashion.

The campaign unveiled Monday is an extension of a $1 million marketing campaign launched in January to encourage young professionals in the Chicago area to consider living and working in Wisconsin. Part of that campaign included placing ads in University of Wisconsin-Madison alumni newsletters.