Business and talent attraction are inextricably linked. Each is required to sustain and grow our economy. Attract the right jobs and we will attract the talent, and equally true, attract top talent and we will attract the jobs.
With changing demographics at our door, and brain drain a reality, a priority of the Milwaukee 7 is to attract and retain world-class talent to the region.
The statistics are daunting but not insurmountable. Baby Boomers are beginning to retire and the replacement pool is roughly half its size. The face of the workforce is also changing. By 2010, America's workers will be 70% women and people of color as the talent base diversifies.
The 2005 Young Professionals of Milwaukee/IDEAL Recruit-Ability study brought the reality home when 99 employers in the region reported they will need to hire nearly 26,000 workers by 2008 to fill vacant Boomer positions and grow their operations.
The retiring talent pool will affect all levels within the workforce from the shop floor to the executive suite. RHR International, a global performance consultant, is reporting America’s 500 biggest companies will lose half their senior managers in the next five years. Locally, the recent Milwaukee 7 Business Call Program has identified skilled workers as a critical workforce challenge along with recruiting and retaining talent.
The region is also experiencing brain drain of its young, college educated. According to the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, we currently add 1,800 young professionals annually, but need to add 5,300 annually to compete.
To address the priority of talent attraction and retention, a regional talent strategy has been developed that builds on the success of MMAC’s Young Professionals of Milwaukee (YPM) and Racine’s Young Professionals, along with foundational work from IDEAL – the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Institute for Diversity.
On February 1, 2007, YPM re-launched under the new name of FUEL Milwaukee. FUEL
is the leading organization addressing the talent attraction and
retention work of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce
for the Milwaukee 7 regional effort.
Its new mission – to position and establish the
Milwaukee Region as the region of choice for world-class talent – is
being backed by its growing membership of 59 employers and 5,000 professionals from around the region.
With the image of Milwaukee cited as the number one barrier to attracting and retaining talent to the region in the Recuit-Abilty study, the strategies being developed will fuel a new reality locally, nationally and globally. At a time when talent can go anywhere in the world, FUEL Milwaukee is positioning the region as a region of choice by:
By 2012, the workforce in the Milwaukee Region will be
losing more than 2 workers