Campaign to lure young workers abides despite budget slight

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Organizers said a marketing campaign to encourage young professionals from elsewhere in the Midwest to move to Wisconsin will continue despite a lack of funding from this year's state budget.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers declined to grant the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.'s request for $10 million over the next two years in his first budget. The campaign that began in early 2018 was the brainchild of Evers' Republican predecessor, Scott Walker.

WEDC officials said the organization has identified $4 million within its budget to fund the program this year and that it expects to do the same in 2020-21, according to a Wisconsin Public Radio report.

The campaign aims to attract people ages 21 to 35 who work in science, technology, health care and financial services.

Evers' spokeswoman, Melissa Baldauff, said the governor is more focused on providing quality education, safe roads, reliable broadband and clean water.

"This type of investment in our communities and our infrastructure is key to attracting and retaining a talented workforce," Baldauff said.

The development corporation doesn't view the governor's decision to decline the funding request as a sign that he doesn't support the outreach, said chief operating officer Tricia Braun.

"We felt it wasn't a slight," Braun said. "There had been enough conversations about how we could be effective with resources that we could identify internally."

The marketing campaign will continue as if the $10 million budget request had been approved, she said.

The organization has launched a database to share the campaign's ads at no cost with local governments, business organizations and

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