Wisconsin wants to be more than beer and cows

Millennials and veterans: What would it take to get you to move to Wisconsin?

Whatever attraction the Packers, booze, and cheese has isn’t enough, Madison.com suggests, reporting on Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to make the state more attractive for workers by finding another way to talk about the state.

What way is that? Check back $6.8 million from now.

That’s the amount walker wants to spend on a traveling job fair booth targeting veterans, a mobile jobs center, and a marketing campaign called “Think, Make, Happen.”

The campaign starts in Chicago early next year but eventually targets millennials and vets in Detroit and the Twin Cities, too, according to Madison.com.

Millennials are a prime target of the campaign because they’re a “ready-and-able to work, trained workforce, that if we can bring them here, we can plug them right into our economy,” [Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation COO Tricia] Braun said.

WEDC learned that once transplants arrived in Wisconsin, they liked it, and were less likely to move away than their counterparts in other states. Former Chicago residents highlighted the shorter commute times, lower cost of living, and outdoor recreational amenities the state offered.

But among those living outside the state, a WEDC survey found those individuals were really only familiar with the “stereotypical notions” of the state.

“When you ask someone what they think of Wisconsin and they only think of beer, cheese and Packers football,” Braun said. “We’re coming up short in that area, we have to do a better job of promoting the state.”

Democrats say there’s a better way to woo out-of-staters.

Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) says vets and millennials want workplace flexibility, refinancing of student loan debt, urban revitalization, and mass transit

“Time after time after time, we have seen those issues ignored or we have seen drastic cuts to them,” she said. “I think it’s a weak attempt.”

Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch said if the state is going to find the workers it needs to boost its economy, it needs to be portrayed as more than beer and cows.