New Chamber campaign aims to attract workers to Douglas County
In addition to the jobs available, the "Lots of Jobs. Lots of Living." campaign will highlight the quality of life that can be found in Douglas County through regional billboards and a digital campaign targeting the Twin Cities area.
Nine out of 10 business owners in Wisconsin have jobs they are unable to fill, according to a survey released last week by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the state’s largest business organization.
Superior and Douglas County businesses are not an exception.
“In case we didn’t already know it, we’re in the middle of a workforce crisis, and it’s all around us,” said Taylor Pedersen, president and CEO of the Superior-Douglas County Chamber of Commerce. “It impacts how we recruit, utilize and retain employees. We have all heard stories of businesses limiting hours, days of operation and even provided services because they do not have the staffing to support their basic needs.”
That reality is the reason the Chamber is launching the “Lots of Jobs. Lots of Living” campaign in the region.
“It is a broad net that we are throwing to capture a potential workforce,” Pedersen said.
The campaign will focus not only on workers, but also on the communities of Douglas County and the Twin Ports region as a whole, he said. In addition to the jobs available, it will highlight the quality of life that can be found in Douglas County through regional billboards and a digital campaign targeting the Twin Cities area.
The goal is to entice workers back into the workforce and attract a workforce to the region, Pedersen said.
Jason Serck, Superior’s economic development, port and planning director, said a campaign like this has real potential to increase the population of the area. A similar campaign a few years ago may not have worked so well, but with Superior getting a real jump on housing over the last few years, there’s more opportunity.
“We know we have things to offer,” Serck said “What Taylor’s hitting on is quality of life. It’s a big thing. Let’s think about it Twin Cities folks. There’s tons of jobs up here.”
The digital campaign features a splash page at LiveSuperiorWI.com that directs visitors to jobs that are currently available, recreational opportunities offered in Douglas County and the Chamber’s relocation guide to help people plan their move.
“Our chamber will continue to promote the best of our community and will provide a strong welcome to all the individuals interested in working here,” Pedersen said. “We have been focused on workforce as a concern for many businesses and have been aware of this significantly growing concern for at least three to four years.”
He said issues surrounding the pandemic only brought the issue into better focus. The campaign may not fill positions immediately, but Pedersen said he’s hopeful that it’s a first step to a brighter future.
Pedersen said people are needed to fill jobs in manufacturing, the building trades, education and engineering — almost all industries are affected.
“There’s so many jobs, so many professions that have openings right now,” Pedersen said. “I would say most employers are hiring right now or could hire.”