Engaging a new workforce in Adams County

Author

Abigail Becker

Metrics

A variety of business types and sizes are integral to a thriving economy and future for Adams County, Wisconsin. Yet, for the past two decades, the county has been losing entry level workers agedapproximately 20 to 30 (U.S. Census, 2014). And while America overall has become more diverse, the makeup of Adams County and its workforce has not. Younger and more diverse workforce populationsare integral to the survival of rural communities as employees over 65 retire and exit the workforce. This leaves gaps in the qualified labor market to economically support and give back to the community.

Adams County is a perfect case study of rural life in America, with the disenfranchisement and disconnect among community members challenging unity in growth and understanding of growing disparities among all demographics. Engaging a new workforce of young and diverse peoples can bring the vitality and attention required to support the current community and maintain economic success in its rural setting. Adams County can be a hopeful example for other counties in a similar position. The intent and purpose of this report is to prepare Adams County’s businesses, County members, and communities for a new workforce, ensuring stability, progress, and understanding.

Businesses in Adams County, in collaboration with the county, should consider activating strategies and tools that can attract multigenerational and diverse applicants to inject youth and vitality into a potentially stagnating and linear economy. Employers can review and improve their policies, benefits, and trainings while the county can promote assets and advocate for improving infrastructure the county currently lacks to attract and sustain the growth they seek.

The overarching questions that this report seeks to consider include:
•How can Adams County businesses incentivize younger, employable generations to relocate?
•How can Adams County b usinesses be more attractive to diverse applicants?
•What existing assets can Adams County leverage to attract a new workforce?

UniverCity Year Contact Info
Gavin Luter
Managing Director
gavin@cows.org
608-261-1141

University Faculty Contact
Julie Voelker-Morris
jvoelker@uoregon.edu

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