Appleton forum addresses future jobs and millennials

Published: May. 29, 2018 at 8:36 PM CDT
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With unemployment remaining low, companies are struggling to find ways to recruit working, including millennials.

That issue took the spotlight at a roundtable discussion in Appleton Tuesday night that brought together lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

The competition to attract and recruit millennial workers is already intense according to many of the people participating in this public forum held to focus on jobs.

Steven Olikara of the Millennial Action Project said, "Part of the question is how do you create a work environment that millennials will be attracted to when the data shows that millennials aren't just interested in the job, they're interested in a calling. They want to contribute to something larger than themselves, so it's not just profit, it's also purpose."

The event also featured Republican Congressman Mike Gallagher and Democratic State Representative Amanda Stuck as speakers, sitting down together in public for the very first time.

Gallagher said, "We have jobs, we have plenty of jobs available, we just can't find people to do those jobs."

While Stuck added, "Especially millennials want that work/life balance more, they want that flexibility more. They want to be able to work from home sometimes. They want those options."

For cities like Appleton to compete, legislators were told that money should be spent on having the best technology and that funding for startup businesses needs to be a priority.

Plus there's more, according to John Ernst. He's with Kinnektor, an organization promoting entrepreneurship.

"It's interest in saying we have a culture here that's conducive to family life, to young professional life, and that we have an existing base of individuals and citizens that want to help grow that sector of the community," said Ernst.

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