Growing a Community

Chippewa Chamber launches workforce attraction website

Emily Kuhn

CHILLIN’ IN CHIPPEWA. The Chippewa Falls Area Chamber of Commerce recently launched a website (above) touting the city as a relocation destination for workers.
CHILLIN’ IN CHIPPEWA. The Chippewa Falls Area Chamber of Commerce recently launched a website (above) touting the city as a relocation destination for workers. (Photo: Maggie Cook)

Three months after launching a landing page that boasts the many benefits of living in Chippewa Falls, the Chippewa Falls Chamber of Commerce is celebrating its digital marketing efforts to entice prospective workers to learn more about the region. 

“At 5:30pm on a given day, you could be fishing, hiking, canoeing; you could be eating ice cream with your kids or enjoying a local brewery, instead of stuck in traffic. We’re selling the quality of life here in Chippewa Falls.” – Michelle Farrow, Chippewa Falls Area Chamber of Commerce

“Attracting skilled workers is a problem throughout our business community, but specifically in manufacturing, education, and health care,” explained Michelle Farrow, Chippewa Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Workforce Development Coordinator. “To help our chamber members, we put together a program that really targets the areas they’re trying to attract people from – Chicago, the Twin Cities, etc. – and promotes the great quality of life that professionals will find in Chippewa Falls. So far, the numbers that show people who’ve reached our website are very encouraging.”

The website (chippewachamber.org/live-and-work) went live on May 17 thanks to support from Eau Claire-based Hookd Promotions and seven community partners: Advanced Laser, a metals-focused contract manufacturer based in Chippewa Falls; TTM Technologies, a national circuit board supplier with locations in Chippewa Falls; Wisconsin Veterans Home at Chippewa Falls, which provides long-term care to veterans and their spouses; Premium Waters Inc., a consortium of bottling plants whose brands include Chippewa Springs; Nordson Extrusion Dies Industries LLC, a plastic materials processing solution with locations in Chippewa Falls; Marshfield Clinic Health System; and the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District.

Through a combination of Google ads and search optimization efforts, 18- to 35-year-old professionals from areas like Chicago, Madison, Milwaukee, and the Twin Cities are finding the landing page and using it to explore the natural beauty and local charm of the Chippewa Falls community – 4,500 unique landing page views have been reported since the page went live. Individuals who click through to the landing page are met with eye-catching photos of residents hiking, tubing, and enjoying other recreational activities that convey the many ways Chippewa Falls residents can enjoy themselves after work and on the weekends, ostensibly without traveling too far or spending too much. Details on where to eat, explore, get health care, and attend school are available, along with a new, 1-minute video that portrays “what your 5:30pm could look like” if you lived in Chippewa Falls instead of a busier, more crowded city. 

“At 5:30pm on a given day, you could be fishing, hiking, canoeing; you could be eating ice cream with your kids or enjoying a local brewery, instead of stuck in traffic,” Farrow said. “We’re selling the quality of life here in Chippewa Falls.”

Employers like the Chippewa Falls school district see the value in the chamber’s marketing messages. “The video captures the essence of our community,” said Michelle Golden, executive director of human resources and public relations for the school district. “It allows professionals from other parts of the state or country to get a glimpse into ‘What does the Chippewa Falls community look like?’ ”

According to Farrow, the chamber is uniquely positioned to assist area businesses in attracting new workers. “A lot of the marketing efforts that we’re doing are things we’re inherently doing to attract visitors,” Farrow said. “By creating this landing page, we’re giving members a tool to put in their toolbelt, one that’s easier for us to create than it is for them. Once visitors click through to view job openings and contact local businesses, it’s up to the companies to keep the conversation going, but we can help them start it.”

The chamber will continue monitoring the landing page data and talking with chamber members to determine the effectiveness of the campaign, which will continue to be updated with new videos and information. Partnerships are also being explored with the Chippewa High School alumni group, the McDonell Alumni Association, and Chippewa Valley Technical College to contact graduates who have moved away. 

“It’s important to everyone that our business community stays strong,” Farrow said. “The partnerships we’ve made so far show the willingness of businesses and community groups to step up and help us.

Golden agrees.“I hope that if we have an increase in people who choose Chippewa Falls as a place to live and work, as well as possibly raise their families here, then our businesses will have access to a larger pool of applicants who might be interested in our line of work,” Golden said. “If we can attract people/families to our area, it allows us more access to a high-quality workforce.”

Check out the website at chippewachamber.org/live-and-work.

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