submitted by Dave Mollenhoff; photo by Mike Engelberger
Zach Brandon, President of the Madison Chamber of Commerce, wants civic leaders to see a great new future for Madison. Today’s perception is that Madison is a place of government and education and not a very good place for business. But that is not the Madison that is evolving before our eyes, he asserted in a spirited talk.
In 1948, Life carried a cover story with a question: Is Madison the best place to live in the country? Since then dozens of magazines have trumpeted Madison’s superlatives. But in the last twenty years national writers have been touting a new surprising set of superlative metrics, a place that is among the top cities in the country measured in economic momentum, confidence about the future, percentage of tech workers, educational attainment, millennials in high tech positions and overall innovation. These are the qualities of the future workforce, which we ignore at our great peril.
“How can we best nurture this exciting new future for this special city?” Brandon asked. Only if we find better ways to recruit our future work force, he replied. To find out how to do this, the Chamber hired Brainjuice, a London company that specializes in effective recruiting campaigns. Their 500-person national survey produced some surprising and critically important findings.
Workers in Madison’s new economy consciously seek something special—a city where their experience is more important than possessions, a city where natural beauty abounds, a city that crackles with spirit, life of the mind, cutting edge knowledge, justice and equity. This is the city our discerning future workers seek, Brandon emphasized.
Armed with this template, the Chamber is creating new communication tools using drones and state-of-the art video techniques to give prospective new economy workers a vivid and compelling image of the city.
What a privilege to hear this new vision!