The Fox Cities Chamber partnered with the UW-Oshkosh Business Success Center (BSC) in early March after learning that many local employers were struggling to fill positions in areas such as engineering, IT, and computer science. These positions were identified as crucial to employer growth, and for that reason the chamber looked to the BSC to help promote their event, Talent Upload. Talent Upload is an all-expense paid event held to bring talented students within these disciplines to the Fox Valley to meet with potential employers, tour the area, and have fun while doing so! The goal is to retain these students post-graduation to drive company and economic growth within the region.
Twenty-two universities were targeted for promoting the event to students, all of which were in driving distance. To reach these students, an abundance of preliminary research was necessary in order to identify student organizations and professional contacts in appropriate university departments, as well as the development of social media pages use to increase awareness of the event. From this research the Business Success Center identified approximately 65 contacts. These efforts of continued outreach, despite a lack of response rates, made the event a great success. There were 71 students from 15 of the targeted universities registered for the event; 41 of these students being from an IT and computer science background and 30 of them were engineering majors. Hannah Kuenzi, a marketing intern at the BSC who took lead of the project was delighted to see such a great event turnout:
“I thoroughly enjoyed working on the project for the Fox Cities Chamber. I believe Talent Upload is such an amazing opportunity for those entering into those fields, and I was ecstatic to hear that event had such an amazing turnout and so many positive reviews.”
The event began on Thursday April 16th and ran through Saturday April 18th. During the duration of their stay within the Fox Valley, students had the opportunity to attend many company tours, a Timber Rattlers game, as well as participate in a “Talent Race” which gave the students the chance to explore the area in greater detail. At the end of the weekend, students were asked to rate their experience, giving the event an overall rating of 4.31 out of 5. Students were also asked if they would be open to living as a young professional within the Fox Valley. At the beginning of the event, the students had given an average rating of 2.8 to this question. After attending the event, their rating was then increased to 4.33. The 18 employers whom were in attendance were also surveyed, asking if they were planning to pursue placement opportunities with the students in attendance at the event; of which the rating of 4.08 out of 5 was given.
Based upon the turnout of overall registered participants, as well as overall ratings provided by both students and employers, the event is being considered a great success. The Fox Cities Chamber plans to hold the event annually to further develop the area economically, as well as provide great opportunities to generations to come.