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RACINE — Young Professionals of Racine, a program of Racine Area Manufacturers and Commerce (RAMAC) & NEWaukee, announces the expansion of YPWeek Wisconsin to include 25 communities, more than 175 events and 30 public projects in 2017.

The grassroots statewide program will run April 22-29 with each community presenting a variety of programs that empower young professionals to take ownership and pride in their home towns.

YPWeek Wisconsin is modeled after a program started by NEWaukee in 2012 to provide a weeklong series of events focusing on discovery, adventure and meaningful conversations about the issues that matter to young professionals in the Milwaukee area.

YPWeek Wisconsin has continued to reach across the state with the support of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) since 2015, and its participants have collaborated with the agency on a shared communication platform designed to retain, excite and grow the state’s talent pool. YPWeek incorporates this platform into its programming, leveraging “Think-Make-Happen,” an organizing theme.

After two years of successful expansion of YPWeek Wisconsin, NEWaukee has built the nation’s largest millennial talent network. YPWeek Wisconsin currently showcases 25 communities: Chequamegon Bay, Door County, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, Fox Cities, Green Bay, Hayward, Kenosha, La Crosse, Oshkosh, Madison, Manitowoc, Marinette, Marshfield, Milwaukee, Price County, Portage, Platteville, Racine, Sheboygan, Stevens Point, Superior, Waukesha County, Wausau and Wisconsin Rapids.

“YPWeek taps and channels the passion Wisconsin’s young professionals bring to the workplace to help build and sustain Wisconsin’s strong workforce and high quality of life,” explains Angela Damiani CEO and co-founder of NEWaukee. “Through YPWeek we have created the nation’s most comprehensive and collaborative talent engagement strategy.”

In reflecting on the week’s theme, organizers have uncovered their community’s version of the new state shared communication platform:

THINK: Bold and inspiring conversations about critical issues such as: human trafficking in Fond du Lac, demystifying immigration in Appleton, future financial investment in Milwaukee, emotional intelligence in Marinette, and new real development projects in Madison.

MAKE: Various showcases of historic and present production in Wisconsin such as: Art in the Airdock in Door County, a ramen battle between local chefs in Kenosha, a young entrepreneur startup program in Chequamegon Bay, and a local product showcase at the Made in Racine event.

HAPPEN: Colorful access points to the state’s distinct characteristics such as: Couderay Waters Film Festival in Hayward, the national kubb league in Eau Claire, and speed networking with local CEOs in La Crosse.

After years of collaborating, a new proliferation of shared programming unifies the communities while differentiating what makes each special. Examples include:

SOUP: A micro-granting and community-building event that funds local public projects. This program will take place in Wausau, Sheboygan, Stevens Point and Green Bay.

Speaker Crawl: An interactive professional development program that simultaneously features numerous speakers and a cultural institution to a young professional audience. This program will take place in Milwaukee, Green Bay, Madison and Fond du Lac.

New this year, each community will complete at least one public project that leaves a lasting positive imprint on their town. With the correlation of Earth Day falling within the week, many communities have organized large-scale neighborhood and park clean-ups.

Sheboygan’s Coastal will host the statewide kickoff event for the whole week on Saturday, April 22. Millennials from across the state plan to travel to Sheboygan for the official launch of the week and to participate in the largest statewide young professional event. To learn more about the kickoff party and to view the entire line up of events, go to www.ypweek.com.

Awards

The statewide initiative also features the 2017 Bubbler Awards: Best Places to Work for Young Professionals in Wisconsin. The Bubbler Awards shines a light on the companies who have made great strides to accommodate the interests of a shifting workforce. There’s a common perception that millennials are discontent or disinterested in traditional forms of employment. These awards showcase the reality of how many Wisconsin-based companies are adjusting and creating environments that allow young professionals to call this state home.

The nomination and selection process establish a framework for existing and emerging young professionals throughout the state to collaborate and brand Wisconsin as a workplace destination for millennials. The evaluation centers on what millennials are looking for in today’s workplace including:

Competitive salary and benefits

Opportunity for advancement

Work-life balance

Employee and community engagement

The Bubbler Awards winners will be announced on March 6. For more information about YPWeek Wisconsin 2017, go to www.ypweek.com.

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