The recent announcement that America’s unemployment rate is at the lowest level in 50 years was met by many with great enthusiasm. The stock market surged. Happy days are here again.
Not so fast.
Somewhere, there is a canary coughing in a coal mine.
Buried inside the data used to calculate the unemployment rate is the fact that baby boomers are retiring in great numbers. In fact, for every two people entering the workforce today, there are three retirements.
That’s a negative feedback loop.
There are currently more than 800 jobs available in Door County. To fill those jobs, not only do we need to reach both the unemployed and underemployed here in Door County – we also need to make people outside the county aware of opportunities to live and work here.
The Door County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC) has been collaborating with business and community leaders for months about how to entice people to come to Door County. Local businesses are eager to fill open positions and expand – if only they could build the workforce they need. Some businesses have actually considered expanding outside the county due to workforce shortages.
“LIVE Door County” is an initiative that highlights all the reasons Door County is a great place to live and work, including our great school districts. It’s a nod to the simple fact that most people relocate when they are unsatisfied about something in their life. Since millions come to Door County to take in the amazing amenities available here, it is quite possible that we can convince a few to come live here – as long as they are aware of the job opportunities.
That’s why DCEDC is launching a new website, LIVEDoorCounty.org, which addresses in detail the many positive aspects of life in Door County: businesses and job openings, schools, parks, neighborhoods and housing, healthcare, shopping, arts and culture and much more.
Of course, the job usually comes first for people planning to relocate. No matter how splendid the quality of life, if a person can’t make a living in their new community they likely won’t stay long.
Door County is underwater when it comes to jobs. According to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, there were 559 unemployed people here in 2018 and more than 800 job openings within driving distance. Door County’s labor force numbers actually declined from 2017 to 2018, so the problem will continue to grow unless the effort to attract more workers to the area succeeds.
Of the hundreds of job opportunities available in Door County, many are full time offering competitive wages and benefits. Many are from companies that are willing to provide training.
The LIVE Door County campaign is intended to be used by employers countywide to help market their available jobs and Door County’s suitability as a new home. Jobs posted through Job Center of Wisconsin, jobsindoorcounty.com, and Indeed.com are all merged into the job board located on LIVEDoorCounty.org.
Employers aren’t the only people who should use LIVEDoorCounty.org, however. The best recruiters are the ones in the cubicles, at the teller window, front desk, or on the factory floor. We hope that all the residents of Door County will visit and share the website, and the enthusiasm, with the people they know who want a change of scenery.
The LIVE Door County campaign is important partly because we need to showcase the wide range of job and career opportunities we offer. It is also an effort to show an accurate picture of the community to people from other states, who tend to have preconceived – and incorrect – ideas of what life in Wisconsin is like.
The Grow Door County committee helped set the foundation for this project, and grant support through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation made this plan possible. Our ongoing collaboration with Alumni Door County will be crucial in encouraging Door County’s alumni to “boomerang” home. Team DCEDC and the Door County Visitor Bureau have been working all year to make this initiative a success, showing that in Door County, the American dream is still possible.