Saturday, October 25th, 2014

Walk-O-Meter

Create "Homecoming Wisconsin" program to lure back former residents

Will "create a new program called 'Homecoming Wisconsin.' Working with our University’s alumni associations and state agencies, 'Homecoming Wisconsin' will reach out to individuals, families and businesses that have left our state and remind them to 'come on home.' "


Subjects: Families, Retirement

Updates

Some ongoing efforts, but not as expansive as pledged

While running for governor in 2010, Scott Walker said that if he were elected, state agencies would work with college alumni associations to persuade former Badger State residents and businesses to move back home.

There certainly has been out-migration.

As we noted in a March 2014 factcheck, under one census estimate, Wisconsin ranked 10th in terms of a net loss of residents from state-to-state migration from roughly 2010 to 2013.

When we last reviewed Walker's promise of a "Homecoming Wisconsin," a spokeswoman in the governor's office told us Walker "continues to be supportive of this initiative." But she didn't cite any particular action.

When we inquired again in August 2014, Walker's campaign spokeswoman referred us to a "You're Welcome in Wisconsin" section of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.'s website. It touts Wisconsin to former state residents as a great place for career advancement, business, education and health care.

Agency spokesman Mark Maley said the state departments of tourism and workforce development helped develop the information on the site.

Maley also told us that members of LinkedIn who identify themselves as University of Wisconsin alumni receive targeted ads tied to the initiative.

According to a news release, Walker visited with University of Wisconsin alumni as part of a trip to Denver in February 2014, to talk about changes in Wisconsin. And Maley said Walker met with UW alumni on a trip to Tokyo in September 2013.

Maley also said WEDC is working with the Wisconsin Alumni Association to "identify more opportunities to reach out to alumni."

Walker's promise suggested there would be more active efforts with multiple alumni associations. On the other hand, the initial pledge to work with alumni associations didn't set the bar particularly high.

We rate this promise a Compromise.

Sources:

Email interview, Gov. Scott Walker campaign spokeswoman Alleigh Marre, Aug. 19, 2014

Email interview, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. spokesman Mark Maley, Aug. 20, 2014

Gov. Scott Walker, news release, Feb. 25, 2014

No action toward persuading former residents, businesses to return to state

While running for governor in 2010, Scott Walker said that if he were elected, state agencies would work with college alumni associations to persuade former Badger State residents and businesses to move back home.

So, what happened to the promise to create a "Homecoming Wisconsin" program?

Walker spokeswoman Jocelyn Webster said the governor "continues to be supportive of this initiative.” She described it as being "in the works,” but didn't cite any particular action.

Given that Walker is more than halfway through his term, and that he does not need any legislative approval to act on it, we rate this promise Stalled.

Sources:

Email interview, Gov. Scott Walker spokeswoman Jocelyn Webster, July 12, 2013