Strategic marketing and branding efforts
Working alongside regional companies, the Talent Team at the Partnership provides the tools, messaging and training to proactively position Wichita as a premier location for talent in order to enhance perceptions. The Choose Wichita brand, website and social media platforms exist to promote the region during the talent acquisition and retention process.
Realigning 2020 Talent Marketing Blueprint marketing initiatives
In response to COVID-19, strategic marketing and advertising efforts under the Choose Wichita talent brand shifted to focus on local stories of inspiration, including businesses that have shifted their focus to PPE production, the region’s history of resilience and how to support local shops and restaurants.
The Partnership Talent Team continues to perform research and assess workforce trends and key audiences, especially in response to the pandemic, in order to implement impactful marketing strategies in 2021 and beyond.
Selling the region to talent
The Partnership team engaged with Wesley Medical Center nursing candidates, Spirit AeroSystem’s interns and Foulston Siefkin summer associates by providing insight into the region’s relentlessly original lifestyle and Choose Wichita talent resources.
Employer training sessions
To assist in selling the region to talent, the Partnership team held dedicated training sessions on community key messages and the Choose Wichita brand and materials to Friends University recruiters and leadership from the Proposed Kansas Health Science Center-Kansas College of Osteopathic Medicine.
New marketing materials expand investor toolkit
To assist employers in attracting talent, the Talent Team maintains and produces new content for the Employer Toolkit on the Choose Wichita website. This toolkit provides materials and resources that assists regional companies in the talent recruitment and retention process. In 2020, the Partnership added two new pieces of content:
Welcome to Wichita: Partner Edition – built to showcase the Wichita region to the partners and spouses of individuals with employment interests in our community
Spanish version of the Wichita Bucketlist – created for a more inclusive experience, this piece features ten must-do activities in the Wichita region
Choose Wichita blogs highlight our “relentlessly original” region
Since the beginning of the year, the Partnership produced 15 blogs to showcase the relentlessly original ways to live, work and play in the Wichita region. The blogs focus on a variety of topics, from diverse cuisine and sustainable living to workplace innovation and supporting local businesses during COVID-19. The goal of the Choose Wichita blog is to grow social media engagement, drive web traffic and increase awareness among current and prospective talent. Below are the blogs that were posted throughout the year, which can be viewed at www.choosewichita.com/news/blog.
Website translation service added to Choose Wichita website
To ensure that talent have the ability to easily connect with the amenities and job opportunities within our region, a language translation plug-in has been added to the Choose Wichita website. This plug-in has the ability to translate the website in Chinese, Vietnamese and Spanish.
“Get trained. Get paid.” talent retention campaign initiated
In an effort to retain Greater Wichita’s world-class workforce, the Partnership led the development of a holistic outreach strategy to communicate training, funding and job opportunities for affected workers in the region. To achieve this, the team completed in-depth marketing analysis of the target audience, built a marketing and advertising plan and developed GetTrainedGetPaid.com to connect individuals to local jobs and employment services offered by Workforce Alliance. The team worked closely with Workforce Alliance, WSU Tech, the City of Wichita and Sedgwick County, and other community partners to develop the "Get trained. Get paid." campaign, which launched in November and ran through mid-December.
With 16 advertising tactics, the campaign had a total of 10 million+ campaign impressions, resulting in 10,000+ site users, 19,000+ pageviews and 7 earned media mentions. These tactics included digital advertisements, TV commercials, radio advertisements, social media, door hangers, billboards and more. Additionally, Workforce Alliance received 124 phone calls, 203 training orientation registrations and 31 job search appointments. The Partnership team also made 2 direct connections to 3,861 affected workers.
Annual intern event transitioned to Summer Intern Social Media Challenge
When businesses began changing summer internships based on social distancing recommendations, the Partnership collaborated with W / A Community of Young Professionals to develop a new way to engage interns. Though the format changed, the goal remains the same – to connect them to the region’s “relentlessly original” lifestyle and job opportunities.
The six-week 2020 Summer Intern Social Media Challenge replaced the Riverfest Summer Intern Kickoff event held the last two years. Beginning in June, interns were challenged each week to visit six of Wichita’s iconic locations and landmarks and post on their social media platforms, competing for locally-themed prizes. As of July 1, the summer intern webpage received more than 700 pageviews.
Building the Workforce of the Future initiative launched
The Partnership is engaging with partners to position the region for diverse and sustainable growth by focusing on the workforce of the future. This year has only increased our awareness of technological advancements, new operational norms and changing talent needs across industries. The Partnership is fast-forwarding this critical initiative through multiple strategies. Concurrently, including the “Get Trained. Get Paid” campaign and through launching an analysis of how multiple cities are positioning themselves to advance their industries and communities to successfully engage talent in this changing world. Through these efforts, we will identify opportunities to leverage the region’s competitive differentiators and create an impactful action plan to attract and develop a globally competitive workforce.
Morning Meet-Ups connect local HR and talent professionals
The Morning Meet-Up series was launched as a platform for local HR and talent professionals to support one another through the multiple unprecedented challenges that 2020 has brought to the business community. Each month, a subject matter expert navigates a different topic and guides the meeting attendees through challenges and opportunities. Throughout the year, topics such as building trust, launching diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, creating contextual conversations with a remote workforce, and implementing workplace wellness and stress management were covered.
Business and Education Alliance (BEA) identifies new strategic plan
At the beginning of 2020, through the strategic direction identified in the Lifelong Learning action plan of Project Wichita, the BEA realigned the vision and mission of the alliance to create the Student Success Task Force Plan. This strategic plan is guided by three areas of focus: Building Relationships, Cultivating Career Exploration and Advocating for Post-Secondary Success.
BEA pivots to support students, educators, and business leaders
The BEA hosted two panel discussions for area superintendents to update business and community leaders of their plans to provide the best educational opportunities for our students. The superintendents shared their strong desire to have schools open safely for in-person learning and the importance of community support in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
The BEA is supporting methods to virtually connect students with career exploration opportunities. Two career exploration software platforms, Xello Inspire and CareerConnect, were presented by representatives from Wichita Public Schools and WSU Tech to BEA members.
Physicians and pediatric mental health professionals from the Kansas COVID Workgroup for Kids (KCWK) presented their research on the impact of COVID-19 on students’ mental health and socio-economic disparities across our region. KCWK also partnered with multiple schools districts to create plans to safely open schools and support students through this disruptive time. They also provided resources for business leaders to support their working parents.
BEA continues to work on initiatives to advance career exploration, post-secondary success and relationship building through remote learning, reopening guideline coordination and re-envisioned business and education collaboration.