Current and former residents asked to take “Why You Live Here” survey
Current and former residents of Marquette County are being asked to take a survey to help area schools, employers and government officials understand why people choose Marquette County as a place to live and work. It will also help to gain an understanding of why people move away from Marquette County.
“In 2015 the county board adopted an updated comprehensive plan that identified attracting and retaining younger people to the county as one of their top three priorities in addition to promoting tourism and maintaining agriculture as an economic activity,” stated Keri Solis, UW-Extension Community and Economic Development Agent.
Following the initiatives laid out in the comprehensive plan, Solis is gathering information to develop a marketing strategy to bring more working age people in the county.
To accomplish this, Solis has partnered with Christa Van Treeck, UW-Extension 4-H and Youth Development Educator. Van Treeck has taken the lead on understanding what students value in the county. “We have learned from other communities that have gone through this process that many times what students indicate that they value is already right where they live. We just need to do a better job of marketing ourselves to them,” said Van Treeck. “We also know that the more involved students are with the community, the more connected they become to it. This makes them more likely to stay in the area after high school graduation or to return here after college.”
Van Treeck coordinated with Montello and Westfield High Schools to have the surveys administered to all juniors and seniors in May.
“Now we are asking the general public to also take the survey,” said Solis. “We want to identify what everybody, whether young or old, value in Marquette County. We also want to know what is important to younger people so we can be sure that we are building the types of communities that people are looking for when they are choosing a place to raise a family. It is essential to bring more working age people to the county for the future of our schools, our farms, our family-owned businesses, and our larger employers.”