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(Janesville) By Jim Leute, Gazette

For nearly five years, Rock County 5.0 has been aggressively targeting potential employers with the benefits of a relocation or expansion to the county.

Now, backed by an improving local economy, the public/private economic development group has taken aim at workers.

The group on Wednesday unveiled a multifaceted talent recruitment campaign focused on quality of life issues that weigh heavily on individuals and families considering relocation.

The “Consider Rock County” publication, available in both electronic or hard copy formats, will be distributed through traditional and social media channels.

“There have been a number of building blocks put in place to this point, and there has been quantifiable traction in the local economy,” said James Otterstein, Rock County's economic development manager.

“Now is the time to push the positive quality of life message.”

The group developed the full-color piece to enhance or supplement information employment recruiters, human resource staff, real estate agents and others distribute to people considering a move to Rock County.

Otterstein said it provides a comprehensive snapshot of the area's quality of life offerings, focusing specifically on community attributes, housing availability and affordability, the area's vast education and health care systems and the diversity of career opportunities.

“Here, you can leave the hustle-and-bustle behind for a more casually paced lifestyle where less time is spent stressing and more time is spent living,” reads the piece's opening statement.

The piece is peppered with statistics and information from independent, third party sources.

“It's not just a feel-good piece of sales propaganda,” Otterstein said. “It's objective information that supports the value proposition of Rock County's quality of life.”

Otterstein said the quality of life message always has existed, but it's far more timely now.

“Quality of life is something we certainly could have pushed harder earlier,” he said. “But the problem was that if the economy was still struggling, quality of life issues were less important as people made relocation decisions.”

Formed in 2009, Rock County 5.0 was designed to reposition and revitalize Rock County's economy. It primarily has focused on five economic development strategies: business retention and expansion, business and investment attraction, small business and entrepreneurship, real estate positioning and workforce profiling.

Otterstein said the “Consider Rock County” campaign is based on survey data from about 175 area companies, as well as input from focus groups.

The finished piece, he said, fits into the group's efforts to profile the local workforce. It joins the previously launched Inspire Rock County program, an effort to inform the county's students about local career options.

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