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(Janesville, WI) Neil Johnson, Gazette

Janesville's chamber of commerce hopes a locally produced video showing life throughout the seasons in Janesville can become a tool to help local companies land employees.

Just one day after Janesville video production firm Drywater Productions released the video, “Janesville: Community of Choice,” the three-minute montage of snippets of Janesville culture, including winter snowshoeing and sledding, mud volleyball, show skiing and splash park fun already is getting viewed by thousands on social media.

As of Tuesday afternoon, nearly 30,000 people had shared it on Facebook.

Forward Janesville President John Beckord said the film is part of a new approach to labor recruitment and workforce development.

The three-minute video was assembled and produced from dozens of hours of footage shot during different seasons and took 18 months for Drywater to produce.

“We're going to frame the community in as favorable a way as we can, obviously,” Beckord said. “You're trying to get your foot in the door with people to get them to consider Janesville and Rock County as an option.”

The film is targeted to reach professionals and skilled workers who would have the choice of dozens of similarly sized cities throughout the Midwest.    

“The idea was basically to put together a video that can be used by (local) corporate human resources managers and small staffing groups. It would be used for viewing by prospective talent, people who're being recruited by companies to come here, work here and live here," Beckord said.

The film is set to music and has no narration.

One 30-second sequence includes a seamless flow of scenes of smiling, mud-spattered residents enjoying ears of sweet corn at the annual corn roast and mud volleyball at Traxler Park, evening footage that was shot from above the carnival concourse at the Rock County 4-H Fairgrounds, open-air concerts at the amphitheater in Lower Courthouse Park and families exploring the Rotary Botanical Gardens in summer and during the gardens' winter light show.

The video includes pop-up and drop-down graphics that provide facts about Janesville.

Drywater producers pitched the concept as a friendly and straightforward way to sell some of the city's most attractive and pleasant aspects to people who aren't familiar with the community.

The film funded by local corporate sponsorships was unveiled Tuesday night at Forward Janesville's annual dinner at the Holiday Inn Express.

It's part of an emerging plan by Forward Janesville designed to help companies sell to prospective employees not just their workplace but the city as a whole.

“We're thinking of ways to get across that a big asset for them can be the community. They're selling that in recruitment as much as anything,” Beckord said.


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