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Apr 10

McHenry County companies look for opportunities to keep Millennials | Northwest Herald

CRYSTAL LAKE – When searching for a job after college, Kyle Swenson didn’t want location to determine where he would begin his career, a decision he admits not many of his friends would make.

Swenson, 26, settled on Eisenmann Corp., a global company that provides environmentally friendly engineering services with U.S. headquarters in Crystal Lake, for the opportunities and experience the company has been known to provide younger, millennial-aged workers in engineering.

“I took this for the job, not for Crystal Lake,” Swenson said. “I feel like my situation is not the norm. I think a lot of people our age pick based off location. They pick where they want to live and then worry about work after that.”

Many stories in media generally describe young workers from the millennial generation as urban dwellers who prefer renting to owning and lively neighborhoods within walking distance to nightlife, although recent U.S. Census data suggests the trend may be changing as the generation starts to age.

For some companies that employ a large segment of millennials in McHenry County, they’ve found that a clearly marked career path, engagement and perks providing the work-life balance many millennial workers are known to desire all can draw them to suburban locations and keep them there.

Local companies should take the time to educate younger workers about similar benefits and growth opportunities, as many currently struggle to recruit and retain younger millennial workers at a time when other employees are aging and retiring, said Barbara Billimack, lead adviser for the McHenry County Workforce Network Youth Program.

The countywide workforce agency detailed in its annual labor report last fall a 2.3 decline in the number of people participating in the local labor force, a drop mostly tied to retirements, workforce officials said.

“Companies are struggling to recruit and retain younger workers,” Billimack said. “In general, companies in McHenry County do not pay their workers as much as companies closer to the city. Oftentimes, younger workers struggle with paying for their expenses, including housing, on their salary.”

Source: McHenry County companies look for opportunities to keep Millennials | Northwest Herald

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