Friday, October 05, 2007

Grand Junction, Colo., turns to YouTube to attract newcomers

Grand Junction, Colo., is trying an unusual way to attract new residents: using testimonials on to advertise the community. Local economic-development groups say the area needs more workers, so they have partnered to make Web videos showcasing the opportunities for employment in health care and construction, reports The Daily Sentinel of Grand Junction, a city of 42,000.

“Businesses are desperate for employees, and this is one way to fulfill that need,” Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland told reporter Le Roy Standish. “It is a good avenue that I think we need to pay attention to. The Generation X and Ys, that’s where they are.” Residents will offer their testimonials about life in the area in the videos, which will be filmed at no cost at the local cable-access channel. The idea came from a similar effort by the chamber of commerce in Des Moines, Iowa, which used "man-on-the-street" interviews in its videos.

In a related story, The Omaha World-Herald describes the work of the Generation Iowa Commission, a group created by Gov. Chet Culver to brainstorm ideas about attracting and retaining young professionals.

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