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YPWeek aims to keep young Badgers in the Badger state

YPWeek will feature more than 90 events of interest to young professionals in Wisconsin. Photo credit: Ryan Birkicht

YPWeek will feature more than 90 events of interest to young professionals in Wisconsin. Photo credit: Ryan Birkicht

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Madison Magnet and CONNECT Madison want you to know there’s more to this state than supper clubs, old-fashioneds, and aged cheddar. In fact, in many ways, this is no longer your grandfather’s Wisconsin.

Not that young people are ready to reject those comforting — and abiding — cultural staples, but there’s plenty for young professionals to do in the Badger state that involves neither brown liquor nor candy-red maraschino cherries.

Many of those modern activities will be on full display from April 11 to 18 during the statewide YPWeek (Young Professionals Week), which builds off Milwaukee’s own successful YPWeek. Originally launched by NEWaukee, a Milwaukee-area young professionals group, the event is going statewide for the first time this year, featuring events in Madison, Green Bay, the Fox Cities, Kenosha, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, and Wausau. It attracted more than 4,000 professionals last year while it was still located exclusively in Milwaukee, and this year it will feature more than 90 activities spread throughout the state.

“YPWeek is all about attracting young professionals to Wisconsin, retaining them after they graduate from college so they don’t move to Chicago or Minneapolis.” — Erin Ladwig, CONNECT Madison

Both Magnet and CONNECT Madison, which were formed in part to stanch the outward flow of young talent in Dane County, are getting in on the action, with a full slate of activities for the week. The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, Middleton Chamber of Commerce, Urban League of Greater Madison, United Way of Dane County, and the Madison chapter of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network are also among the local participating organizations.

CONNECT Madison’s signature event, “Connect Socially, Eat Locally,” helps close out the week on Friday, April 17, and it goes well beyond simply reimagining the supper club fish fry. Co-sponsored by CONNECT Madison and REAP Food Group, the event will feature music, views of the Capitol from Boardman & Clark’s terrace in the U.S. Bank building at 1 S. Pinckney St., and food and beverages from Batch Bakehouse, Emmi Roth, Next Door Brewing, MobCraft Beer, Landmark Creamery, and celebrated local chef Tory Miller’s soon-to-be-unveiled tapas restaurant, Estrellón.

“It’s going to be really exciting,” said Erin Ladwig, events chair for CONNECT Madison. “A lot of foodies are going to be there so they can try out a lot of these restaurants, and especially [Miller’s] new restaurant.”

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