Life on the shores of the Great Lakes offers endless opportunities in a moderate-sized – and little-known-about – city. Bloomberg Business listed it among its 2015 Best Cities for New College Grads, and Movoto named it as one of the nation’s most exciting cities, adding that it was a surprise to them, too. With a population a bit over 600,000, the city has received repeated kudos for its downtown improvements and overall industry.

Despite a climate that rarely breaks 80, sinks to the 20s in January and claims up to 50 inches of snowfall a year, Milwaukee is surprisingly bike-friendly. It also ranks as one of the nation’s most walkable cities and abounds with parks, trails, bike lanes and its famed RiverWalk. Starting as early as May, it becomes the City of Festivals, celebrating everything from Highland games to the arts, ethnic heritages, fairs and Summerfest’s music extravaganza. The city has loads of museums, beautiful churches, amusement parks, theaters, bike tours, marinas, and food and brewery tours. It also has two lighthouses, the Milwaukee Public Market, a casino, a zoo and a historic district. For professional sports fans, it has baseball’s Brewers, hockey’s Admirals, soccer’s Wave, basketball’s Bucks and arena football’s Mustangs. This is University of Wisconsin Badger territory, too. 

While Brew Town is still home to the Miller Brewing Company, Milwaukee’s economy focuses on its role as the nation’s second-largest precision manufacturing center and Free Trade Zone hub for commerce and trade. It also has significant healthcare, financial, and printing and publishing industries. More than 90 percent of Milwaukee’s workers are privately employed, and professional positions make up the fastest growth sector. More than a third of Wisconsin’s high-tech workforce and a quarter of its high-tech firms are here. Milwaukee’s largest employers are a who’s who in cutting-edge industries: Aurora Health Care, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, Froedtert Health and the Medical College of Wisconsin, Columbia St. Mary’s, ProHealth Care, Northwestern Mutual, BMO Harris Bank, Rockwell Automation, GE Healthcare, Harley-Davidson, Johnson Controls, Cooper Power Systems, Quad/Graphics, and AT&T Wisconsin. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) and Marquette University are here, too, offering advanced research and development and corporate partnership programs.


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