P33 is planning a digital marketing campaign titled “Come Back to Move Forward” to target the 100,000 tech professionals who allegedly have connections in Chicago. The campaign is focused on San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta, Denver, Austin, Dallas, and Washington, DC. It is aimed at mid-career technicians with the most in-demand technical skills, including data and software, cloud, artificial intelligence, and tech.

Around 50 Chicago companies have signed up as partners, from younger software manufacturers such as Ocient, Narrative Science, Amount and FourKites to Stalwarts such as Allstate, Caterpillar, CDW and Motorola Solutions.

P33 estimates that roughly half of Illinois computer science students leave the state, which is in line with earlier data from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Companies here have often managed to recruit people who have left their families and cut their cost of living. But the timing for a bigger boost seems right. The pandemic caused tech companies, like many others, to adopt remote working policies that have eased geographic restrictions and are likely to survive COVID-19. Scott Kirby, United Airlines CEO, recently said, “There will be a lot of people in places like San Francisco who I suspect will replace their two-hour daily commute with a monthly two-hour air commute.”