7 Rivers Alliance - August2016 e-Newsletter

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Dear Investors and Members,

 It's Olympic season, our programs have left the starting blocks and we are gaining momentum.  Just like a footrace, we are pacing ourselves and taking time to make sure we have all partners at the table.  During July, we made some good progress with our 10-year workforce recruitment and attraction project that we are calling the WISE plan.  We are pleased to announce that we have secured a $50,000 Capacity Grant from the WEDC and almost $10,000 in financial support from major employers throughout the region.  Over the last month, we also submitted several more grant proposals to secure all the necessary funds to launch this project on October 1st.  See below for more details. 

We are delighted to announce our selection as one of seven regions from across United States for the USDA Strengthening Economies Together (SET) program.  This program will provide researchers and consultants to work with our economic development professionals, community and business leaders in Monroe, Juneau and Jackson Counties.   We look forward to working with UW Extension and the USDA to launch this project and sharing what we learn with other communities throughout the region.

The challenge of a race is to not go so fast that we miss important sights along the way.  During the summer, we are taking stock of our regional marketing and promotional efforts to recruit companies and attract workers to the region.  Thank you for everyone who provided letters of support for our application. 

Finally, we are picking up our pace and planning the 2016 State of the Region event that will be held on November 16th.  See below for more details about this amazing event that you don’t want to miss. Space will be limited this year, so register early to secure your table or seat.

The race is on and we are on track to launch these efforts to support our businesses and communities.  Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.


Lisa Herr
Executive Director

SET Program Launch

The 7 Rivers Alliance has teamed up with UW, USDA for an economic development project. We will be pair together to create an economic development blueprint for three of our rural counties.  

The 7 Rivers Alliance was one of seven economic development groups chosen for the USDA's Stronger Economies Together program to promote regional rural development by giving local leaders access to resources through the USDA Rural Development and University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension offices.  

To Read the Rest of the Article and find out more information CLICK HERE.
2016 State of the Region 

Please join us on November 16th for our annul State of the Region Event hosted right here in downtown La Crosse! This event will have a variety of topics including a speaker from the Federal Reserve, a section on state of cyber security, and recognizing our Rising Stars Under 40 in the 7 Rivers Region.  Lunch will be included along with a designated time for networking.  Registration is now open. Space is limited so buy your tickets now. To register CLICK HERE. 

Highlights for 2016 State of the Region 

State of Cyber Security                                                                 

Dane Deutsch

Deutsch’s Inc.
Dane Deutsch, our Keynote Speaker, is the CEO/ President of Deutsch’s Inc.  which is composed of several companies including: DCS Netlin and the Leadership Management Development Center. DCS focuses on WatchGuard firewalls for internet security, Google Apps, Apple and managed IT services. Dane will be giving a presentation on the State of Cyber Security and illustrating what you can do to protect yourself, your family and business on the Internet. 
State of the Region

Ron Wirtz
Director, Regional Outreach
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
As the Regional Outreach Director for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Ron gathers data and other intelligence on current economic conditions from business and community leaders throughout the Ninth Federal Reserve District.  Before assuming this position, Ron was the editor of the fedgazette, a business and economics journal, for 15 years where he researched topics such as job growth, the Bakken oil boom, income mobility, public pensions, and many others. In Ron’s presentation on the State of the Region, he will be comparing La Crosse metro and the 7 Rivers region to areas of similar size in the upper Midwest.

2016 Executive Survey Results 
The Results of our 2016 Survey will be released at this event.  We had over 130 responses to this survey representing 10 different counties in the 7 Rivers Region.  

Presentation of 2016 Rising Stars Under 40
 The 7 Rivers Alliance in partnership with the River Valley Newspaper Group is pleased to present the 2016 Rising Stars Under 40.  Join us to celebrate the young professionals in our region who are making a difference at work and in their communities. 
WISE Program Update  

Thank you to the 20+ partners who provided letters of support for our grant proposals to secure funds to launch of the WISE project.   We have given 4 community presentations over the last month and there has been consistent support for this project.  We look forward to giving you an update on the launch of this project in our next newsletter.

Project Launch:   October 1, 2016             
Project Completion:  September 30, 2017

To Learn more about the project CLICK HERE 

Regional Promotion 
During July, I had the privilege of travelling with the Mayor of La Crosse’s Sister City/ Trade delegation to Epinal, France and Friedberg, Germany.  It was beneficial to learn how La Crosse is known to our foreign neighbors.  Vicki Markussen, Executive Director of the La Crosse Chamber of Commerce, and I prepared presentations to business executives and chamber and economic development professionals. Special thanks to Vicki and Robin Moses, Executive Director of La Crosse Downtown Mainstreet for helping to prepare promotional materials to showcase all the new developments in La Crosse and surrounding areas.  We learned a lot on this trip and will be sharing our regional promotional ideas at the September 28th ECO DEVO meeting.

ECO DEVO Meeting- September 28th 

Mark your calendars! The next ECO DEVO meeting will be held this September. More information about the agenda and exact location will be sent out as the date approaches.  

When: September 28th, 2016
Time: 10:00AM - 12:00PM  
Where: La Crescent City Hall, La Crescent, MN 

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Manufacturing Advantage Conference & Technology Showcase

Are you a small to mid-size manufacturer? Someone considering a career in manufacturing or interested in current manufacturing trends? This fall, UW-Stout Manufacturing Outreach Center invites you to see:

• Robotics

• 3D Printing

• Automation

• Additive Manufacturing

• Virtual Training Systems

   …and learn how these technologies and more can impact your manufacturing success. The showcase is on September 28-29, 2016 at the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

Learn more and register by CLICKING HERE!

State Awards $2.3 Million to Communities to Help Redevelop Idle Industrial Sites

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) today announced that five communities will receive $2.3 million in state grants to help redevelop abandoned industrial sites throughout Wisconsin.

Madison, Kimberly and Muskego each have been awarded $500,000 under the state’s Idle Industrial Sites Redevelopment Program. Green Bay will receive $425,000, and Oshkosh has been awarded $375,000 under the program, which is administered by WEDC.

The state’s $2.3 million investment is expected to help spur redevelopment projects that ultimately will generate nearly $150 million in capital investment.

Read the rest of the article by

Economic Development Board approves awards to support nearly $456 million in capital investments in Iowa

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board today awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to eight companies for job creation and expansion projects. These awards will assist in the creation of 308 jobs, retention of four jobs and will result in nearly $456 million in new capital investment for the state. The board also approved innovation funding for four startups.

The board approved assistance for planned or proposed projects located in Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Fairfield, Iowa City, Johnston, Keokuk, Sioux City, Waukee and West Des Moines.

To read the rest of the article

WTCS Highlights:

Outcomes for 2015 Graduates 

Wisconsin’s 16 public technical colleges provide dynamic education and training in a rapidly changing marketplace, increasing the economic vitality of students, employers, and communities throughout Wisconsin. A key measure of our success is whether our graduates find employment. They do, as proven with 93% of graduates in the labor force reporting they were employed within six months of graduation.

Click here to read the FULL REPORT or just look at the HIGHLIGHTS of the report.  
Success as Social Responsibility 

Professional success often looks like an Italian suit, European sports cars, prestigious awards and a corner office. But a new wave of leaders are challenging that archetype and rewriting what it means to be successful. 

This article talks all about how millennial entrepreneurs define success, how social responsibility will redefine the meaning of success, if millennials are all that different from all other generations, and what success will look like in the future.  

To read the full article
A Growing and Changing Workforce 

The Southeast labor force reached a record high last year, but many employers soon will be challenged to fill openings. Tapping a more diverse group of workers will be part of the solution.

After gaining over 2,000 new workers over the year, Southeast Minnesota’s labor force reached a record 279,500 in 2015. Labor force growth in the region mirrored growth statewide over the last 15 years, with both expanding about 7 percent.

To read the rest of the article CLICK HERE. 
Small Town Forums Coming up in Phelps, La Farge, Eagle and Shell Lake

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is joining Wisconsin Downtown Action Council, Wisconsin Rural Partners, UW-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development and U.S. Department of Agriculture in hosting four forums in August and September to provide communities the opportunity to network, share best practices and identify strategies for small-town success.

More than half of Wisconsin’s municipalities are communities of fewer than 1,500 residents. These small communities represent a wide variety of geographic and economic areas, and have unique issues and needs that are often very different from those of larger communities.

Each forum takes place from noon to 4:30 p.m. on the date listed. Registration at each site opens at 11:30 a.m. The registration fee is $20 and includes lunch. to register.

Forum dates and locations:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 31 – Phelps (Vilas County), at the Phelps K-12 School, 4451 Old School Road
  • Wednesday, Sept. 7 – La Farge (Vernon County), at the Community Center, 202 N State Street
  • Wednesday, Sept. 14 - Eagle (Waukesha County), at the Municipal Building, 820 E Main Street
  • Tuesday, Sept. 20 – Shell Lake (Washburn County), at Shell Lake Arts Center, 802 1st Street

The Economic Forum

LADCO’s focus on workforce development issues continues through the 60th series of The Economic Forum. We will hear from 7 Rivers officials who are surfacing a major workforce recruitment effort called Workforce Innovations for a Strong Economy (WISE), a top official in Michigan heading up the Community Ventures of Michigan initiative which is a concrete effort at helping structurally unemployed individuals in their state, and the new Executive Director of The Upper Mississippi Manufacturing Alliance
(TUMMA) which received a seminal
boost at LADCO’s October Forum a year ago.
  • Date: October 13, 2016
  • Location: Radisson Hotel                         Ballroom 
                        200 Harborview Plaza 
                        La Crosse, WI 54601
  • Time: 7:00 a.m. 
  • Cost: $40 per person 
Registration info coming soon! 
Copyright © 2015. 7 Rivers Alliance. All rights reserved.

Mailing address:
601 Seventh Street North
Suite 400
La Crosse, WI 54601

Contact Us:
Phone: 608-787-8777
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