7 Rivers Alliance - September 2016 

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Dear Investors and Members,

It is an exciting time in the 7 Rivers Region.  I am pleased to share news of our selection by the USDA as one of seven organizations to participate in the 2016-2017 SET program: Strengthening Economies Together.  We nominated several counties for this program and the USDA selected Juneau, Monroe and Jackson Counties to participate.  This project provides researchers and technical assistance in Economic Development Planning from UW Extension and Purdue University.  Our goal is to take the process and apply it to our other counties in the region over the next 2 years.  This project will kick off with a Civic Forum on September 27th.  Join us and give voice to the future of these counties.  

I am also pleased to share several regional collaborations that are underway.  We have partnered with the La Crosse Chamber of Commerce to host a session of Growth Strategies for Business Executives that will be offered by UW Stout Manufacturing Outreach Center.  

Our WISE project is moving ahead and we are garnering more support as we prepare for our October 1st kickoff of this major workforce recruitment and retention planning project for the region.  On October 13th, Board President Michael Richards and I will be presenting an update on the WISE Plan at the LADCO Economic Forum.  See below for details to register for this event.  

Thank you for sending content and ideas for our monthly newsletter. We want to share all the great stuff going on in the region.  Read below and be inspired b


Lisa Herr
Executive Director

Share Your Ideas! September 27th 
Register Now!
Join us for a Civic Forum featuring a SET Program.  This program stands for Stronger Economies Together.  There are many different members in the planning team for the SET program including government, education, nonprofit organizations, local residents, faith-based organizations, community foundation, elected officials, and economic community development.  Learn the depths about economic development priorities for Juneau, Monroe, and Jackson counties.  The event will include a tasting of local wines and cheeses from 5:00 to 6:00 pm. 

Tickets are FREE but space is limited so register now! 
Register Now!
This year, we have moved our event to the Court Above Main and have limited seating. Tables for the event have sold out, but if you still have interest for reserving a table please contact Emily Edelman directly at emily@7riversalliance to make arrangements. Register now before we sell out.

 To register

-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. 
RSVP Now for ECO DEVO Meeting- September 28th 

Our Next Economic Development Meeting will be held on September 28th at La Crescent City Hall.  The meeting will be at 10:00 am and go until 12:00 pm. Topics that will be covered at this event are:

1. Results of the 2016 Executive Business Survey 
2. Talent Attraction score card by county
3. Prioritize 2017 Events for the region
4. Update on WISE project and Funding 

RSVP by clicking on the button below and filling out the quick google survey. 
UW-Stout Manufacturing Outreach Center (MOC)

UW-Stout Manufacturing Outreach Center (MOC), in partnership with The 7 Rivers Alliance and the La Crosse Chamber of Commerce have joined together to create an event that focuses on growth strategies for business executives.  This discussion will focus on learning strategies about how to "be the disruptor" instead of being disrupted.  

Register Now by calling the La Crosse Area Chamber at 608-784-4880
Sept. 22nd WEDC Roundtable in
La Crosse, WI 

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leadership will be hosting a series of roundtables throughout the state. The events will focus on Opportunity Wisconsin and provide an update on WEDC program offerings.

For the first half of each roundtable, WEDC and its marketing agency will share information, present research findings and invite feedback on a collaborative branding initiative designed to promote opportunities for business, professional and personal fulfillment in Wisconsin in an ongoing effort to retain and attract businesses and the talent necessary for them to succeed.  the second half will be devoted to sharing what’s new with WEDC’s programs this fiscal year, and provide a forum to discuss future strategies to maximize community and business success throughout the state.

We are pleased to host the WEDC Leadership in La Crosse, WI on September 22. Thank you to the La Crosse Chamber of Commerce for providing space for this event.  

Join us for a US- China Town Hall

Participate in a national telecast with Dr. Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State and expert on US-China Relations form 6 to 7 pm.  Join a discussion with leaders from TRANE and Organic Valley about the state of doing business in China right now.  This is a free event and is open to the public.  

To Learn more visit the website by CLICKING HERE. 
WEDC Update 

Community Development Investment Grants

The Community Development Investment (CDI) Grant Program has become an open application process again, meaning grant applications can be submitted throughout the year.  For FY17, grants of up to $250,999 will be awarded for shovel-ready, high-impact, community-driven development efforts that will likely be a catalyst for additional investment in downtown districts of the community.  A local unity of government or tribal entity must be the applicant.   

To learn more about this Grant CLICK HERE. 

Idle Industrial Site Grants

The Idle Industrial Site Grant Program will have a single grant competition in which applications are due November 1, 2016.  For FY17, grants up to $500,000 will be awarded for implementation of redevelopment plans for large industrial sites that have been idle, abandoned or underutilized for a period of at least five years.  Eligible sites include industrial properties of 5 acres or more or commercial properties of 10 acres.  A local unit of government or tribal entity must be the applicant.  However, they do not need to own the site.  

The Idle Sites Grant Application is now available. To begin the application process, complete the short form linked in the To Apply box on the Idle Site Program page.

October 13th 
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 
CLICK HERE to register.  
Industrial Property in Sparta


This industrial property consists of a 35,498 SF building (with 3 sections) situated on 16 acres. This sizable former foundry has been out of use for many years. Buyers may choose chose to raze the portion of the property used as a foundry (20,098 SF) or simply use it for storage. Many possibilities and at this price you can't lose.

The office area is 2,000 SF, the workshop is 13,400 SF and the back foundry area is 20,098 SF. Sale Price: $299,000.  

To learn more contact: 


Workplace Culture - Breakfast Forum

Workforce Connections is hosting a Workplace Culture Breakfast Forum, in celebration of Workforce Development Month.  The forum will be held on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at the Stoney Creek Inn, Onalaska.  Our keynote speakers include Jerry McGeorge from Organic Valley and Anne Finch from LHI. This session is going to focus on workplace culture and the impact culture has on retention, recruitment, and quality.  

When: Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Time: 7:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Where: Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center 3060 South Kinney Coulee Road, Onalaska

Cost: $30 (includes a hot breakfast)

Click Here to Register!

Tourism in Iowa generated $8 billion in expenditures for second consecutive year

Tourism- related expenditures in Iowa in 2015 totaled $8.06 billion, according to a new study from the U.S. Travel Association.  This marks the second consecutive year expenditures have topped the $8 billion mark.

Additional data from "The Economic Impact of Travel on Iowa Counties" shows travel-generated state tax receipts at a record $466.7 million, a 25 percent increase over 2014.  Tourism in Iowa also supported 67,400 jobs, comprising 4.2 percent of total state non-farm employment in 2015.  

The entire report is available online in .pdf format and includes state- and county-specific data.  A summary document of the report can also be found online.   

14th Annual WSU-Miller Brothers School of Engineering Scholarship Golf Benefit

Winona, MN August 24, 2016 – The Advisory Committee to the Industry for the Advancement of WSU Composite Materials Engineering Fund reminds everyone that Thursday September 15, 2016 is the date for this year’s WSU-Miller Brothers School of Engineering Scholarship Golf Outing. Once again, this worthwhile event for composite professionals will take place at the beautiful Cedar Valley Golf Course in Winona, Minnesota.

Last year’s scholarship outing was regarded as one of the best ever. Composites professionals from around the country gathered to enjoy a day of golf and networking. Their participation helped strengthen the scholarship fund AND award over $10,000 in 2016 scholarships to Winona State Composites Engineering students.

Information and registration regarding the 2016 event, can be found by CLICKING HERE. 

Keep the dream alive: Put a young person on your board

Wokie Weah has spent her career working with young people. She’s been a teacher and a principal. She has worked for UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund), the National Youth Leadership Council and more. Currently, she’s the president of Youthprise, a nonprofit founded by the McKnight Foundation in 2010 as an intermediary organization. That means Youthprise distributes funds from McKnight and other sources to organizations that serve youth, city-wide initiatives that serve youth and makes direct investments in young people themselves, in the form of entrepreneurial grants of $5,000. 

Read the rest of the article by CLICKING HERE. 
Interesting Harvard Study on the economic impact of Aging Populations 
Population aging is widely assumed to have detrimental effects on economic growth yet there is little empirical evidence about the magnitude of its effects. This paper starts from the observation that many U.S. states have already experienced substantial growth in the size of their older population and much of this growth was predetermined by historical trends in fertility. We use predicted variation in the rate of population aging across U.S. states over the period 1980–2010 to estimate the economic impact of aging on state output per capita. We find that a 10% increase in the fraction of the population ages 60+ decreases the growth rate of GDP per capita by 5.5%. Two-thirds of the reduction is due to slower growth in the labor productivity of workers across the age distribution, while one-third arises from slower labor force growth. Our results imply annual GDP growth will slow by 1.2 percentage points this decade and 0.6 percentage points next decade due to population aging.

Read the Study by clicking here. 
Community Resiliency Syposium

Are we ill prepared or do we have effective plans in place for the most likely factor that can change the way we live, work and function as a community?

What are the most pressing & emerging issues in agriculture, emergency response, housing, healthcare, education, manufacturing, and YOUR profession?

How can your organization join the effort to get ahead of the devastating impacts of items that can limit our ability to grow and prosper?

Learn more and register by CLICKING HERE. 
2016 Moving Iowa Forward Conference

You are invited to attend the sixth Moving Iowa Forward Conference, hosted by the Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Department of Transportation. The conference will help attendees understand how transportation and economic development can and is working together to make Iowa a better place to do business. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn how Transportation Matters in the quest to grow and strengthen Iowa’s economy.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Des Moines Marriott

For Registration and Tentative Agenda

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Copyright © 2015. 7 Rivers Alliance. All rights reserved.

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

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