7 Rivers Alliance - March 2015 Newsletter                      
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Dear Community,
We are pleased to provide you our March newsletter that highlights the great event that was held and exciting new events we have planned.

We will be offering a series of three tourism seminars for communities to develop their local assets. Designed to share regional and national best practices, each event is packed with dynamic presentations, a networking lunch and a tour. Special thanks to La Crosse Convention Center and Visitors Bureau for their assistance with the event planning and sponsorship of each event.  We encourage communities to send council members, administrators and economic development staff to each event.  This is also a great event for lenders and community leaders. Space is limited at each location. Register early to save your spot. See below for more details and the registration link.
The ECO DEVO group has also been very active. We have launched the 2015 Business Outreach, Retention and Engagement  with 7 counties in the region actively participating in business visits.   Our goal is to reach 300 businesses in the next 90 days. The results for this project will be shared at our fall annual meeting. Finally, we have a new Golden Shovel Verified Site project that will pilot next month with La Crosse County and then roll out throughout the region.
How is all this possible?  Collaboration. A special thank you to community partners and all the members who have helped to plan each event.  Your input and guidance has been invaluable.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you,
Lisa Herr  
Executive Director

Feb. 18th Event Update

The Recruiting and Retaining High Skilled Talent Event on February 18th was a huge success.  With 10 presenters, participants gained new insights on how to work with the incoming generation of Millennials.  Here are a few of the many responses we received:
  • 81% responded that the overall satisfaction of event was “Very Good or “Excellent”.
  • “This was extremely well done!!”
  • “It was very well put together, very professional in appearance.”
  • “Attended to support the organization and network.  However, I walked away with some great ideas. Great Event! Thank you!!”
  • “The event was well set up with excellent speakers and the topic was very timely.”
57% of our attendees also stated they would like to receive more information on other 7 Rivers Alliance Events.  We will work to make this happen through various outlets, so all our events get more exposure.

We would like to give a huge thank you to all our presenters and also to our sponsor, Mayo Clinic Health System - Franciscan Healthcare for making this event possible.

Next ECO DEVO Meeting

The March 19th, 2015 ECO DEVO meeting will focus on Workforce Development. Bill Brockmiller from Wisconsin Workforce Development and Mark Schultz from Minnesota Department of Economic Development will share their analysis of current workforce trends for the region. This meeting will be held at La Crosse County Administrative Center, Room 3220 in La Crosse, WI. Recent studies on Workforce Development will be the main topic of discussion. We will also provide a progress update on the 2015 Business Outreach, Retention and Engagement (BORE) Survey. All are welcome to join!

2015 BORE Project

The purpose of the Business Outreach, Retention and Engagement (BORE) survey is designed to collect information from Southwest Wisconsin, Southeast Minnesota and Northeast Iowa businesses about their operational and workforce needs that support business growth in the next five years. With local economic development partners, we will coordinate business outreach, collect data, follow up on business requests for supportive services, and analyze the collected data. Then, we will recommend local policy amendment or adoption to increase the efficiency of supportive services provided by local economic development agencies.

Congratulations to the following organizations who will receive technical assistance funds to help assist in the 2015 BORE survey:

Crawford County Economic Development Corporation, WI
City of La Crescent, MN
Juneau County Economic Development Corp, WI
La Crosse Downtown Mainstreet, WI
La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce, WI
La Crosse County , WI
Monroe County Economic Development, Commerce & Tourism, WI
Vernon County Economic Development Authority, WI
City of Goodview, MN
Winona Area Chamber of Commerce, MN 
Winona County, MN
Winona Port Authority, MN

We will be working with Western Technical College and Southeast Minnesota State Technical College to conduct business outreach to communities not listed.

2015 Tourism Seminars

Plan to join us for three dynamic events designed for communities seeking to build upon their local assets to become a known tourist destination. Each event is $30 per person and includes a networking lunch and tour. Don't forget, as an Investor/Member of The 7 Rivers Alliance you are eligible for a discount on all our events! Please contact us at for your PROMO code. If you would like to become an Investor/Member of The 7 Rivers Alliance, please contact us at

Investors: 20% discount on all registration fees for events and programs
Members: 10% discount on all registration fees for events and programs

WI Training $$$ Available for Business

The 7 Rivers Alliance is happy to be one of the sponsors at the Wisconsin Fast Forward event in La Crosse on March 17th.  Wisconsin Fast Forward is a training grant program designed to support employer-led worker training programs.  The UW-Stout Manufacturing Outreach Center (MOC) has teamed up with area economic development agencies and educational partners in northwest Wisconsin to provide information sessions surrounding the announcement of available grant programs, requirements and the process to apply.

The event will be held on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 8:00- 9:30 AM at Western Wisconsin Workforce Development Board (2516 East Avenue South, Suite 101, La Crosse, WI  54601).  For more information or to register, Click here

Minnesota Job Creation Fund

The Job Creation Fund provides financial incentives to new and expanding businesses that meet certain job creation and capital investment targets. Companies that are eligible to participate may receive up to $1 million for creating or retaining high-paying jobs and for constructing or renovating facilities or making other property improvements. The program is available to businesses engaged in manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, technology-related industries, and other eligible activities. Companies must work with the local government (city, county or township) where a project is located to apply to DEED to receive designation as a Job Creation Fund business.

For more information regarding the Minnesota Job Creation Fund or to apply, click here.

New Emails & Website Coming Soon!

We are in the process of redesigning our website with a new and fresh look. With this change we will also have a slight change in our website name and email addresses. Effective April 1, 2015, The 7 Rivers Alliance website and all staff email addresses will change from a .com to .org address.
Current website address:
New website address effective 04/01/15:

Staff Emails
Lisa Herr - Executive Director
Current email:

New email effective 04/01/15:

Eli Moua - Digital Marketing Assistant
Current email:
New email effective 04/01/15:

Hannah Kepros - Marketing & Events Intern
Current email:
New email effective 04/01/15:

Patrick Otto - Office Intern
Current email
New email effective 04/01/15

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

Our mailing address is:
400 7th St North, La Crosse, WI 54601

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