7 Rivers Alliance - April 2016 e-Newsletter         

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Dear Investors and Members, 

This spring, we are ramping up our services and outreach to businesses throughout the 7 Rivers Region.  To better understand the priorities, needs and challenges that our businesses have, we have launched our annual survey.  Click on this link to access the 2016 Executive Survey . Special thanks to our ECO DEVO professionals who will also be conducting in person visits to better understand the needs of business.  

We have made workforce development, recruitment and retention a major areas of focus, as we know that this is a priority concern for all of our employers.  To support this focus, we have planned our Human Capital event on April 28, 2016.  This event is packed with 20+ best practice presenters from throughout the region.  It is a must attend event for hiring executives and HR professionals.  Click here for a preview of the amazing presenters that we have lined up.  If you haven’t registered, we recommend that you do so this week as space is limited. 

Another hot topic surrounding workforce is affordable single family housing.  We are partnering with Monroe County to host a Rural Workforce Housing Summit  that will be held on June 1st in Sparta.  This event will be for builders and commercial developers, financial institutions, elected officials and county economic development planners.  The goal is to get all the key players in the room to come up with some creative strategies to ensure we have affordable housing for the new hires that are being recruited to live in the region. 

While these efforts are a good start, we know that the workforce issue is mainly about having an adequate talent pool for our companies. We have convened the Executive Directors of the four Workforce Investment Boards in the region and will be working with them over the summer to plan for creating a regional worker recruitment and relocation strategy.  This will be a large effort and include our 18 Chambers of Commerce and economic development organizations throughout the region.  More details will be shared over the summer as our scope of work is prioritized. 

We are off to a good start and there is a lot to do to ensure we are addressing the needs of our companies.  Read on for more exciting events that are coming up and resources that are available for you to access. 

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you,

Lisa Herr
Executive Director

Register Now for the next 7 Rivers Alliance Event: "Human Capital: Effective Strategies for Recruiting & Retaining A Rural Workforce" 


Join us on Thursday, April 28, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM at the TRI County Electric Community Building - 31110 Cooperative Way, Rushford, MN 55971. 
This is a must attend event for hiring executives and HR professionals.  Plan to attend and hear the latest research and hiring trends in the 7 Rivers Region. 

Click here to register. 

To view the presenters and discussion topics, click here. 

The 2016 Business Survey is now available on our website. Please take the survey and share with other businesses.  Our goal is to reach 200 companies and organizations. The collected information will be used to plan future programs and advocate for policies that advance business growth and improve the vitality of our communities.

This year, we have streamlined the survey and added sector specific questions for manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, retail and financial services.  The information collected from the survey will be collected, analyzed by county and presented at our annual State of the Region event in November 2016.

Take the survey now! 

ExporTech™: Feeding the World

July 20, August 23, and September 27


All Sessions will be held at Organic Valley
509 Organic Drive, Cashton, WI  54619

A specialized ExporTech for manufacturers in the food, beverage and agriculture industries. Three-day series will target topics including specific food laws, food labeling, market potential, sales and distribution channels, logistics, state and federal resources, and operationalizing your international plan. Dennis Lynch, a 33-year veteran of international trade, distinguished instructor, and adviser to a variety of food and agricultural firms, will be a primary presenter. Program is supported by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. 

Click here to register and learn more. 

Is your community in need of fresh food options? 

This event is designed for rural community leaders who are seeking to provide grocery options to their residents. Join us to learn about best practices for sustaining rural grocery alternatives and strategies to effectively provide rural communities quality food.

Click here to register. 

The next ECO DEVO meeting will be hosted by Monroe County.   At this meeting, we will discuss the rollout of the Google+ and Google Business Listing to help rural businesses improve their online presence and search engine optimization (SEO).  Steve Peterson will share new development projects planned for Monroe County.  Mark your calendar and plan to join us.

Celebrate Success! Register Now for the 2016 Small Business Week Awards Reception

The Iowa SBA offices are holding an award reception on Friday, May 6, 2016 in West Des Moines during National Small Business Week.  They will be honoring the Iowa award winners in 7 categories. Details of the event are in the above flyer. 

Welcome Emily Edelman! 
Emily  is joining our team as a Marketing and Communications intern. Emily will promote The 7 Rivers Alliance and will be a great asset to our team. 

Like, follow, and link with us!

Want to stay updated on the latest events? Click the links below to connect!

Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter. 
Connect with us on LinkedIn. 

The Republic of Kosovo opens Iowa’s first Foreign Consulate

On January 29, 2016, the Republic of Kosovo officially opened a consulate office in Des Moines, Iowa.  This historic event occurred for many reasons beginning with the strong bonds formed between Kosovo and Iowa through the deployment of several hundred Iowa National Guard Peacekeepers to Kosovo over the last decade.  

Over the last several years, government officials, business leaders, educators, and many others have opened their doors to our friends from Kosovo. They have offered advice, listened to their economic, institutional and educational development goals and marveled at how far the Republic of Kosovo has come since it declared its independence in 2008. 

To read more and view other international resources, check out the latest Iowa Economic Development International Update. 

New National Transit Map Will Highlight America’s Commuting Gaps 

The U.S. DOT has launched a $100 million Ladders of Opportunity grant for cities, the LadderStep technical assistance program and more. The agency’s latest push to prioritize the connection is an effort to create a National Transit Map of stops, routes and schedules from as many local and regional transit agencies as possible.

Click here to read the full article. 

Phillips-Medisize Strengthens Wisconsin’s Bioscience Ecosystem

Click here to watch the video! 
Phillips-Medisize, based in Hudson, Wis., specializes in helping companies design new products or manufacturing processes for the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and medical devices industries.

In the video above, Phillips-Medisize CEO Matt Jennings explains how the company relies on the talented workforce and business resources in Wisconsin to compete on a global scale and reach customers around the world. The company’s expertise complements Wisconsin’s robust bioscience industry, which employs more than 36,000 people at 1,600 companies statewide.

Minnesota Gains 9,000 Jobs in February

Minnesota employers added 9,000 jobs in February, according to seasonally adjusted figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). 

The state has gained 42,137 new jobs in the past year, an increase of 1.5 percent. U.S. job growth during that period was 1.9 percent. 

Minnesota’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 3.7 percent in February, the fourth consecutive month at that level. The U.S. unemployment rate in February was 4.9 percent.

To read the full story, click here. 

U.S Concentrated Poverty n the Wake of the Great Recession


Brookings used date data from the 2000 decennial census to measure changes in the concentrated poverty rate—or the share of poor residents living in extremely poor neighborhoods. The findings for the nation as a whole and for different types of communities, paying particular attention to how these trends have played out both across and within the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas. 

Click here to check out an interactive map. 

Hiring and training in a multicultural Minnesota


Though white Europeans remain Minnesota’s largest demographic group, the state is more multicultural than at any point in the past. Estimates differ on when the state will become “majority minority,” but that milestone is likely to come before mid-century. In some counties, including Ramsey and Nobles, the under-20 demographic is already majority-minority.

Click here to learn how workplace diversity is a competitive advantage

Did you know... 

Check out 3 fascinating business facts that will give you the cutting edge in your next trivia game! 

  • If the U.S. were to eliminate their $1 paper bills and replace them with $1 coins, it could save up to $4.4 billion over 30 years, according to a Government Accountability Office report.
  •  Though it is best known for its smart phones and other electronics, Samsung’s other business areas include weapons manufacturing, life insurance, and theme park management
  • The world's largest package delivery company UPS was founded by two teenagers with a bicycle and $100 borrowed from a friend.
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Suite 400
La Crosse, WI 54601

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