Dear Colleagues,

The new year has brought new opportunities to the 7 Rivers Region.  We have launched the WISE plan with a nationally recognized consultant, planned an INSIDER Briefing in partnership with WIS-Politics and also launched the INSPIRE online application that will connect high school, and college students as well as job seekers to internships, apprenticeships and mentors in local companies. 

We are also planning new programs to bring highly relevant programs to you.  See below for information about our upcoming 2017 Workforce Summit and we will also offer a Walkable Communities workshop in partnership with La Crosse Downtown Mainstreet and Houston County EDA. It is an exciting time and there is a lot of energy in our office. 

Lisa Herr


We are pleased to announce the selection of the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) as the consultant for the WISE Plan. CLICK HERE for the La Crosse Tribune article about the CREC. 

The consultants first visit to the region will be February 14-16. They will engage with over 100 employers in 14 scheduled meetings throughout the region. Contact Chin-Chin at if you would like to participate in a session.

2016 Annual Report Now Available!

The 2016 Annual Report is now complete! We are pleased to provide you a recap of the programs and services that were offered last year. To view the complete report please CLICK HERE.
Insider Briefing March 15th


Jeff Meyers, President of Wis Politics will provide an update on emerging state and federal legislation issues and politics. Join us for this timely conversation.  

Click Here to Register
Welcome New Investor! 
Gensler is a global architecture, design, and planning firm with 46 locations and more than 5,000 professionals networked across Asia, Europe, Australia, the Middle East and the Americas. Gensler designers strive to make the places people live, work and play more inspiring, more resilient, and more impactful.
Gensler established its office in La Crosse, WI in 1994 with a unique focus on spatial analysis for corporate and commercial real estate. The office has grown to 50 employees and services clients around the globe, from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups.

With an office in La Crosse for 23 years, they’ve experienced the positive impact that economic growth and development has on talent attraction and retention in this city and region. Gensler believes collaboration and communication are the basis of growth and they support the efforts that The 7 Rivers Alliance is doing to unite the region to achieve large goals. They want to attract and retain the best talent!
SET Strategic Planning 


On February 1st, more than 45 business and community leaders from Juneau, Jackson and Monroe County met in Tomah, Wisconsin gathered to continue planning for the economic prosperity of these three counties.  The next and final meeting will be March 1st in Tomah. Click Here to register to participate in the final planning meeting! 


INSPIRE 7 Rivers Alliance Takes Off 
The 7 Rivers Alliance is excited to introduce Allison Vandenberg-Daves, new coordinator for the Inspire program.  Allison grew up in La Crosse and earned her Bachelor's Degree in History at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. After graduating, she pursued a year of AmeriCorps service in Oregon, working to connect young people to healthy, local food, and support sustainable food businesses in the region. Allison has a background in youth leadership development, working with middle and high school students to connect them to local resources and opportunities for growth. She's excited to be returning to her home town and to help build a program that will give young people new opportunities for learning and leadership, building up young leaders who have so much to contribute to the Seven Rivers region as they move into careers! 

Allison will provide monthly updates on INSPIRE as the program is adopted by high schools, colleges and job centers over the next three years.  
Upcoming Events 
University of Wisconsin- La Crosse is seeking your support for Innovation Generation 2017 – the new entrepreneurship program at UW-La Crosse with activities for three age groups: 1) UWL Innovation Lab – collegiate level; 2) Coulee Ventures – high school level; 3) First Ventures – middle school level. Our goal is to ignite and support the entrepreneurial interests of our Coulee Region youth. Together with the UWL SBDC, we developed these programs and will oversee their implementation from January through April of 2017.

Join us in sharing the excitement of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) by exhibiting at the Northeast Iowa  Family STEM Festival in Decorah. The STEM festival is a family event that had 25 exhibitors and over 500 attendees last year.

There are endless possibilities of what the students and families could do at your booth including:

  • Conducting an experiment
  • Playing a game
  • Participating in an interactive demonstration
  • For examples, please go the Northeast STEM Hub website
Please take our survey! 

We are evaluating a potential route for viability and it is important that we obtain data from the local business community.  You are a member of a key business that has expressed interest in air service initiatives in the past.  Please help us by taking our quick survey. 

Trends in Executive Housing

The excellent, cringe-inducing Larry David sitcom, Curb Your Enthusiasm, had a memorable tagline: “Just because you’ve made it, doesn’t mean you’ve got it made.”

That pretty much sums up the upper end of the real estate market. Executives and other high rollers can afford a lot of house, especially in relatively inexpensive markets such as the Twin Cities metro. But that doesn’t mean your average exec can snap her fingers and find the home of her dreams — particularly when she’s relocating from out-of-state. To read more Click on the link below!


Please join us to educate yourself on the Premier Resort Area Tax and how it will affect your business.

La Crosse County will ask the voters their opinion on the creation of a 0.5% Premier Resort Area Tax (PRAT) as an advisory referendum on the April 4 ballot. This is an additional 0.5% tax that will be collected on all purchases at many businesses where tourists, and residents make purchases.   While called a premier resort area tax, it will be paid by locals as well as visitors at these locations.   These locations include, but are not limited to retailers, service providers, hotels, and restaurants.


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