7 Rivers Alliance - October 2016 

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Dear Investors and Members,

During the past month, we launched the Strengthening Economies Together (SET) program with the USDA to support economic development planning in Juneau, Monroe and Jackson Counties, we hosted a sister city delegation from Epinal, France and we officially secured the $200,000 needed to launch the WISE Plan.  What an exciting time in The 7 Rivers Region! There is great work underway and we are garnering new partners.
We are pleased to introduce the DBS group as a new investor in the 7 Rivers Alliance.  Please read below to learn more about our new investor who shares our commitment to advance the region as a great place to work and live.
I am looking forward to the 2017 State of the Region event on November 16th. We will be introducing the 2016 Rising Stars Under 40 for the 7 Rivers Region, there will be the state of the economy and a special presentation on cyber security.  See below for more details on this important event.  We have a limited number of seats left for this event.  Register soon to save your seat.
There is a lot of interesting information below.  Read on to learn about the good things happening throughout the region.
Lisa Herr

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 we are still selling individual tickets.  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. 
Ready, SET, Go! 

Thank you to everyone who participated in our first SET Civic Forum! This event was a huge success with over 90 participants from the Juneau, Monroe, and Jackson counties. We also had 9 incredible businesses in the area sponsor the food and beverages for the evening and show the community what their products are all about.  

To read more about this event CLICK HERE to see the article in the Monroe County Herald.  

To learn more about SET and stay up to date on our upcoming Civic Forums CLICK HERE or visit our website!
WISE Program Press Release 

Pictured above from left to right is Karrie Jackelen- Congressman Ron Kind's Office, Curt Greeno- CEO at Dynamic Recycling, Mark Hogan- CEO of WEDC, Lisa Herr- CEO of The 7 Rivers Alliance, and Michael Richards- President of The 7 Rivers Alliance Board.  

The 7 Rivers Alliance is planning for the next decade of workforce development in Western Wisconsin.

Our organization, with the help of local business leaders, began work this month on the WISE Plan, which will be used to influence workforce development policy in the region through 2026. The $200,000 project, which has received funding from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the 7 Rivers Alliance and its partners, as well as the U.S. Economic Development Administration, will hire consultants to help identify needs and formulate goals and proposals to address them. 

Learn more about the WISE Project by

New LSE Program Launch 

The airline industry has become a challenging environment for regional airports such as LSE. Pilot shortages, aircraft retirements, airline mergers, and low cost carrier competition at larger hubs have all put strains on La Crosse Regional Airport’s ability to maintain a strong economic foothold and to meet air service needs. 

Seeking opportunities to reverse such trends, La Crosse Regional Airport recently launched LSE LEADERS, a program that gives local businesses the opportunity to support our airport, and ultimately our community, through travel policies that consider a commitment to fly LSE.

To learn more about this program

Welcome to our Newest Member! 

DBS Group was founded in 2015 by a group of hand-picked, veteran design and construction professionals who are passionate about what they do and doing it together.  DBS Group is a design-build general contractor that has experts in this field to manage commercial building projects from conception to completion.  This design-build project delivery system allows the project management team members to collaborate not only with each other but with the project owner to ensure that the project budget, schedule and quality goals are maintained for the project owner. 

While DBS Group serves a variety of clients in the Upper Midwest, their heart is still held close to home in the 7 Rivers Region. They are absolutely committed to keeping this area a great place for their clients to do business and their employees to live. As a result, the DBS Group volunteers and serves a vast variety of organizations in the area including Family & Children’s Center, La Crosse Community Foundation, Salvation Army of La Crosse, Bangor Volunteer Fire Department and more. 

The 7 Rivers Alliance welcomes our newest member and is so excited to have them help us grow in making our community the best it can be!

Epinal Trade Visit 

This fall La Crosse welcomed representatives from our sister city, Epinal, France. American cities aren’t the only ones struggling with downtown revitalization, and members of a delegation from Epinal, France, spent their Friday morning learning about this city’s successes.

 To read the full news article about the trade visit CLICK HERE
October 13th 
The Economic Forum

A special Thank you to Jim Hill at LADCO for inviting us  to present the WISE Plan at  the 60th series of The Economic Forum. We received numerous requests to sign up for a steering committee or workgroup. 

Michael Finney former CEO of Community Ventures of Michigan provided an innovative approach to connecting individuals with barriers to employment.  Over 5,000 individuals have been placed through a program funded by Social Impact Bonds. Liz Boecker, the new Executive Director of The Upper Mississippi Manufacturing Alliance, was also introduced.  

Innovation Support Programs 

The Iowa Innovation Cooperation is the state's designated innovation intermediary, charged with the implementation of specific innovation strategies developed jointly with the business-led Iowa Innovation Council to accelerate and capture the growth of the state's innovation-based economy.

This cooperation has many programs like: 
  1. Small Business Innovation Research and Technology Transfer Outreach Program: 
  2. Proof of Commercial Relevance Fund
CLICK HERE to learn more!
Join us for Monroe County Fall Healthcare Forum 

This forum is about mental health issues in the workplace. The presenters at this forum are going to address how to identify warning signs and what you can do to help these individuals. 


Julie Conway, MS, LPC
Director, Behavioral Health Specialty Services, Mayo Clinic Health System

Megan Jelen, MA, LMFT
Clinical Therapist, Supervisor, Mayo Clinic Health System

  • Date: October 20, 2016
  • Location: Jake Northwoods 
                             1132 Angelo, Rd
                              Sparta, WI 
  • Time: 7:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. 
  • Please RSVP to Lynn Conway at: (608) 392-8200 or
Pop- Up Shops Thrive by Coming and Going 

POP-UP SHOPS are here today, gone tomorrow- or at least by next month. For a new business or brand, a pop-up shop offers the opportunity for a bricks-and-mortar presence without a long-term lease.  The trend has spread worldwide, with walkable cities such as New York, but these shops are popping up in smaller cities too.  

To read the rest of the article
The School to Factory Pipeline

Ultra Machining Company have been growing their revenue by 15% each year.  Eric Gibson, UMC's president says “We could be growing at twice that pace if we could hire the people we need,” 

That’s a problem that troubles manufacturers across the state.  66% of manufacturers find it difficult to attract qualified candidates for the positions they have open in their business. In addition, 63% of metro-area firms report concern about a worker shortage; it rises to 71% in greater Minnesota.

Read the rest of the article by

Board approves awards to support nearly $58 million in capital investments in Iowa

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to three companies for job creation and expansion projects. These awards will assist in the creation of 31 jobs, retention of 10 jobs and will result in $58 million in new capital investment for the state. The board also approved awards for five startups and one entrepreneurial assistance provider.

To read the rest of the article CLICK HERE.
Minnesota Job Skills Partnership 


Through our Minnesota Jobs Skills Partnership (MJSP) program we work strategically with businesses and educational institutions to train or retrain workers, expand work opportunities, and keep high-quality jobs in the state.

Our training grants are used to offset training-related expenses incurred by business, industry and educational institutions necessary to meet current and future workforce needs.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the application process and training.  
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.  
  • Date: October 18
  • Time: 5:45-8:30 PM
  • Location: UW-L,                  Centennial Hall            Room 1309
To Learn more visit the website by CLICKING HERE. 
Downtown Summit This Month in La Crosse 

Join downtown development peers on October 27th from around the state in La Crosse where we will present Charting Our Course: The Path Forward for Wisconsin Downtowns.  Thursday begins with a report on the State of Wisconsin's Downtowns and a keynote by Ben Muldrow of Arnett Muldrow & Associates focusing on community branding.  Break-out sessions throughout the day will address a diverse range of topics such as legislative updates, livability initiatives for communities, building a bike and pedestrian-friendly downtown, and more.  

To view full agenda CLICK HERE. 

If interested, RSVP at  Registration is $59 for members and $69 for non members.  

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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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7 Rivers Alliance · 601 7th Street N #400 · La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601 · USA

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