7 Rivers Alliance - June 2015 e-Newsletter         
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Dear Community,

During the month of May, I had the privilege of visiting numerous communities throughout the region and learned about the amazing assets in the 7 Rivers region.  I discovered some incredible economic development projects under way that are quietly moving forward with little or no fanfare.   What a great time to live in this area!  In the upcoming months, I will be sharing those discoveries with you. 
In May, The Heritage Tourism and Creating an Arts Destination seminars were successful and we are now looking to plan our programs for 2016.  Is there a topic that we have not addressed?  Please share your thoughts and ideas. 
Next, we will be offering our Site Selection Summit.  Several people have asked me who should attend this event?  If you are a company looking to expand to new locations, then send your real estate development person. If you are a banker looking to finance new construction, send your chief loan officer, if you are an economic development professional, wanting to hear about the latest trends in site selection, then you need to attend.  Space is limited and we encourage you to register soon before the event is sold out.
We are pleased to provide this newsletter that is packed with good information.  Read on and learn more about resources available and our new members.

Lisa Herr,
Executive Director 
May 27th Creating An Arts Destination Symposium a big success!
Lisa Herr, Executive Director of 7 Rivers Alliance welcoming a full house.
Sheila Smith, Executive Director of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts.
Networking lunch provided lively conversations.
Creative Bendaroos artwork from our participants. 
The Creating An Arts Destination held on May 27th was a huge success, with over 50 attendees from Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota. The room was full of energy as ideas were shared and networking conversation created a lot of buzz. Sheila Smith, Executive Director of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts provided powerful research and data on the economic impact of the arts on communities. Participants were provided Bendaroos to make their own art creations. 
  >>>View more photos from the event here
Our Next Event - June 18th
The Site Selection Summit will be on June 18th, 2015 at the Cedar Creek Golf Club, in Onalaska, WI. An amazing array of presenters, from Site Selection Guild, Ady Advantage and Dairyland Power Cooperative will share about best practices for site promotion and business recruitmentThis event is $40 for members and $50 for non-members. Click here to register now! We encourage you to register early as space is limited.
New Member Profiles

The 7 Rivers Alliance is pleased to welcome: 
The City of Goodview offers the best of both worlds: a comfortable and easy pace of residential living combined with an expansive amount of recreational activities. Goodview is a very unique and unusual place in that it is a fast growing city with the heart and feel of a small town. It is a great place to raise a family, invest in a home, and locate or start a business. The City of Goodview has a young, upwardly mobile population and a highly educated work force. >>>More about City of Goodview
Ocooch Mountain Acres (OMA) is an Agriculture Tourism Business located in the Ocooch Mountains & Kickapoo River Valley region (also called the Driftless Region) of Southwest Wisconsin. OMA a diversified agricultural tourism business that offers lodging, banquet facilities, conference center, maple syrup, and group tours. >>>More about Ocooch Mountain Acres
Sparta Area Chamber of Commerce's vision is to take time to pause to envision a future for our region as it should be. They will create plans and seek collaborations that help make our vision a reality.  They will communicate our vision clearly, and empower others to act in order to achieve results. >>>More about Sparta Area Chamber of Commerce
New Website Design
The 7 Rivers Alliance is excited to announce its 2015 new website launch. The purpose of the new website is to offer up to date and free resources for businesses and community leaders in Southwest Wisconsin, Southeast Minnesota, and Northeast Iowa.  Each of these featured sections are separated by region for convenience.  >>>Visit The 7 Rivers Alliance website here
ECO DEVO - Ice Cream Social July 8th
Come build your own ice cream sundae at the next ECO DEVO Meeting on July 8, 2015 from 1:00pm - 3:00pm at the Halfway Creek Park, West (B) Shelter in Holmen, WI. This meeting will focus on the results of the site selection summit and the implementation of the Golden shovel project. If you would like to join us for this meeting, please RSVP at:
BORE Project Update
Congratulations to Crawford County for completing 16 of 20 targeted business visits already!

The purpose of the Business Outreach, Retention and Engagement (BORE) survey is designed to collect information form Southwest Wisconsin, Southeast Minnesota and Northeast Iowa about their operational and workforce needs that support business growth. Local economic development agencies have been busy scheduling interviews, surveying businesses and collecting data. These interviews are part of a larger effort organized by many agencies within the 7 Rivers Region. Analysis of the survey result is set to begin next month. >>>View the full BORE Project timeline here

NEA Our Town Grant, FY2016

The Our Town grant program supports creative placemaking projects that help to transform communities into lively, beautiful, and resilient places with the arts at their core. Creative placemaking is when artists, arts organizations, and community development practitioners deliberately integrate arts and culture into community revitalization work - placing arts at the table with land-use, transportation, economic development, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety strategies. This funding supports local efforts to enhance quality of life and opportunity for existing residents, increase creative activity, and create a distinct sense of place. For full details regarding this grant opportunity, click here.

Wisconsin Fast Forward Grants Announced

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has just announced its
next round of grant funding with $8 million being made available. Applications will be accepted for worker training in the following areas: Manufacturing and Related Occupations, Agriculture, Food, Natural Resources, and Related Occupations, and 
Wisconsin Small Business Occupations. For more details or to view the full list, click here.

A New Study on the Migration Patterns of Wisconsin Businesses

To help inform Wisconsin decision-makers, community economic development practitioners, and concerned citizens about the Wisconsin economy and policy options, University of Wisconsin-Madison and UW-Extension have undertaken a series of studies on the migration or movement patterns of Wisconsin businesses. The first in this series explore the migration or relocation patterns of Wisconsin businesses both within the state but more of a focus on movement in- and out- of Wisconsin. There are three parts to the study: (1) A descriptive analysis of Wisconsin firms; (2) a detailed discussion of policy options; and (3) a fact sheet highlighting the results. For the full studies please visit here.

The Economic Value of College Majors

A report titled "The Economic Value of College Majors" uses Census Data to analyze wages for 137 college majors to detail the most popular college majors, the majors that are most likely to lead to an advanced degree, and the economic benefit of earning an advanced degree by undergraduate major. The study analyzes the annual earnings of college graduates by 15 major groups and 136 detailed majors. They found that the benefits from a college degree that accrue over a lifetime are huge, about $1 million dollars. But the difference in lifetime earnings between the highest-paid college majors and the lowest-paid is even larger, more than $3 million dollars. The report's interactive tool online allows you to navigate through all 137 detailed majors’ earnings by degree attainment and popularity. You also have the opportunity to identify the median career earnings by state and compare it to the national data. To view the full report or use the interactive tool, click here.

State of Wisconsin Be Bold Initiative

On June 22, 2015 Western Technical College will host a report out from the State of Wisconsin about its study on workforce and talent development. The meeting will be from 1 to 3 pm at Lunda Center, Western Technical College. Learn about efforts and what you can do to help turbo-charge economic activities locally, regionally and around the state. Local education, business and economic and workforce development leaders are teaming up with Competitive Wisconsin, Inc. (CWI) to host an upcoming two-hour economic briefing. At the briefing, you’ll learn more about regional economic issues and share input that will be used in advancing significant research that will help turbo-charge economic activities in several vital areas already producing real jobs and wealth in Wisconsin. 
Copyright © 2015. 7 Rivers Alliance. All rights reserved.

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601 Seventh Street North
Suite 400
La Crosse, WI 54601

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