The La Crosse Area Development Corporation (LADCO) serves a "triad of development" throughout the La Crosse Area: the attraction of business, the retention of business and industry, and co-management of the Coulee Region Business Center.
Located in Western Wisconsin along the Mississippi River, the La Crosse Area is ideally located for business and industry, serving as the center of the tri-state area (WI, MN and IA). The La Crosse Area is linked to the Upper Midwest and the rest of the country by Interstate 90, the Canadian Pacific and Burlington Northern Railroads, the Mississippi River Navigational System, and air service via American and Delta Airlines at the La Crosse Municipal Airport.
La Crosse is home to three institutions of higher education, the University of WI – La Crosse, Viterbo University, and Western Technical College, providing a highly trained workforce to companies throughout the region. Western Technical College, as well as the Northwest WI Manufacturing Outreach Center, provides a wide array of customized training to companies throughout the region.
Two nationally renowned health care facilities, Gundersen-Lutheran and Franciscan-Skemp-Mayo, along with the vast array of recreational opportunities in our natural environment and much more contribute to the quality of life experienced in the La Crosse Area.
Come grow your business with us!
The Coulee Region Business Center (CRBC) provides facilities, resources, mentoring and coaching to small businesses and entrepreneurs in the La Crosse area. Learn more about this shared facility which is ideal for starting or expanding a business HERE.
With full hearts, we at the CRBC would like to pay tribute to a generous soul who recently departed this world. For over 20 years, Dave Loomis was the breath of small business development and the Coulee Region Business Center here in La Crosse, WI. His devotion extended well beyond the typical work week. Dave could often be found upon a ladder making repairs or tending the garden he started here at the CRBC. The CRBC tenants were Dave's extended family and there wasn't much he wouldn't do to support them. We were all sad to see Dave's health lead him to an early retirement, and even more so his last breath. The memory of Dave Loomis will continue to live on in the halls and heart of the Coulee Region Business Center.
Wisconsin and Iowa's 2015 graduates tied for second in the ACT rankings, just behind first-place Minnesota. Local schools all topped the Wisconsin average composite score of 22.2. La Crosse students averaged 22.4, Holmen 22.7 and Onalaska 23.2 according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
Onalaska High School Receives National Honor!
La Crosse-Area Students Top State ACT Score Average!
Onalaska High School is among eight other schools in Wisconsin to win the 2015 National Blue Ribbon Honor.Schools are chosen based on overall academic excellence or progress in closing achievement gaps.
La Crosse Ranked in Top Spot for People Over 50!
In a recent article done by the "AARP Bulletin" La Crosse Ranked in the number one spot in the nation for small cities for individuals over the age of 50. The ranking was based on factors like safety and security, affordable and appropriate housing, ability to easily get around, transportation options and supportive community features and services. The Washburn neighborhood was also ranked fifth-best in the nation due a number of factors that included low crime, air quality, above-average high school graduation rates and low speed limits. Wisconsin ranked very well overall in the AARP ratings.
Holmen and Onalaska Make Family Friendly List!
In a recent study done by NerdWallet, Holmen and Onalaska rank in the Top 10 places to live for young families in Wisconsin. Holmen ranked second and Onalaska ranked ninth. Holmen came in just less than one point than the first place community,Evansville. Some of the criterion that NerdWallet observed was public school ratings, median home value, monthly home ownership costs, median household income and income growth. Congrats to both Onalaska and Holmen!
Dynamic Recycling Receives WEDC Tax Credits!
Dynamic Recycling of La Crosse will be investing over $2 million in improvements to the former ATK site in the town of Onalaska making room for expansion that could lead up to 110 new jobs. Dynamic Recycling was awarded up to $360,000 in tax credits over the next three years by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
Dynamic Recycling, Inc. was founded in 2007. It is a company that properly and professionally disposes of electronic materials throughout the state and was established with environmental sustainability in mind. There is a process that is followed once Dynamic receives the material; they identify reusable or refurbishable parts, break down remaining materials, and the waste material is distributed to other companies to make new products.
“I am convinced that this is a positively progressive move for their company. It allows them much needed renovating and expansion, which will enable the creation of over 100 new jobs in a very progressive and critical environmental need,” Town of Onalaska chairman Rolly Bogert said.
LADCO was pleased to work with Dynamic Recycling in this process and looks forward to the growth and development to the La Crosse area in the years to come.
La Crosse Named in OUTSIDE Magazine!
La Crosse was named in OUTSIDE Magazine as one of the "16 Best Towns To Live In" in the United States. The competition looked at the towns' "delectable dining scenes, friendly, walkable neighborhoods and unparalleled access to outdoor adventure." Over 1.5 million readers cast their bracket-style votes in the magazine's competition!
Onalaska Ranked One of Best Cities in Wisconsin for Home Ownership!
NerdWallet study found Onalaska as 8 of 85 cities ranked in the state for home ownership. The company looked at home availability, afforadability, and area growth in cities of population 10,000 or more.
Onalaska Police Department Ranks Among Top in Nation!
According to a recent assessment done on the Onalaska Police Department by the Altus Global Alliance, the agency ranks among the top 25 agencies among 65 stations assessed in the nation. These agencies are assessed on everything from community engagement, transparency and physical conditions. This is the first year the department has participated in the assessment which brought over 12,000 people into 1,340 different stations. Congratulations!
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Receives Top Honor!
The La Crosse Area Development Corporation would like to congratulate UW-L on being named No.4 among public colleges in "Best Value For Under $30,000 a Year", according to Kiplinger's Personal Finance. UW-L was the only Wisconsin campus to make the national top 25 list. Congratulations!
LADCO's 44th Annual Meeting
No Seat Left Unfilled!
President Jeff Wrobel called the 2015 Annual Meeting to order at the Radisson Hotel on December 8, 2015, with over 295 people in attendance. The Honorable Governor Scott Walker quickly took the podium as the keynote speaker. Governor Walker discussed key issues in Wisconsin, and more specifically the Coulee Region. He commended LADCO, the local businesses and local government for "getting it right" when developing the area economy. His specific comments touched on workforce development, improving infrastructure and regulatory changes made during his term as governor. The Governor mentioned the lowering unemployment rates in Wisconsin and further recognized the exceedingly low unemployment rate here in La Crosse County. An acknowledgement was also made in regards to the increasing availability of jobs and graduation rates. Governor Walker realizes the continued challenges employers face in finding skilled and semi-skilled workers. He also noted the need for development of statewide infrastructure such as roads and internet connection. Governor Walker believes Wisconsin has seen continued economic growth and improvement over this past year.
President Wrobel and Executive Director, Jim Hill, spoke of the past year's accomplishment for LADCO. President Wrobel highlighted the pursuit of four Golden Shovel Sites in the La Crosse Area, the continued collaboration of Synergy, the success of LADCO's Industry Appreciation and Economic Forums, and another successful run at the Oktoberfest in the Capitol lobby day. Jim Hill introduced a new tradition to the LADCO Annual Meeting that involves inviting the top business students from the three local institutions of higher education to take part in the day's events. CenturyLink and Coulee Bank provided sponsorship for the seven students in attendance. Mr. Hill spent time revisiting the numerous economic strides taken in the La Crosse area over this past year. Those projects highlighted, include: the $50 million renovation at TRANE Plant 7, the trifecta of development by La Crosse County, the remarkable $704 million in building permits given by the City of La Crosse, and the creation of The Upper Mississippi Manufacturing Alliance.
As is customary, LADCO presented three local community leaders with recognition of service and accomplishment awards. The Special Recognition Award recognizes an individual's leadership and dedication to the community, the President's Award is dedicated to an individual or group responsible for a current, major contribution or accomplishment in the La Crosse area, and the Distinguished Service Award is present to an individual who is the embodiment of service to the community. A summary of the deserving recipients is found below.
LADCO would like to extend our gratitude and thanks to our event sponsors, Dairyland Power and Xcel Energy, to Governor Scott Walker and his staff, and all those who were in attendance.
LADCO Honors Local Leaders at
44th Annual Meeting
Managing the Talent Pipeline:
Brent Smith, Esq. has served, led or collaborated with just about every worthy organization or cause in the La Crosse area for over three decades now. Brent has ably served as Chair of the La Crosse Center Board for 25 years, reversing an annual operating budget hemorrhage to operating successes ever since and has ushered in two important growth steps for the Center.
Brent is currently a member of the Gundersen Lutheran Health Plan Board, the La Crosse Community Foundation Board of Directors, the Board of the La Crosse Loggers, the La Crosse Promise Board of Directors, the UW-L Chancellor’s Community Council, and the UW-L Foundation Board. Brent is also a member of the Seven Rivers Alliance Board.
Brent’s service on the University Board of Regents is an honor yet heavy with associated responsibilities, especially in his role as Chairman during these extremely difficult times for higher education.
Counselor Smith has been a United Way Campaign Chair, a member of the State Elections Board, the Wisconsin Technical College Board, and the Wisconsin Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Board.
Even in his professional capacity as an attorney he has always risen to the top being named as a “Super Lawyer” in Wisconsin.
Brent Smith defines integrity, professionalism and dedication to his family, community and beloved state. LADCO is honored to award the 2015 Distinguished Service Award to Brent Smith.
Tara Johnson and the La Crosse County Board, have demonstrated again and again the evolving, enlightened leadership displayed by the County Board over the last decade ... one of openness, integrity and rational acting.
A specific outcome we praise with this award is what we call the “trifecta of development”, with the commencement in 2015 of the $65 million Lot C development, the sale and repurposing of the old Administrative Center and the renovation of the new Administrative Center. All three involved lengthy and complex negotiations with the City of La Crosse, developers and other community players. The result will be a transformation of the North end of the Central Business District for years to come.
Tara Johnson, also known as “Madame Chair”, has positively influenced the La Crosse area in many ways; as the leader of United Way for 15 years and as a County Board Supervisor since 2000. She has chaired the Health and Human Service Board, Co-chaired the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee and has held various leadership posts on the County Board.
LADCO is pleased to present this year’s President’s Award to Tara Johnson and the La Crosse County Board.
Dave Clements has headed up the La Crosse Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (LACVB) for over 10 years, managed the La Crosse Center before that and had a long run as a hotelier here and in Madison.
It’s hard to find the right superlative to describe Dave Clements -- indefatigable, irrepressible, redoubtable, energetic -- because they all fit. During his tenure he has advanced destination tourism to a new level with any number of new initiatives, so much so that his peers in tourism across the state awarded their Legacy Award -- their highest award -- at the Tourism Conference here in La Crosse.
And now a goal he set forth the first weeks at the Bureau – to bring forth a county-wide tourism effort --- is at hand. What an exclamation point to a remarkable record.
LADCO extends the Special Recognition Award and a big thank you to a splendid colleague and forever a Bluegold alum, Dave Clements.
Closing the Skills Gap
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America's long-term competitiveness and educating the public on how our free enterprise system improves society and the economy. The Foundation conducts research and produces events on issues facing businesses now and in the future.
One such prevailing issue that is impacting employers across the country, and can be attested to here in western Wisconsin, is the struggle to find skilled workers who can contribute to their companies' growth and success.
Jason Tyszko, Senior Director of Education and Workforce Policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and his colleagues at the Foundation have been engaging employers and their partners across the country in developing a new demand-driven approach to close the skills gap. This innovative practice of managing the talent pipeline calls for employers to play a new and expanded leadership roll with education and workforce partnerships. Below we offer you Jason's presentation both as a pdf file and as a PowerPoint Presentation for your professional use.
The document below is an overview of the program. The paper identifies three
foundational principles for a new talent pipeline management system and concludes by highlighting
implications for key stakeholders, including employers, education and workforce providers, students and workers and policymakers.
For more information about Talent Pipeline Management, visit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation website.
Additional Links of Interest
More companies are thinking through the long term goals of training a sustainable supply of labor, and maintaining a productive workforce as manufacturing technology continues to evolve.
U.S. manufacturers now have a plan for closing the skills gap and opening the door to economic development.
Every labor market is unique, and there are many factors to consider beyond population size and unemployment rate.
La Crosse Area Construction Surged Forward in 2014
New value contained in 2014 Building Permit data from La Crosse County smashed all previous records, surpassing 700 million. This information comes from a compilation of year-end reports provided by the various municipalities in La Crosse County. “Construction of any kind means jobs, spending into the economy up to 18 months and, in the end, results in new tax yield for local government...all positive outcomes," according to James Hill, Executive Direct of LADCO. "While this level of construction will be tough to sustain, it certainly is a huge boost for the area economy," Hill said.