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Clean Energy and Jobs in La Crosse, Wisconsin at the Mississippi River

Updated on November 19, 2013
The Cass Street and Cameronn Street Bridges in Downtown La Crosse, spanning the Mississippi River.
The Cass Street and Cameronn Street Bridges in Downtown La Crosse, spanning the Mississippi River. | Source

Clean Energy - Attracting New Workers to Wisconsin

The State of Wisconsin is determined to attract 1000s of additional workers into the state from 2008 - 2018 and La Crosse on the Mississippi River is positioned to offer these job seekers employment.

One project for accomplishing this is a 2-year $100-billion investment into the production and distribution of Clean Energy. Out of 2,000,000 new jobs in clean energy to be established in the 2010s from coast to coast, the US can place at least 37,000 of these jobs into Wisconsin. All of this was examined by the partnership of the Sierra Club and the United Steelworkers as the larger Blue Green Alliance.

Wisconsin already featured a large number of wind farms inthe 2000s and early 2010s. This seems a useful industry top state leadership, although some analysts feel that wind power is still inconsistent, producing power when not needed and no power when needs are evident. The local governments, businesses, and postsecondary institutions of the state continue to examine ways of producing consistently dependable wind power.

La Crosse, Named After the Native American Sport

La Crosse Wisconsin

Money Magazine, Inc,. and named La Crosse as one of the Top 25 Best Small Cities for Jobs and Business in America. By 2010 it was names as one of the Most Secure Places to Live as well (Sperling's Best Places and Farmers Insurance Group).

Clean energy projects add to that distinction. The Morgan Quinto Press named La Crosse the 7th Safest Town in the country. Field and Stream recognized the city for outdoor activites and sports - lacrosse included, of course. In addition, La Crosse is home to La Crosse Technology, the first company to provide atomic clocks, watches, and weather stations to consumers.

Located along the Mississippi River, La Crosse has initiated an ongoing revitalization to its Historic Downtown District and the Riverfront, all of which can be toured by a dedicated La Crosse Trolley Tour. Downtown, especially large areas of the Cass Street - 10th Street District, is listed on the US National Historic Register, with most of the buildings having been constructed before 1940 and many all the way back to the American Civil War.

The City of La Crosse began as a trading post built on the other side of the Mississippi by an 18-year-old New Yorker named Nathan Myrick in 1841. By 1842, Myrick had moved across the river to what is now Spence Park in the city -- Riverboats frequently stopping at this trading post began to make La Crosse a successful commercial hub.

Over 200 years before Myrick began his trading post, Jean Nicolet (Father Marquette) traded for furs with the Ho-Chunk Nation around La Crosse in 1634. The Ho-Chunk Nation played the sport of lacrosse and provided the original name of the city: Prairie La Crosse. The site most often used for lacrosse is now the commercial Riverside Park, a well known tourist attraction.

Timber replaced fur trading as the foundation of the local economy for many years, transported via the Mississippi River. Agriculture and manufacturing became important economic contributors as well. Today, Healthcare and Education are the economic leaders and Sustainability is growing quickly.

Cass Street - 10th Street Historical District

Life On The Mississippi

La Crosse. Here is a town...with electric lighted streets, and blocks of buildings, which are stately enough and also architecturally fine enough to command respect in any city. It is a choice town. - - Mark Twain, mid-1800s

Historic Downtown La Crosse

River Park at the Mississippi
River Park at the Mississippi

Largest Employers

The largest employers in the Greater La Crosse Area include:

  1. Gundersen Lutheran - Physical and Mental Healthcare institutions, including residential substance abuse facilities.
  2. Franciscan Skemp Medical Center - Founded in 1883 by the Franciscan Sisters affiliated with the Catholic Church, this is a division of the famous Mayo Clinic since 1995.
  3. Trane - HVAC/Energy
  4. County Of La Crosse - County government
  5. La Crosse Public Schools - Education from Pre-K thru 12
  6. Kwik Trip - Convenience stores and gas stations, bakeries, and related corporate departments.
  7. University of Wisconsin at La Crosse
  8. Swift Transportation - Trucking and Freight
  9. Ingersoll-Rand - Energy
  10. City of La Crosse - City government

Top 10 High Demand Jobs

The fastest growing jobs in La Crosse City and County expected to continue growing through 2018 are in Healthcare, Sales and Service, and Education, followed by Green Collar Jobs in construction, energy, and other sectors.

  1. Heathcare Practitioners and Techs
  2. Registered Nurses (RNs) & Medical Assistants (MAs)
  3. Healthcare Support jobs
  4. All Food & Beverage Prep and Service
  5. Sales and related jobs, including Retail Sales People
  6. Office and Administrative Support positions
  7. Teachers and Teachers' Assistants K-12
  8. Production and Manufacturing jobs including Energy
  9. Construction and Maintence/Repair jobs, including sustaibaility positions
  10. Transportation jobs in Trucking and Freight

In La Crosse City and County, jobs in the Health Care and Social Services sectors increased nearly 22% in a recent five year period through 2004, about double that of state and the country. However, it is reported that a Healthcare Worker Shortage still exists in La Cross County and Western Wisconsin.

Higher Education

Colleges, Universities, and Vocational Schools in La Crosse include:

  • Colgan Air Services - Aviation and Aircraft
  • Franciscan Skemp Healthcare - UW at La Crosse
  • Scientific College Of Beauty And Barbering
  • St Francis Hospital
  • University of Wisconsin at La Crosse - see video below.
  • Viterbo University - see video below.
  • Western Wisconsin Technical College - 43 programs for associate degrees and certifications.

UW La Crosse Dance Team Competition

UW La Crosse ROTC

University of Wisconsin at La Crosse

The University of Wisconsin at La Crosse has ranked in the Top 10 regional public universitis in the Midwest, according to U.S.News & World Report's College Guide. The insitution has been placed among the Top 12 in achieveing student graduations in America and in the Top 12 in physical fitness among students, faculty, and staff.

UW offers a number of degree programs in Science and Health, Business Administration, Education, Arts & Communications, and Libreral Studies; along with convenient Online Programs. The insitution also offers Graduate Programs in a diverse number of fields, including a very interesting graduate program in reading for teachers and an advanced nursing degree.

In addition, UW offers a slate of Pre-Professional Programs in important areas like Engineering, Conservation & Forestry, Nursing, other human Health & Medical professions, and Veterinary Medicine.

Viterbo University

Sports and Recreation

  • La Crosse Loggers Baseball - Copeland Field
  • University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Eagles -- Most major sports, plus lacrosse.
  • La Crosse Golf Courses


  • Deke Slayton Airfest & Air Show
  • DOWNTOWN: Downtown Mardi Gras,Historic Downtown La Crosse Days
  • Ho-Chunk Day
  • IrishFest
  • MISSISSIPPI RIVER: Great River Jazz Fest and the La Crosse RiverFest
  • WienerFest

Ho-Chunk Nation

Winnebago family
Winnebago family | Source

Ho-Chunk Nation: The People of the Big Voice

Ho-Chunk Nation was previously the Wisconsin Winnebago Nation, but no matter what their name, this group of people continue to own parts of the prairies on which the American Bison thrived.

The Ho-Chunk people have worked via their own Tribal Government in partnership with the US Federal Government in order to preserve the indigenous bison herd in Wisconsin and the prairie lands of their ancestors. In this way, they are preserving history, sustainability, and their own culture while participating in the larger American society.

Ho-Chunk Nation operates a Bison Ranch to where visitors may come and enjoy a tour. One reason for this bison husbandry is to raise a healthier meat source for a people plagued by the risk of diabetes. Bison meat is also furnished to the Elder Meals programs associated with the Ho-Chunk Nation.

In addition to the growing bison herd, the people maintain organic agricultural production for bison feeding that preserves the land and prevents erosion as well. The bison graze among 10 pastures and eat a supplement of organically produced hay.

Ho-Chunk Nation also operates a casino and several other businesses.

Prairie La Crosse Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center at the UW-La Crosse

George Caitlin painting of native lacrosse game. The man Green Cloud & Ho-Chunk Nation played from 100 to 1000 men at a time.
George Caitlin painting of native lacrosse game. The man Green Cloud & Ho-Chunk Nation played from 100 to 1000 men at a time. | Source


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