Living in La Crosse
Living in La Crosse is easy when you consider how much there is to do here. The arts organizations and venues offer all the charm of a small town, but keep the production values high.
Like the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra, which has a history spanning more than a century. It’s not, however, the only working relic of La Crosse’s long and culture-steeped past. The La Crosse Little Theater will turn 50 soon and in those years has developed an international following thanks to its quality productions, directors and players. The Pump House Regional Arts Center curates art exhibits throughout the year, plus puts on a series of jazz, folk, and blues performers.
There are two kinds of people in La Crosse: those who race in the The Annual La Crosse Riverfest and those who spectate. The much-loved event, held to benefit local charities, takes place over the Fourth of July weekend and includes a parade, a craft fair and some live music. Later on in summer, the Great River Folk Fest sets up at Riverside Park, on the banks of the river.
La Crosse has become an area known for it’s technology and medical industries, which means two things: great jobs, and great health care specialists.
The Health Science Center is a combined effort of La Crosse’s medical centers and the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, Western Technical College, and the local government to advance the study of medicine on a local level.
The fine educational institutions of La Crosse have played a leading role in helping the city become an overachiever in the fields of technology and medicine. La Crosse is home to three regional colleges and universities, including University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, Western Technical College, and the Roman Catholic Viterbo University.
On another note, La Crosse is famous for its legendary tap drinking water. The La Crosse public water supply won a taste a competition hosted by the Wisconsin Water Association in 2007. The water is pumped from a deep Artesian aquifer, and then treated with chlorine, fluoride, and some polyphosphate.
- Metro Population: 136,900
- Average age: 29.1 years
- Major Industries: Technology, Healthcare
- Gross Metro Product: $7.5 B
- Median Household Income: $51,861
- Median Home Price: $147,200
- Unemployment: 3.8%
- Job Growth (2014): 0%
- Cost of Living: 12.3% below national average
- College Attainment: 29.5%
- Net Migration (2014): 130
La Crosse made Forbes list of #50 Best Small Places for Business and Careers based on the cost to start a business there, the level of education attained by residents, and its population. The amount of competition is steady, not overwhelming, and the cost of living is as reasonable as the cost of doing business. Early settler, Nathan Myrick, who was squeezed out of business by other fur traders, may look back and feel relief that the business climate is more open to competition today! It’s no wonder small and medium new businesses thrive here.
Top Employers in the area
The top employers in La Crosse are:
- Gundersen Health System
- City Brewing Company
- Mayo Clinic Health Care System
- University of Wisconsin
- School District of La Crosse
- Kwik Trip
- Altra Federal Credit Union
- School District of La Crosse
- La Crosse Footwear
- La Crosse Technology
- La Crosse Country
With a new half-day program, called the La Crosse Small Business Academy, recently announced, La Crosse isn’t backing down from it dream to become the sunniest Midwestern destinations for entrepreneurs. The program is specifically geared toward attracting entrepreneurs and start-up businesses to the region, and its just one of many like it.
If small business is the “Little Engine That Could”, then La Crosse is the prairie traverse that the engine flies through on its way to the steep hill it must climb. This is where business builds kinetic energy and momentum so as to explode with strength into even the most challenging markets. Just ask La Crosse Footwear!