First Friend Newcomer Connection Program

You sell your company. We sell the community.

Our First Friend Newcomer Connection Program will help your job candidates and new hires (and their families) learn more about our community and help them get connected once they relocate. Whether you have a general employee, manager, or executive, our program helps decrease turnover and makes your new hires feel like Greater La Crosse should be their forever home.

Through our Newcomer Connection Program, our concierge acts as a first friend to your job candidates and new hires as they make the choice to call Greater La Crosse home and being the process of relocating. Our concierge is knowledgeable, experienced, and dedicated to serving your new hires. She asks what’s important to each member of the family, then researches, communicates, and make connections for them in areas such as:

  • Schools
  • Housing
  • Places of worship
  • Community involvement
  • Childcare
  • Diversity
  • Pet care
  • Restaurants
  • Shopping
  • Hobbies/interests
  • Outdoor and indoor recreation
  • Anything else that’s important to them…

Beth Franklin

Workforce Strategies Director

608.784.4880 x102

Michelle Skemp

Community Concierge / Talent Coordinator

608.784.4880 x110


Beth was so easy to talk to. It was very helpful to have all of that time to talk about questions and concerns regarding moving , and her enthusiasm for the community was refreshing and contagious. She gave a very helpful and honest viewpoint of the area. 

Through the La Crosse Chamber First Friend Program, our Gundersen Health System (GHS) Recruitment teams have been truly impressed with this excellent service.

The First Friend team is instrumental for our overall recruitment process, using their expertise and abilities to showcase the natural beauty and benefits of our La Crosse community. Candidates immediately feel their warmth and genuineness, allowing an authentic, high-quality experience customized to the individual’s needs.

It is evident they are truly invested in providing the best experience for each of our candidates, no matter the level of commitment it may take. As the recruitment arena continues to be highly competitive, they are considered an essential partner and ally for our organization.

Chet Doering, Director, Recruitment and Talent Strategy, Gundersen Health System

We were very impressed with La Crosse, and this tour moved us from being open to considering the move to La Crosse now being a preferred location for us based on the city and its offerings. 

Beth was fantastic! She reached out well in advance of the tour to get a sense of our interests and what we are looking for in a community, and tailored the tour to our interests to make sure we were well-informed on the topics most important to us.

We were very impressed with La Crosse and this tour moved us from being open to considering the move to now La Crosse being a preferred location for us.

Beth has been so helpful to our family while moving to Onalaska. She has provided so many resources, toured the area with us, and even connected us with other families new to the area. She has been invaluable during the entire process, and we can’t thank her enough. She is the best!

First Friend does what you cannot.

Individual Attention to Your

Job Candidates

The people your recruit brings with are often the deciding factor in whether your candidate accepts the job. Our concierge asks personal questions about the most important areas of your candidate’s life (marital status, children, hobbies, etc.) to understand the needs of all moving to the area. She then provides a customized tour and access/links to area resources as reassurance that Greater La Crosse has assets that can meet their needs and interests. 


Personal Acclimation for Your

New Hires

If your new hire and his/her family feel connected to the community, it will increase the likelihood that they will stay in Greater La Crosse. Our concierge will learn more about your new hire and his/her family and connect them to our community in the early stages of their relocation. From arranging a tour of a dance studio, pointing out the area’s best fly-fishing streams, or connecting with a youth hockey team, she acts as the link between newcomers and their needs and interests.

Accompanying Partner Focus

An accompanying spouse/partner securing employment is another vital factor in a family choosing to stay in the area. We can blast a spouse/partner’s resume to all our Chamber members and beyond. This is a win-win for all, as we know area employers are looking for quality candidates.


First Friend Menu of Services

Services available to both job candidates and new hires

Community Tour       $250

Includes initial call to learn client’s needs and interests, a customized community tour, a document containing resources about their needs/interests and our community, and a post-tour follow-up.

Community Tour with School Visits       $300

Includes same features as Community Tour, as well as assistance arranging up to 3 school tours.

Virtual Tour       $75

Includes a virtual meeting to learn client’s needs and interests, where the concierge provides a tour of the region via informational slide show and a Google maps overview, as well as a document containing resources about their needs/interests and our community.

Accompanying Partner Career Service       $100

Includes connecting with spouse/partner to assess their most desired career, circulation of resume to 300+ Chamber members, and personal emails/calls to relevant company contacts.

Lunch or Coffee       $50

Includes a meeting with client and/or their spouse/partner over coffee or lunch. Also includes document containing resources about their needs/interests and our community. Your company pays for the meal/coffee by leaving a credit card on file with the restaurant.

Welcome Basket from Your Company       $100

Includes basket of local products delivered to the individual/family’s home shortly after move-in.

Initial Engagement Service      $75

Includes check-ins every few weeks for the first three of months after relocation to connect the individual/family to service providers, community organizations, businesses, hobbies, etc. that interest them.

First-Year Engagement Service      $175

Includes the same attention as the Initial Engagement Service, with additional monthly check-ins for a full year after relocation.


Submit a Candidate / New Hire / Accompanying Partner

Use this form. We’ll take it from there.