LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - One of La Crosse's biggest businesses will see a rapid expansion in the next year.
Tuesday, Logistics Health Incorporated announced they have been awarded four contracts from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Under the contracts, LHI will provide medical disability examinations for Veterans in 40 states.
The contracts will add nearly 1,200 jobs to the company, however not all will be located in La Crosse.
But business and political leaders say it's a huge day for the city.
Getting veterans better access to health care has been a long-term goal for LHI Founder Don Weber.
"For veterans having to wait months, travel hours and hours, for assistance is not right," Weber said.
At a press conference Tuesday, LHI announced they had acquired four VA contracts worth nearly $3 billion which will allow LHI to treat nearly 600,000 veterans.
The move will add nearly 1,200 jobs to the company over the next year.
"These jobs are across the board," Weber said. "(They will be) RNs, clinical people, data processing, IT, finance, customer service."
It's a move he says that will impact the entire community.
"These are good jobs," Weber said. "These are the kind of jobs that you can raise a family, you can buy a home. For any community to prosper, people need to have good jobs, so now this will add that much more, and it feeds other businesses."
La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat says it's a great day for La Crosse.
"I applaud LHI and Don Weber for their approach on how they provide service to the veterans and the military on this model that they're trying to push those services out in the communities," Kabat said.
It's a move the company hopes that will not only serve veterans, but the entire community.
"If you look ahead, not 10 years for now, but two years from now, what you see now as LHI, will be double what is LHI, and I think that's just a positive thing," Weber said.
By the end of December, Weber expects nearly 300 jobs will be filled as a part of these new contracts.
According to LHI, those new hires will fill out the remainder of their Riverside campus.
Another 400 jobs could be filled at the newly built Belle Square location in downtown, while they are looking at building options for the remainder of the new employees.
Eau Claire will see roughly 200 of the 1,200 jobs as well.
LHI also hopes to increase their employment of veterans with the move.
Currently 14 percent of their workforce are veterans, and they hope to increase that to 20 percent by the end of next year.
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