ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Region One Planning Council(R-1) held a press conference at Collins Aerospace to announce that they earned a federal economic development district designation.
Senator of Illinois Tammy Duckworth was joined by other elected officials in making this announcement. Something that has been in the works for decades. Hoping to entice companies and business to come to the Stateline.
“We have seen corporate wealth leave our region over the last three decades. You just can’t make that up, that’s what has happened,” said Michael Dunn the executive director for R-1.
Duckworth was there to congratulate the region.
“Greater success in attracting businesses and investments creating more good paying jobs. We really are here a hub of agriculture, manufacturing, technology and innovation in Illinois,” Duckworth said.
“These leaders are putting down partisan politics, they are putting down issues that divide us. Whether we are rural or urban and they are working together in being very serious about watching out for opportunities in each community and if we are going to lose that opportunity in one community we are going to make sure it ends up in our neighboring community rather then going to a different state,” Dunn said.
Local leaders believe this will entice national and international companies to move to Northern Illinois.
“South Korea in the last 24 months has made a commitment at the bilateral summit with President Biden. That they were going to make 38 billion dollars in manufacturing investments in the United States. Where are they gonna go? Right. Then I can go to Korea and say come to Northern Illinois, come to Rockford they have an established economic development,” Duckworth said.
In the past R-1 has focused mainly on transportation , this designation will expand their role. Rockford’s Mayor, Tom McNamara hopes this will expand opportunities.
“It takes large public and private investments across multiple cities to get the attention of and attract new industry to our region. When our economic development strategies are aligned every single person in our region wins. So that means we get more investment and we have more job opportunities for our citizens and our families,” McNamara said.