|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
|Economic Adjustment Assistance||7||$3,736,076|
|Regional Innovation Strategies||1||$250,000|
Illinois’ third largest city, Rockford is less than 2 hours northwest of Chicago. Linked by highways to Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, and Dubuque, as well as positioned at the confluence of numerous rail lines, the city's location places Rockford in an ideal position to attract jobs in the logistics and transportation industries, including becoming the United Parcel Service's second largest air hub.
But like many Midwestern cities, Rockford was hard hit by the recession. In order to create opportunities for job creation, Rockford needed to stimulate growth in its key industries. In FY 2015, EDA awarded $2.5 million in public works funds to fund critical infrastructure improvements at the Chicago Rockford International Airport. These improvements will support of the establishment of the Midfield Aviation Industrial Park (MAIP), which is the result of collaboration between the Airport Authority, three local employers, and Rock Valley Community College.
This project will help Chicago-Rockford International Airport attract additional cargo operators, potentially bringing hundreds of additional air cargo handling, mechanic and flight crew jobs. This investment will also open up significant property for additional development of future economic development projects. According to grantee estimates, this project will create 515 jobs associated with the region’s growing aerospace cluster and generate $18 million in private investment.