Cheri Bustos tours AAR facility in Rockford

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Many believe the Aerospace industry will be the key driver for Rockford's economic future. And one of the newest stateline success story is part of a milestone stop by a local Congresswoman.

Today, for the 50th time, she had a chance to experience a job first-hand through her "Cheri on Shift" tour of AAR in Rockford.

"I stand shoulder to shoulder with people who are doing there job, seeing what they do to make a living, how they support their families," says Bustos.

Even though AAR has never received the $10 million promised to them by the state, Bustos says she and Senator Dick Durbin helped secure $24 million federally that's helped the airplane maintenance hangar get to this point.

"I'm very proud of the role that i played to help here. Very proud to be a part of the leadership I've seen at the Chicago-Rockford International Airport," comments Bustos.

Bustos says that she is a member of the House Aviation Subcommittee, which means she is on ground zero making sure that Rockford has the federal funding that's necessary to improve local economic development from an airport perspective.

The new company plans to bring 500 jobs to the stateline in the next few years.

"It's something that's drawing people from all over the country, as far as technicians," says AAR General Manager, Wayne Jamroz.

Bustos believes that something she can stand behind.

"When entities work together, there's a lot that can happen. It required the Chicago-Rockford international airport to be here to help make this happen, some of our federal dollars that we helped invest. And then AAR is a private company coming in, and then rock valley college as an educator partnering here," says Bustos.

AAR will be hosting a job fair this Wednesday from 7 AM to 7 PM for people of various skill levels. They say they expect to be filling 30-40 positions as this fair.