Economic Summit

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

There was a meeting of the minds at the Rockford airport. State legislator Chuck Jefferson called local leaders to a summit to get economic development off the ground in the airport district.

"We've got an opportunity to move this airport forward. It is a diamond in the rough. An untapped resource, but we need to make sure what we're going to do," says Illinois Rep. Chuck Jefferson.

Economists says access to the airport and nearby interstates make this area ideal for development, but tapping into those opportunities is the real challenge.

"We've got everything here, but I think what I heard today is we need to put together a targeted strategic plan," said Northern Illinois University professor, John Lewis.

Area business leaders who turned out for the summit says a plan isn't enough.

"What has happened in the past is a group of people are able to get together and get a flame ignited, but the follow through seems to be lacking," said Louise Hennessey, who attended the company and does community relations for Todd special services.

A representative from the Illinois Department of Commerce offered to organize a group that will establish a plan for bringing development to the area. Many hope that plan turns into action.


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