ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The aerospace industry is getting stronger in the Stateline as a new manufacturing research facility celebrates their grand opening.
That flush you hear on airplanes may be possible thanks to B/E Aerospace. It's a Rockford company that produces waste and water systems. They just opened a 38,000 square foot research facility. B/E is one of more than 130 aerospace-related companies now in the Rockford area.
That's one of the other reasons we picked this area. It does have other aerospace companies in the area, which we can draw on talent from those various companies as well,” said Mark Pondelick.
The expansion created 74 jobs. Members of the Rockford area aerospace network say the ongoing growth in the aerospace industry will be a great boost to Rockford’s economy.
"I think aerospace is a great opportunity to look at onshoring, where the types of jobs we do here don't make themselves very available to offshore, low-wage type of work. It's a great thing to help build our economy,” said Jeff Kaney.
The Rockford area aerospace network compares the expansion of the aerospace industry in Rockford to what Chrysler did in Belvidere. "I believe in five or ten years we're going to see a cementing. We're going to see more companies that are here growing, and I believe we will be attracting more and more suppliers to the area,” General Manager Mark Pondelick says.
This expansion strengthens B/E's relationship with local companies they've been working with since opening in 2007.
All 74 positions at the facility have already been filled. But more jobs might be added as new projects are introduced. B/E Aerospace is the world's leading manufacturer of all aircraft cabin interior products, not just waste and water systems.