RAEDC Earns 2012 Award of Excellence

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC) has announced that it has earned a 2012 “Top Five” Award of Excellence in the category of Aerospace/Defense from Expansion Solutions Magazine. The award winners were announced in the magazine’s January/February issue.

The 6th annual awards recognize economic development organizations which have shown exceptional progress and potential in the area of development – by successfully recruiting, retaining and/or assisting growing businesses. In total, 20 economic development organizations across the country were recognized in four categories including Food Processing, Aerospace/Defense, Agribusiness and Data Centers.

The greater Rockford region has established itself as a top producing aerospace cluster in the country. The region leads the state in aerospace manufacturing, with more than 80 percent of Illinois’ aerospace workplace being found in Rockford’s MSA.

“We are so excited about this recognition,” said Eric Voyles, VP National Business Development, RAEDC. “Our list of 2012 successes is proof great things are happening in our region. We are proud of the companies in our aerospace cluster and the success they have achieved. Together we are putting the Rockford region on the aerospace map.”

Some achievements that RAAN and its members celebrated in 2012 include:

  • Woodward announcing that the company intends to establish a second campus in the greater
    Rockford area for its aircraft turbine systems business. This is a $200 million, 1,400 job
    expansion in the Rockford area.
  • B/E Aerospace celebrating the grand opening of its new 38,000 sq. ft. ecosystems assembly
    facility in Rockford. The company also secured a contract from The Boeing Company to become
    the exclusive manufacturer of modular lavatory systems for the 737 Next-Generation family of
  • Forest City Gear breaks ground on an 8,000 sq. ft. expansion, launching a new business and
    adding jobs. The company was also selected to supply gears to the NASA Mars Rover:
    Curiosity project.
  • A new, community-based initiative was launched to significantly increase the region’s aerospace
    talent pipeline for high-paying jobs by establishing the Joint Institute of Engineering &
    Technology-Aerospace (JiET-A).

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