Rockford Could Get Digital Manufacturing Satellite

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) – A new digital hub in Chicago could have lasting impact on the Stateline, especially since some local manufacturers helped contribute to the multi-million dollar project.

“It’s basically a research hub in Chicago but the spoke are going to reach into Rockford. We have an amazing aerospace industry.”

Senator Dick Durbin says a win for Chicago could also be a victory for the city of Rockford. A new digital research lab will be built in Northern Chicago where statewide businesses can research new ways to compete on a global manufacturing scale.

“A lot of our companies will have access to the information and the research and the developments that are coming out of this network.”

RAEDC President Don Thayer says Rockford could become a satellite location for this new high-tech hub.

“We also think and they also expressed some interest that there may be opportunities for satellite locations we would certainly make a big play and we’ve already made that pitch to them.”

Thayer says Chicago leaders visited Rockford’s Eiger Lab to get ideas for their multi-million dollar facility.

He believes Chicago’s win could bring more manufacturing jobs to the area.

“The better our companies become, the more competitive our companies become, and better the chances are that they’ll be expanding their operations.”

Chicago beat out cities in Alabama and Massachusetts for this high tech hub. The entire project will cost more than $100 million through federal and state funding.

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