The tough economic times have dramatically altered the landscape of the Rockford area, an its unclear what it will look like in the future. One thing that is for sure is that changes will have to be made to move forward once the economy recovers. We talked to a local expert who details for us exactly what it will take to remain a competitive place to do business.
Janyce Fadden says Rockford will have to figure out a way to recruit more businesses and beef up our job base going forward. Fadden says these down times have taught us we cannot reply on one sector of our manufacturing industry like Aerospace to pull us through down times. Much of Rockford’s new identity will be shaped by thinking outside the box, and expanding our comfort zone.
“The last statistics for exporting was that this region exported one point two billion dollars. So if our total GMP is 15 billion, 1.2 billion was exporting. So that’s a 20 percent growth over the prior year, so if we can continue to grow exports as part of our economy we can diversify our economy. So I think our future is dependent upon us making investments in alternative energy.”
Fadden says the biggest concern right now for the Rockford area is the fate of the Belvidere Chrysler plant and nearby suppliers.