Because of our manufacturing base, the Rockford area gets hit harder than most areas in economic downturns. Einar Forsman, one of Rockford’s own local experts, explains how Rockford can emerge as a stronger more competitive community.
Einar Forsman says the key will be finding opportunities for growth, for our workplace and for industries. He says diversifying our business base will better protect us from future downturns. And all this means we have work to do. Forsman says much of our success will depend on taking advantage of international business opportunities and investing in alternative energy. But first, he says we need to find jobs for those out of work.
“Many employers have now found ways to do things differently with less staff so when the economy rebounds they can start reinvesting. Have they found a new way to do so without the same number they have had in the past? I think that's a challenge for us. I think the other issue you have is, are the workers we have, trained to adapt to a modern work environment? Do they have the adaptability and skills? That’s a weak spot for us right now. And what'll happen when the economy does turn around and we are looked upon for additional development in our area? We'll see a wealth of available workers but the question is do we have the talent set in those workers to draw businesses to the community?”
Forsman says some of the stimulus money Rockford received will be used to train workers.