R1 Planning Council earns designation for its economic development

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 10:32 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - After more than a decade working for this title the Region One Planning Council becomes an Economic Development District.

This gives them more funding to cover economic projects in surrounding counties.

“We really are here at a hub of agriculture, manufacturing, technology and innovation in Illinois on a global stage,” says Senator Tammy Duckworth.

With the help of Senator Tammy Duckworth and her fellow leaders the R1 Planning Council is an Economic Development District: A recognition which focuses on the future of spurring economic development locally.

“It takes large public and private investments across multiple cities to get the attention of and attract new industry to our region,” says Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara.

Winnebago, Boone and McHenry are among the counties expected to see expansions in infrastructure, food processing and aerospace thanks to R1′s five-year plan. Leaders say R1 is also determined to get more federal funds.

“We’ve seen corporate jobs leave our region over the last three decades... We’re trying to be very competitive, to bring that corporate rock back to bring that private investment back to create jobs, but new kind of have jobs,” says R1 Executive Director Michael Dunn Jr.

With the Chicago Rockford International Airport and five major class railroads, Senator Duckworth says Rockford is an ideal location for economic prosperity.

“We know that this region is ideal for investment and expansion. There are ample opportunities to expand to new green technologies in aerospace and automotive and we are well situated for expanding the logistical corridor out from Chicago.”

Senator Duckworth says she hopes to establish a high-speed passenger rail service that travels from Rockford into the Quad Cities.