ROCKFORD (WIFR) – The dirt has been lifted on a major expansion to keep the aerospace momentum building in the Stateline.
500 good-paying jobs are coming to the Stateline thanks to the construction of a jet maintenance hangar at the Rockford airport.
It’s the dream of every major city in the U.S. to keep the majority of its talented young workers at home with good, high-paying jobs and that dream is closer to reality today than it was yesterday.
With a month to go before election day, it was a slam dunk appearance for local politicians. A new 200,000 square foot facility will be built for AAR Corporation, an international maintenance repair and overhaul provider based out of Woodale, Illinois. The maintenance hangar will be built in the midfield section of the airport right across from the new Rock Valley College Aviation Training Facility. Senator Dick Durbin says that this further entrenches the Rockford region’s goal of becoming the main aerospace hub in the Midwest.
“As we're driving out here on the bus, the CEO of this corporation says we don't pay less than 11 dollars an hour to anybody in our company. So it's an indication of the lowest starting pay, but the opportunities go way beyond that,” said Durbin.
"We were looking at other places quite frankly and when Rockford came forward as assertively as they did and they pointed at the connection with the community college it made the case very compelling. And of course being an Illinois company it kind of made us be around here as well."
To pay for the $43 million project, the state has committed $15 million. Senator Durbin tells us that they are applying for federal grants through the economic development administration. He says it’s very competitive but feels the expansion makes a great case for the grant.