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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests More Than $2.5 Million to Support Business Growth and Job Creation in Rockford, Illinois

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a more than $2.5 million grant to the Greater Rockford Airport Authority of Rockford, Illinois to upgrade road infrastructure and develop an aviation industrial park. According to grantee estimates, this project will create 515 jobs associated with the region’s growing aerospace cluster and generate $18 million in private investment.

“The Obama Administration is committed to ensuring our nation’s infrastructure is able to support business growth and job creation,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The EDA investment announced today will create new economic and job opportunities for the people of Rockford.”

“The Chicago Rockford International Airport is one of our state’s most important transportation assets, and has proven itself as an economic engine for the entire region,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin. “I applaud RFD for this forward-thinking expansion. I am confident that investing in this project will pay dividends for decades to come by expanding economic opportunity in the region, and creating better jobs for Northern Illinois.”

EDA’s investment will realign and reconstruct Cessna Drive and associated infrastructure in support of the establishment of the Midfield Aviation Industrial Park (MAIP), which is the result of collaboration between the Airport Authority, three local employers, and Rock Valley Community College. According to the grantee, the recent recession severely affected the region, and this project will help Chicago Rockford International Airport attract additional cargo operators, potentially bringing hundreds of additional air cargo handling, mechanic and flight crew jobs. This investment will also open up significant property for additional development of future economic development projects.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The Economic Development Administration marks 50 years of public service, leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.