Our team is working with five Illinois communities who have clear links to the defense industry based on the presence of key military assets (e.g., bases, training facilities), high concentration of manufacturers, or both.
Located near the northern border of Illinois, Rockford is home to a sizable and active aerospace cluster. The region’s over 250 companies and 11 tier-one suppliers provide products to the global aerospace, aviation and defense industry, presenting a tremendous opportunity for that region’s growth prospects. With leadership from the Rockford Area Economic Development Council and other local stakeholders including higher education institutions (e.g. Northern Illinois University and Embry Riddle-Aeronautical University) and industry (e.g. UTC Aerospace Systems and Woodward), Rockford area leaders continue working to define a clear strategy for growing the aerospace cluster and is ripe for large scale community adjustment.