January 20, 2023

Duckworth Highlights Job Creation, Investment and Economic Growth in Northern Illinois


[ROCKFORD, IL] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today highlighted Northern Illinois’s robust future for investment and job growth throughout the region during a visit to Collins Aerospace. Following a tour and discussion of Collins Aerospace’s emerging technology initiatives, Duckworth met with local leaders, including U.S. Representatives Bill Foster (D-IL-11), Eric Sorensen (D-IL-17) and Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara, to discuss business growth and investment following the Region 1 Planning Council’s (R1) designation as an Economic Development District by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). Photos from today’s event are available here.

“As a hub of agriculture, manufacturing, technology and innovation, Illinois is uniquely prepared for greater investment, including from our international partners, and it’s been one of my top priorities to help share on a global stage why Illinois is ready to help bring our world into the future,” Duckworth said. “I’m so proud to see the years of hard work for the Region 1 Planning Council lead to this designation, but now this is just the beginning of a next phase of investing in and growing these communities. I look forward to continuing to work with local leaders to help bring investments to the region and keep growing the local economy for years to come.”

“I’m proud to join Senator Duckworth to highlight this important designation of the greater Rockford area, including parts of Boone County and McHenry County, as an Economic Development District,” Foster said. “The growth of northern Illinois means more capital investment and good-paying jobs for the hard working people who call this area home. I’m proud to represent this area in Congress, and I’m committed to working closely with my colleagues to promote the economic growth of this community.”

“Through this critical designation, we can create more jobs, uplift small businesses, and make sure families in this region have the support they need,” Sorensen said. “I want to thank Senator Duckworth and the Region 1 Planning Council Board of Directors for their hard work in making sure industries across these three counties can grow in this competitive global business environment.”

“We are very grateful for Senator Duckworth’s support for our region, and we are honored that she came in person to announce the federal designation she worked hard for Northern Illinois to secure.  Our region competes for economic development with all areas of North America,” said R1 Executive Director Michael Dunn, Jr. “We are competing for private industry against those regions that have had funding support for their infrastructure priorities because of their historical relationship with the EDA.  We thank the EDA for its recognition of our track record of economic development planning and welcome a stronger partnership with the federal government to bring private investment and jobs to Boone, McHenry and Winnebago Counties.”

Last December, EDA approved the designation of the Region 1 Planning Council as an Economic Development District. With this designation, it will help bring additional resources and expanded grant opportunities for Winnebago, Boone and McHenry counties. In turn, the region will have greater success in attracting business and investment, creating more good-paying jobs, with opportunities to expand new green technologies in the aerospace and automotive industries already in the region, as well as developing and expanding a logistics corridor for freight movement in and out of Chicago.

Duckworth has been a champion of helping bring businesses and investment to Illinois. Last year, Duckworth led a Congressional delegation to Asia to bring foreign investment to our state, which helped lead to a joint venture between Illinois’s ADM and South Korea’s LG Chem, as well as a commitment from Taiwan to purchase an estimated $2.6 billion of our state’s corn and soybeans.