is a well-known manufacturing town in the northern region of Illinois
in Winnebago County.
Ever since the 1980s, there has been a major loss of jobs in the area because of the declining manufacturing industry. In 2009, The Wall Street Journal ran a feature of Rockford's Mayor Lawrence Morrissey who had been busily trying to collect enough money to run his city that was capsizing under the pressure of making it through a $7.6 million shortfall. Rockford, according to the mayor, is alone in its own endeavors, with limited help from a troubled state and a penny-pinching federal government. The city's infrastructure and highway systems are in need of renovations, but only a minute fraction of government funding of the total cost of getting things done. Amongst other issues that Rockford faces are an extreme high unemployment rate, low high-school graduation rate—roughly under 50 percent—and empty storefronts lining streets. However, the city and its mayor are making progress against crime and truancy that seems to plague the local neighborhoods. In the midst of all this bad news, however, the city's residents are working harder than ever to tackle these issues. There are so many developmental efforts and projects in the works in Rockland. People are working to bring back the businesses that Rockford was built upon. The Rockford Regional Chamber of Commerce is working to offer local businesses resources and support. The City's Economic Development Division is serving the city's businesses and entrepreneurs with support and resources as well. And the Economic Development Council hopes to generate more jobs with investment from private and public sector investors. Rockland will surely be a comeback town.
Surprisingly, the housing market isn't doing so bad, meaning people are still moving to Rockford because of low housing prices. WIFR, a local TV station reports that the number of houses and condos sold in June of this year has increased a whopping 23.6 percent from last year's percentage. Due to all these moves, Rockford moving companies are doing very well.
Ever since the region's decline, there have been successful efforts to diversify the Rockland's otherwise afflicted job market, mostly by investing in jobs, land, buildings and community projects. Rockland, Illinois still has two times the nation's average in manufacturing companies, which gives you an idea of Rockford's perseverance through tough economic times. Woodward is a company that has become one of the world's leading providers of energy control and optimization solutions for engines, aircraft and industrial turbines. It has invested $50 million in an expansion of its Loves Park facility, also in Winnebago County. From this major expansion, comes hundreds to thousands of new jobs. Acument Global Technologies is another thriving company that is making strides in Rockford, Illinois. Their new business division, Camcar Aerospace, that manufactures aerospace fasteners was established in 2008 and has already grown to 60 employees in 18 months. The company expects this number to double in the following year. These companies and many organizations are finding great benefits to investing in new ventures in Rockland, Illinois.
It was two towns that combined into a united industrial city. Germanicus Kent, a land spectator, established the village of Midway along the west side of the Rock River. Soon after, the other side of the river was settled by Daniel Shaw Haight. In 1837, when the land of Midway was recognized by founders, both residents of Kentville and Haightville came together and changed Midway's name to Rockford. The area's residents took no time to develop the city, bringing in a Female Seminary in 1847 that became Rockford College in 1892, the Galena & Chicago Union Railroad brought growth to the region, the state's second public library opened up in Rockford in 1872, and the launch of a daily newspaper in 1877. Rockford went on to become an important military center in the early 20 the century when Camp Grant was establishes here, where thousands of WWI were trained. After WWII, the areas major manufacturing industries took a hit after machines that produced goods in the fraction of the usual time were introduced to the industry.
Rockford, Illinois is a great place to take the entire family because there are events year round, great museums and art venues through the city. During the summer, don't forget to experience this Rockford tradition—spending the beautiful summer evenings at the historic Sinnissippi Park Music Shell listening to local bands and talents from all over the country perform. Catch this music series on a weekly basis on Tuesdays or Thursdays. Another summer must-see through the month of July is the Wildflower Weekend at the Nygren Wetland Preserve. The Preserve is open daily for free walks throughout the prairies of wildflowers led by experienced naturalists.