Rockford Aerospace Hopes "Airventure" Will Get Business Soaring

By Matt Rodewald

Published 07/28 2013 05:19PM

Updated 07/28 2013 06:13PM

ROCKFORD--When it comes to business in Rockford, Mark Podemski has only one goal.

"Our ultimate desire is to create jobs in our region."

That goal will take Podemski and the fruitful aerospace industry north this week to the annual Airventure event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Podemski is the Vice President of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council and his goal is to drum up new business.

"This event will bring people from around the world to it," Podemski said. "It's a chance to expose and market the region."

That exposure could prove to be critical up and down the supply chain. Going to Oshkosh could be the key to bring businesss back to the Forest City.

"Here you have a very prequalified group of companies and individuals that already have an interest in what you have to offer," Podemski said. "It's a chance to be visible and to explain to others why they may want to deal with other companies in our region."

Podemski concedes that visibility only helps when people know who you are.

"If you have a great story to tell, but no one hears it, you really don't get to take advantage of what you have," Podemski said. "This is another great opportunity to tell our story.

Not just to companies around the globe, but around the corner as well.

"How do we help companies throughout the region including Wisconsin?" Podemski asked. "Think about their partnerships with supply chain partners supplying to the aerospace market."

Different choices could lure other companies to the Stateline.

"I'm sure we'll probably find some opportunities too where companies say 'Hey, I didn't realize you had that in your region. Yeah, I'd love to talk to them.' and let's see what we can work out"

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