ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Hundreds of more jobs could come to the region thanks to a recent project Winnebago County Board members gave the green light.
Community leaders hope this sparks more investment in the county. They say continuing to establish Rockford as a hotspot for companies to set up shop should convince more people to stay in the Forest City.
“This is a huge opportunity for us to show what we can do, especially in the Baxter Road corridor,” said Jas Bilich, (R) District 19, Winn. County Board.
Local leaders say a new $20 million e-commerce facility will be built on Baxter Road near I-39. The project was approved Thursday by the Winnebago County Board.
“We saw a portion of our area becoming smaller, people moving out of our area and our region and one thing we want to do is show we have a reason for other people to move into our region now,” Bilich said.
Economic Development Committee Chair, Bilich, says the site plan for the new warehouse includes roughly 300 parking stalls–which should mean hundreds of new jobs.
“Not to mention the hundreds of jobs that are going to be created through the construction phase of this project, which will take some time. So I think that’s going to be a very valuable asset for us,” said Bilich.
Those are only some of the new jobs expected to be available for residents this summer. We told you yesterday about AAR’s maintenance agreement with United Airlines. Leaders there tell us they will need to hire about 80 new employees by June.
“This is obviously an industry that is very important to our region, so there’s job security, there are good-paying wages in this occupation, and there’s also a lot of potentials for you to go down a career pathway and elevate yourself as an individual,” said Amanda Sink, a strategic initiatives manager for The Workforce Connection.
Sink says it doesn’t take much for people to start learning the skills they need to be competitive in the hiring process.
“That’s the great thing about having these large employers in our area is they also focus on career pathways and they want to make sure that these individuals are able to grow and develop as well,” she explained.
Bilich says construction of the new e-commerce facility should start in late May. It’s expected to take about 10 months.