ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Rockford-area is the sixth-largest aerospace cluster in the nation, which was highlighted at the “Midwest Aerospace Conference.”

It was a way to build relationships within the industry, learn how to grow and find out what is new. That includes fully electric aircraft, technology for jet engines and sustainable fuel.

David Forward, co-chair of the Rockford Area Aerospace Network, said that the region has great colleges and universities that turn out needed engineers, as well as skilled trades.

That makes it easy to invest in Rockford.

“More of these technologies continue to invest in this area,” Forward said. “It sustains the workforce we have, as well as grows it, and brings in advance manufacturing technologies, allows us to keep investing in the local community. The more capital money we invest obviously increases and grows the taxbase as well.”

The was the conference’s seventh year.