New Qualified Site Program Launched in Northern Illinois
Website and Program Developed in Partnership with Winnebago County, Rockford Area Economic Development Council, and Rockford Metropolitan Agency for Planning
The Rockford Region officially launches their Qualified Sites Program (QSP) and website. The program will be another marketing tool to help identify and promote our region’s building sites.
The QSP program will be an integral component used to attract new business to the region and, as a result, create “sticky” jobs. By informing site selectors and brokers that key properties, industrial and commercial parks are development-ready, the region will more effectively move closer to the top of the list for major business attraction projects.
This program will launch in partnership with the Regional Planning Council that will independently determine whether sites meet the criteria for inclusion. The Qualified Site Program combines national site selection standards and the region’s strengths and assets including: site availability, logistics, infrastructure, and utilities.
A QSP provides site selectors and brokers with reliable information on sites with characteristics that the industry deems ready for development allowing the nation to know what the Rockford Region can provide for investors. Having a qualified sites program will allow the region to compete at a higher level, as other states in the Midwest such as Wisconsin, Iowa, and Indiana have state-wide QSPs.
The initial phase one of the QSP has sites located throughout the Rockford Region’s communities and municipalities. By participating in the QSP process, developers — working closely with their local officials, utility partners, and EDOs – will be better prepared to market their property with site specific information and community data. With the current program, the area’s developers will have the assistance of the Rockford Metropolitan Agency for Planning (RMAP) technical staff and its partner agencies in determining next steps and options for meeting all criteria. Sites that are seeking to become qualified should contact their regional economic development organization to discuss the process and qualifying criteria.
“This program and website is foundational to the efforts to promote this region as a place to locate and grow businesses,” said Nathan Bryant, President and Chief Executive Officer of RAEDC. “It will also focus efforts to ensure that our region’s sites are ready to meet the needs of site selectors, developers, and employers from across the nation.”
“I am proud of the collaboration between the RAEDC and RMAP that developed our QSP program. This program helps Winnebago County’s development sites stand out in a competitive environment,” said Winnebago County Chairman Frank Haney. “We now can quickly and clearly provide our best development opportunities to a national audience to attract outside investment.”
As a part of the QSP program, RMAP will administer a qualifying process to ensure that sites meet industry standards for readiness and suitability. The QSP program is currently for undeveloped land in Winnebago County. Phase two development of the QSP will commence this summer adding other partners and counties from the region.
“The QSP website is a result of RMAP’s evolution into a Regional Planning Council for Northern Illinois. This complements our goal of working on projects that support a unified strategy for our region,” said Michael Dunn Jr., Executive Director of the Rockford Metropolitan Agency for Planning. “We saw the challenge of creating this tool for the RAEDC as an opportunity to show interagency, and also a way to bring other counties into this regional partnership.”
A key part of the program is the website, which provides details and locations of qualifying sites. The website was developed in partnership with Winnebago County, the Rockford Metropolitan Agency for Planning and the Rockford Area Economic Development Council.