Success Story: GNC, Inc. and JNC, Inc Invest in Rockford

January 30, 2014

Success Story: GNC, Inc. and JNC, Inc Invest in Rockford

Two New Companies, GNC, Inc. and JNC, Inc.
Locate Operations in Rockford, IL

Two new Chinese companies will create 30 jobs in Rockford, Illinois when its plastic recycling businesses begin operations in February 2014; 50 total jobs are expected by 2015. The companies will occupy a 50,000-square-feet of a 350,000-square-foot plant renovated with $3 million of improvements by First Rockford Group. 

GNC Inc. is the first U.S.-based company for the parent Chinese company; JNC Inc. is relocating from Chicago. It will purchase the recycled product from GNC and ship it to China for reuse.  
2020 Harrison Avenue, Rockford. The facility was formerly the site of Tan Books & Publishers. The building was purchased by First Rockford Group in 2008 for $1.5 million.  
The plant will be operational in February 2014. 

JNC Inc. and GNC Inc. chose the Rockford Region because of the area’s excellent labor pool, the lower cost of doing business as compared to Chicago and the region’s proximity to Interstate 90 and 39.

First Rockford Group’s Director of Finance and Commercial Development Bharat Puri said, “The Rockford Area Economic Development Council and local International Trade Center always provide us with data which is helpful for any transaction.” He continued, “This time, particularly with translation services, they were extremely helpful. Whenever you’re dealing with international prospects, you have to establish trust. Carrie Zethmayr, the ITC director, helped us bridge the gap. After she provided the translations in Mandarin, there was a very good trust level between our team and GNC-JNC, so it ‘clicked.’ Without the RAEDC, either it would have taken a lot longer or it would not have happened,” stated Puri. 

First Rockford Group is a leading real estate development organization in the Greater Rockford area, specializing in office, commercial, hospitality and residential construction. Founded in 1984 by entrepreneur Sunil Puri, First Rockford Group employs more than 220 people in the Rockford region.

The primary role of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC) is to collaboratively enhance wealth creation in the Rockford Region by helping employers retain and create quality jobs. The RAEDC works closely with many partners to learn what existing and new employers need to grow, and to serve as a one-stop resource for clients.  The RAEDC seeks to improve the competitiveness of the region by taking what it learns from the region’s employers, and engaging the community in the daily work of economic development.

The Illinois SBDC International Trade Center of the Rockford Area is a program that works directly with companies to increase the total value of goods exported from the Rockford Area of Illinois. Services are provided to companies to walk them through the process of establishing and growing an export program. The IL SBDC International Trade Center of the Rockford Area is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration in partnership with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and Rock Valley College.  

Carrie Zethmayr
Director of International Trade



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *