ROCKFORD, Nov. 25, 2014 — A group of five nursing students and two teachers from Lidköping, Sweden, have received a warm welcome in Rockford this week.
Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey allowed the De la Gardiegymnasiet delegation to be recognized at Monday’s City Council meeting. On Tuesday evening, the SwedishAmerican Foundation hosted a reception at Forest Hills Country Club.
And of course, they got to sample the Swedish meatballs and pancakes at Stockholm Inn!
The group is here for two weeks to explore educational partnerships with Rock Valley College and to get practical experience at SwedishAmerican Hospital. The visit is funded by a grant from the Swedish Educational Department, SwedishAmerican Health System and De la Gardiegymnasiet.
The Industrial Partnership Agreement is an economic development tool to spur business and community wealth and growth for respective regions. Lidköping and Rockford first signed the agreement in 2006 and updated it in 2011. In 2014 it was extended to 2016 and expanded to include 15 municipalities of the Skaraborg County and the 16 municipalities of Winnebago County, SwedishAmerican Health System in Rockford and Sustain Dane in Madison, WI. The Industrial Partnership is not a sister city relationship, rather a business-focused agreement.
“This is creative international project that allows us to benchmark the U.S. and Swedish healthcare systems and at the same time give the students incredible experiences at SwedishAmerican Hospital and Rock Valley College, ” said Bengtsson, international business developer who spends time both here and in Sweden. “It also helps us recruit quality students to our nursing program and making the profession more attractive. We are extremely grateful for our Industrial Partnership Agreement with SwedishAmerican Health System and our new partnership with Rock Valley College.”