The Rockford Region is announcing the launch of a qualified site program as the potential foundation for a broader program to be implemented beyond our county borders, regionally and state-wide. Initial Qualified Sites will be located throughout the Rockford Region’s communities of Cherry Valley, Loves Park, Machesney Park, Rockford, Rockton, South Beloit and Winnebago. This initiative has been launched with the collaborative efforts of many municipal partners and regional developers, and will grow through a widening collaborative net.
Initiated with the funding support of the Emerging Opportunity Fund from the Leadership Council of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council, the Qualified Sites Program was created to better identify and promote project-ready industrial and commercial sites in the region. This Program will be operated in partnership with a new Regional Planning Council that will independently determine whether sites meet the criteria for inclusion. The Rockford Region Qualified Site Program combines national site selection standards with the region’s particular strengths and assets, with a focus on targeted industry clusters such as advanced manufacturing, transportation, distribution & logistics, healthcare and medical sciences.
This current program is critical to attracting new business to the region and, as a result, creating jobs. By informing site selectors that key industrial and commercial parks are development-ready, the sites and regions participating will move closer to the top of the list for major business attraction projects.
Site qualification is a critical element in the site selection process and a Qualified Site Program will assist area developers in being better able to compete for large scale projects. By participating in the QSP process, developers — working closely with their local officials, utility partners, and consultants – will be prepared to market their sites with site specific information and community data. With the current program, the area’s developers will have the assistance of the Regional Planning Council’s technical staff and its partner agencies in determining next steps and options for meeting all criteria. With all site due diligence completed and resulting issues mitigated, the site’s development schedule will be accelerated, making the site more likely to attract large projects and bring jobs to the region.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Rockford Area Economic Development Council – Communications
Michael Dunn Jr.
Regional Metropolitan Agency for Planning