Rockforward Towards New Goals After Blowing Away Rockfordward2! Goals

Rockforward 2020Year after year the Rockford Region strives to create opportunities for growth. On May 24th the Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC), along with Board of Directors and our economic development partners, will celebrate the achievements from the Rockforward2! strategic plan at Giovanni’s Restaurant & Conference Center from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. We will also be looking forward to highlighting the bold tactics and goals laid out in the Rockforward20/20 strategic plan, which will contribute to cultivating opportunities to create and retain 10,500 over the next five years.

The event, sponsored by OSF Healthcare, will feature RAEDC Board of Director’s Vice Chair and Treasurer Michele Petrie, BMO Harris N.A. speaking about the diligent plans of the Rockforward20/20 strategic plan and what the future holds for the Rockford Region when the new five strategies are incorporated for long term success.

Rockforward20/20 frequently refers to the strategies to guide decision making and successfully market the region externally for national or international investment, as well as, for regional and place-based development;
• Trailblaze
• Inspire Action
• Align
• Seed
• Serve

The goals outlined in Rockforward20/20 are achievable through the partnership of stakeholders in the community. Working with all of our partners and stakeholders, the RAEDC has set new five year regional economic indicator goals:
• 10,500 new or retained jobs
• $925 million in capital investments
• 8 million square feet in new or renovated space

The first quarter of 2016 has resulted in successfully closing 10 new projects, resulting in
• 242 new or retained jobs
• $565 million in capital investments
• 1,043,200 SF of new or renovated space

In closing remarks, Mike Nicholas, RAEDC President will provide a synopsis on the achievements from Rockforward2!, the recent 3 year strategic plan that cover 2013-2015. Together with the commitment from our partners and stakeholders, this region can celebrate:
• New and Retained Jobs: 4,500 ; we hit this goal at 101% (4,546)
• New or Renovated Space: 2.3 Million ; we surpassed this goal at 147% (4.1 Million square feet)
• Capital Investment: with a goal of $249 Million ; we were on fire…at 216% ($537.7 Million)

“The commitment of the region and its leaders is to build upon the current momentum and success. Perspective needs to be taken into account as well, acknowledging the challenges as opportunities and being able to recognize the number of wins the Rockford Region is accomplishing with capital and infrastructure investments. This event it not just about the RAEDC, it is about the region and how working together, we can continue to win.”


Erin Marshall
Communications and Marketing Coordinator, RAEDC