Economic Development Week 2021

Economic Development Week 2021

As we celebrate economic development week we recognize that success requires partners, stakeholders, and collaboration. Often as we interact with the public the topic of economic development seems complicated and overwhelming to those not familiar with the concept. In actuality, it is simply creating connections and relationships between people that are mutually beneficial.

As experts in our respective fields, we have come together at the Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC) to work together in the area of economic development to cultivate opportunities for sustainable growth and economic well-being for our region.

“What motivates me is the ability to share my knowledge and experiences to help a business owner remove a “pinch point”, navigate a public process, or just be there to listen and help them make good decisions for the benefit of their company. It is personally rewarding to contribute to the growth and well-being of people and their business activities in my own hometown,” states Jerry Sagona, VP of Business Development at the RAEDC.

It is providing solutions to businesses already located here, an additional bus stop near the business, tax credits or incentives the business may not have known about, or simply finding ways to connect to a workforce with a particular skill-set the employer needs.

Stephanie Jones, VP of Sales shares, “I chose to work in Economic Development to work on multi-faceted challenges and be a part of a strategic community and regional solutions. Helping individual businesses grow and find solutions to their challenges is a rewarding aspect of the daily job which has rippling effects that strengthen the employees and the region. Seeking out and cultivating new relationships and business opportunities for the region is exciting and rewarding and it humbles me to know that my work makes a difference for all of us who call Winnebago County and the northern IL region our home.”

Economic developers work to increase our region’s primary jobs; jobs that are good for today, tomorrow, and in the future. These jobs have a large multiplier effect which creates additional jobs to support the work of the primary jobs. When a region has good-paying jobs and a skilled workforce to fill those jobs the area benefits as a whole. This includes additional education paths further supporting the 7:2:1 workforce ratio, a place where residents can afford to live and work and play, a place where people who may have may have lived here at one point in their lives want to return to.

To learn more about economic development, the staff of the RAEDC, and the ways economic development affects you and our community directly take a look at the videos below.

Thank you for joining us for Economic Development Week.


Freelance journalist

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