Success Stories for the Rockford Region
The RAEDC and our regional partners work on a variety of projects each year, ranging from Business retention, expansion and attraction; property development; foreign-trade zone opportunities and entrepreneurial growth.
The Connection - One of the nation’s leading contact centers plans to add 500 to 600 jobs at its new Loves Park branch by the end of 2011. They provide outsourced customer support and tech support for companies in a variety of industries. Known as The Connection, the firm currently has about 75 employees at its 400-seat contact center and plans to reach the higher number by December 2011. The company added the new branch at 1975 Harlem Road to meet the growth needs of existing and new clients. The inbound calls are for the wireless telecommunications, life and health insurance, financial services and retailing industries. The services will include inbound live operator, live web chat and e-mail responses.
Emery Air has expanded its capabilities to include Regional Airline Maintenance services. Emery Air currently offers a complete range of services for the CRJ200, 700, 900, Bombardier Q400 aircraft. The FAA has approved the addition of the Bombardier Challenger 600 series to Emery Airs Operations Specifications. The capabilities include but are not limited to heavy maintenance inspections, modifications, mobile repair teams, line maintenance, damage repair, avionics installations and modifications, out of phase inspections, storage programs and bridging inspections. Their regional maintenance facility has 54,000 sq. ft of office, backshop and hangar space.
Gleason Cutting Tools Corporation completed the successful transition and transfer of its technology and Bevel gear cutting tool manufacturing from its Plymouth, England operation to its other sites around the world, with the majority of the business relocated to the Love Park facility. The product family relocation resulted in job creation within the local area that provided an additional 40 machine operator positions on top of the rapidly expanding workforce that is related to the products historically produced at this site. The Loves Park facility is well known in the industry as a leader in utilizing lean concepts that have repeatedly exceeded customers’ expectations relative to short lead-times. All of these concepts have been fully embraced within the new Bevel group and all expectations indicate that in the near future, lead-times for these products will also be reduced. The transfer of this product line puts Gleason Tooling Products Group in a position to provide Bevel products with the highest quality and provide worldwide support to our customers unmatched in the industry.
Gunite Corporation - Since 1854, Gunite has been a part of the Rockford community. And, for more than 80 years it has been a manufacturer of innovative and reliable wheel-end components for the commercial trucking industry. But, the world of wheel-end technology is one of constant change. It is the continuous evaluation and modification of design, development, and manufacture of parts and equipment that has allowed Gunite to become and remain a respected leader in the heavy duty vehicle industry. Gunite’s products use the latest innovations coupled with a history of performance and customer satisfaction. By being a solutions provider for its customers, Gunite products are offered as standard equipment on most medium and heavy-duty trucks manufactured in North America. This reputation for quality and innovation drove Gunite to announce production expansion plans in 2010, leading to the addition of 137 manufacturing jobs, with an additional 75 coming in 2011. Gunite, a business unit of Accuride Corporation, employs approximately 310 individuals at its 650,000 square foot Rockford, Illinois, manufacturing facility.
Haldex Hydraulic Systems, a global manufacture of hydraulic gear pumps, gear motors and hydraulic power units has been operating in Rockford IL U.S.A. since 1929. With the 2010 consolidation of North American operations, the Rockford facility is now the hydraulics center for North America. As part of the consolidation the company has made substantial investments to create a state of the art facility with processes totally aligned with lean manufacturing principals. The consolidation will benefit Haldex North American customers by providing them with one point of contact for a number of business functions including Customer Service, Applications Support, Engineering, Quality and Logistics.
HR Green, Inc., a leading multi-discipline design firm, expanded its operations into Rockford, IL in 2010 with the opening of a 5,000 sf. ft. office at 1330 E. State Street. The new office in Rockford provides the company with closer proximity to existing clients and the ability to cultivate relationships with prospective clients in order to provide a broader market for growth of planning, engineering, transportation, community resources, water/wastewater, construction, environmental, architecture, landscape architecture, technical consulting and renewable energy services. HR Green Company was recently ranked at #205 on Engineering News Record’s Top 500 Design Firms list. The firm, founded in 1913, has nearly 400 employees and offers planning, engineering, transportation, community resources, water/wastewater, construction, environmental, buildings, technology and renewable energy services to clients in diverse markets.
Ingersoll Machine Tools - Transferring expertise from one industry to another is a good way for companies to grow. And that’s just what Ingersoll Machine Tools did, from aerospace to wind. They applied their proprietary technology and experience of supplying composite manufacturing systems for aerospace to the fast-growing wind industry. In addition to their long-standing customers in the transportation, agriculture/construction and machining industries, Ingersoll now manufactures 20,000-pound cast-iron hubs for Vestas Wind Systems, a Danish company that is the largest manufacturer of wind turbines in the world with 28 percent market share. The hubs are 10 feet in diameter, large enough for a person to stand in. The blades are bolted to the hub, connecting the blades to the motor to create wind energy.
Pyramid Plastics -In 2010, Pyramid Plastics purchased a 700 ton and a 1000 ton press, adding to its already impressive line-up of injection molding equipment. Pyramid’s capabilities now extend from 20 ton to 1000 ton press sizes. The additional equipment required an expansion of the facility by 50,000 sq. ft. and by completion will create up to 30 additional jobs.
Additional 2010 regional successes include:
Advanced Heat Treat invested $550,000 in a 22,000 sq. ft. expansion, 10 jobs committed
American Bentonite International invested $1 Million in a 100,000 sq. ft. facility, with 10 jobs committed
Davi invested $1 Million in a 20,000 sq. ft. facility, with 10 jobs committed
Ewikon Molding Technologies acquired a 9,000 sq. ft. facility
Rockford Drop Forge invested $1 Million in renovations to prepare space for new equipment & vacate a public street, 15 jobs committed
TH Foods invested $13 Million in an 18,000 sq. ft. facility expansion, 20 jobs committed