In 2010, the Gross Metropolitan Product of the Rockford Region grew 3.5 % to $11 billion.

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Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

What is a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)? 
As its name implies, a CEDS lays out a regional strategy for economic development with the ultimate goal being a stronger, more diverse regional economy.  While the CEDS’ most critical function is to provide a regional economic development framework, it also serves as a required vehicle through which some federal agencies (especially the Economic Development Administration) evaluate requests for grant assistance.  Without having a CEDS approved by the EDA no one in the region is eligible to receive Economic Development Assistance Grants, including the Stimulus Funds for economic development.  Having a CEDS in place has become more important than ever.  The Rockford Region is finalizing its CEDS document and will have it submitted by the end of 2009.

To view the 2010-2015 Rockford Region Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, click here.


The Economic Development Administration (EDA) is a Federal agency that provides grants to economically-distressed communities to generate new employment, retain existing jobs and stimulate industrial and commercial growth.  EDA assistance is available to rural and urban areas experiencing high unemployment, low income, or other severe economic distress. The stated mission is to "lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy." 


Our Goals
To make this vision a reality, the Region will pursue the following goals:

    1. Create a regional comprehensive economic development plan and marketing strategy emphasizing collaboration within the Rockford MSA.
    2. Foster efficient business development, expansion, diversification, job growth, and entrepreneurial activity throughout the region.
    3. Ensure the future availability of a skilled and flexible workforce prepared to meet the needs of both existing and emerging industries and technologies.
    4. Meet the full range of business’ infrastructure needs with emphasis on transportation, utilities and communications.
    5. Redeploy existing underused commercial and industrial properties, and protect natural amenities and resources for economic development purposes.
    6. Obtain a higher quality of life by supporting and enhancing the region’s sense of community identity, community health, cultural and recreational amenities, and creative industries.


Eleven Industries Targeted for 2010-2015

    • Aerospace Production
    • Alternative Energy
    • Chemical Manufacturing
    • Customer Service Centers
    • Food Processing
    • Healthcare
    • Industrial Machine Manufacturing
    • Logistics
    • Metals Manufacturing
    • On & Off Road Vehicle
    • Professional Business Services


Top Priorities for Economic Wellbeing
These prioritized projects strategically fit the Region’s goals as well as the EDA’s (or another major funding source’s) goals and are technically ready to implement.

    • Economic Development District Organization
    • Health Care
    • Economic Adjustment
    • Regional Sustainability Indicators
    • Local Food Systems
    • Entrepreneurship I
    • Entrepreneurship II
    • Expansion of the Ag-Tech Initiative
    • Ag-Tech NUEDC Center
    • Northern Stateline Regional Energy Training Initiative
    • Rockford Promise