For additional information contact Mark Podemski at 815.987.8118 ext 124 or email

International Exports from the Rockford Region grew 5 percent to  $1.3 Billion in 2010.

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The Rockford region has an abundant, dedicated workforce of 435,000 in its immediate labor-shed with twice the national average of manufacturing employment, strong Midwest work ethic and strong technical and engineering skills.  Some additional statistics regarding Rockford employment concentrations:


  • Rockford MSA’s employment is 1.7% engineering
  • Illinois’ engineering employment is 1.1%
  • U.S.’ engineering employment is 1.3%

Concentrated Manufacturing Talent above the National Average:

  • 7.2 times, Machinery Manufacturing employment and R&D – 700% greater than the US average
  • 4.2 times, Metals Manufacturing and R&D – 400% greater than the US average
  • 3.4 times, Transportation Equipment Manufacturing and R&D – 300% greater than the US average
  • 1.5 times above the Illinois average in engineer employment – 50% greater than the Illinois average
  • 1.3 times above the US average in engineer employment – 30% greater than the US average
  • Majority of engineers are focused on R&D or sales

Leading Manufacturing Community

  • 1st in aerospace manufacturing in Illinois
  • 2nd in manufacturing employment in Illinois
  • 2nd in “on & off” road vehicle manufacturing in Illinois
  • 2nd in industrial machine manufacturing in Illinois

According to the results of a study conducted by the Pathfinders, a site selection consulting group located in Dallas, Texas, the Rockford area has a skilled and reliable workforce, drawing upon a household population of approximately 807,300 people in Boone, Winnebago and neighboring counties and totaling nearly 435,000 workers.  This “labor shed” contains approximately 16,800 unemployed people who are actively seeking work.  Another 46,200 in the area can be classified as “underemployed” — people currently employed who would take a better job if offered by a new or existing employer and who possess the skills, experience, and education to qualify them to do so.  In addition, 2,500 persons are not working but would consider re-entering the workforce.  In total, 65,500 workers are currently available for employers.

Skills of both the underemployed and employed fall largely in office operations, warehouse/material handling, and manufacturing/assembly/fabrication, with strong representation in medical/health sciences, maintenance and installation, technician/quality assurance, information, and telecommunications as well.

A profile of existing workers was developed based upon interviews conducted with senior management and human resource professionals from industrial, commercial or service sector companies located within the area.


The Results

  • 91% of the employers rated the productivity of the workforce as “Good” to “Excellent.”
  • 91% of the employers rated worker reliability as “Good” to “Excellent”, and
  • 88% of the employers rated worker attitude as “Good” to “Excellent.”


The Rockford area provides many resources for both employers and employees including, but not limitied to, Continuous Improvement Series, continuing education and workforce development.

For additional information contact Mark Podemski at 815.987.8118 ext 124 or email.

Quick Links

Staffing / Workforce Development
Boone-Winnebago Workforce Investment Board
Furst Staffing Services
Illinois Department of Employment Security
Rock River Training Corporation
Rock Valley College