Rockford Region Promotes Assets to Help Grow MRO Presence

March 18, 2013, ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS – Members of the Rockford Area Aerospace Network (RAAN) will attend Aviation Week’s annual MRO Americas Conference and Exhibition on April 16 – 18 in Atlanta, Ga. The conference is the largest gathering of MRO professionals worldwide. 

Participating in the event allows RAAN and its members to connect with industry professionals and promote the Rockford region’s key assets that specifically support commercial and cargo aircraft maintenance, repair, overhaul (MRO) operations. MRO facilities directly create hundreds of high-paying jobs for skilled workers and would help spur additional economic growth and investment in the airport’s surrounding business parks. A large MRO facility could also help boost the UPS and international cargo activity at the Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD), which would result in additional job creation and economic growth.

“This event is an ideal opportunity to raise awareness of our region’s strengths to a very relevant audience of MRO decision-makers,” said Eric Voyles, vice president for national business development at the Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC). “In addition to the benefits provided by RFD, the Rockford region has many important assets that are critical for MRO facilities including a convenient major logistics corridor, workforce training programs and a high concentration of aerospace companies that allows for an instant supply chain.”

Participating in the event also gives RAAN members an opportunity to grow their business and secure new leads. Regional companies exhibiting with RAAN are Energy Dynamics, Kaney Aerospace, Midwest Aero Support, Inc. and Superior Joining Technologies. Individually, local companies Chem Processing and Emery Air will also participate as exhibitors.

The Rockford region is one of the largest epicenters of aerospace activity in the country, with more than 200 suppliers. There are more than 90 aerospace suppliers in the Rockford metropolitan area alone. The region leads the state in aerospace manufacturing employment, with more than 80 percent of Illinois’ aerospace workplace being found in Rockford’s metropolitan areas.  This makes the Rockford metropolitan area sixth in the nation in terms of concentration of aerospace production employment and one of the largest in the nation in overall aerospace employment.

RAAN and its participating members will be available at booths 421 and 423.


The primary role of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council is to collaboratively enhance wealth creation in the Rockford Region by helping employers retain and create quality jobs while promoting the region. The RAEDC works closely with many partners to learn what existing and new employers need to grow and to serve as a one-stop resource for clients.  The RAEDC seeks to improve the competitiveness of the region by taking what it learns from the regions employers engaging the community in the daily work of economic development to improve the competitiveness of the region.


RAAN (Rockford Area Aerospace Network) is a committee of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC) and offers a platform for collaboration among local aerospace companies and institutions that serve the industry.  RAAN serves as the forum where the Rockford region’s aerospace industry cluster development strategy is refined and advanced on an on-going basis. RAAN is supported by the Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge and the Economic Development Administration division of the Department of Commerce. The Challenge leverages existing resources from 16 federal agencies and award funds to regions that demonstrate the existence of high-growth industries that support a wide range of economic and workforce development activities.