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Rockford Sends Largest Contingent Yet To Farnborough Airshow, Earns “Spotlight”


Seven Rockford area companies—a new record—joined RAEDC at its exhibit booth at the Farnborough Airshow 2014. Farnborough, held near London, is one of the largest trade shows in the world. New product debuts—such as this year's debut of the Boeing 787-9—are common. The 2012 show was attended by more than 107,000 business visitors and resulted in $72 billion in confirmed orders. RAEDC and companies from the Rockford region have exhibited at Farnborough since 2010 with the assistance of the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity.

Prior to the show, David L. Scheck, Business Development Manager for American Precision Assemblers, Inc., expressed his thanks for the opportunity to attend: “All of us at American Precision Assemblers are very thankful for the opportunity to attend the 2014 Farnborough Air Show.  If we did not get the guidance, organizational, logistical and financial support from the Rockford Area Aerospace Network (RAAN) and the Rockford Area Economic Development Council, we would not be able to participate in this event.  The RAAN organization has allowed us to grow our business internationally, with this much valued support.” Carrie Zethmayr, RAEDC’s Executive Director, Trade and Investments, added, “Our aerospace exhibitors have historically been very pleased with their participation at Farnborough, so we expect good, quality leads to increased aerospace business for the region.”

The Rockford area exhibitors did make a splash as expected. RAAN and the exhibit were profiled in Aviation International News, a prestigious aerospace trade magazine. The profile was also featured in a special Show Daily issue AIN produced and distributed to every attendee, giving RAAN and RAEDC prime visibility to every major aerospace company in the world. The article also pointed out Rockford's excellent attributes for aerospace manufacturers: 200 aviation suppliers, 80% of Illinois' aerospace workforce, Woodward's new $300 million campus and Boeing's decision to “short-list” Rockford when choosing a site to build the 777X.

RAEDC introduced the Rockford Region as a location for aerospace capital investment to 21 companies. The projects these firms are considering represent a potential economic benefit of  approximately $150 million. Some of the potential investors included:

  • A British manufacturer which makes fasteners for the aerospace market, seeking sub-contractors to serve its American customer base.
  • A French company which continues due diligence efforts to establish significant operations in the U.S. market.
  • A French company which manufactures electric power generation components and is considering a branch office to locate near its Rockford Region customers.
RAEDC originally began conversations with both these French firms at the 2012 Farnborough show. When speaking with them and all potential investors, RAEDC and regional economic development partners presented the Rockford Region and its supply chain support as great opportunities for expansion of their business operations.
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