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Business and Industry

Business and Industry

The Sauk Valley area is central to Chicago, Rockford and the Quad Cities, located directly along Interstate 88, the region’s key east-west corridor. It’s also within 35 miles of the Union Pacific Railroads intermodal hub Global III and Interstate 39, the area’s north-south corridor. The combinations of these major routes provide industry and business operations with key connectivity to major metropolitan markets both regionally and nationally.

The area has strong roots in steel and metal fabrication, primarily hardware for industrial and home use; however Sauk Valley Community College has created programming to help prepare the workforce for new opportunities. Through innovative ventures like the manufacturing assistant and logistics certifications and welding lab program in progress, Sauk Valley Community College is responding to the training needs of industry.

New in 2012 is a rent-by-the-hour commercial kitchen to aid in the development of food-related businesses. Capitalizing on the area’s agricultural heritage and abundance of locally grown, fresh foods, the kitchen incubator provides a resource for those wanting to start food-related businesses. Located at the Greater Sterling Development Corporation’s Small Business Incubator, the Kitchen Incubator of Northwest Illinois is a certified kitchen that can be rented by the hour and is open 24-7.

Several business parks are located in and around Sterling. Meadowland Business Park has more than 100 acres, subdivided into lots that are shovel-ready and zoned for industrial or business use. The Meadowlands Industrial Park hosts business that include a global manufacturer of radiators for power transformers, custom vintage auto restoration, ambulance dealership and body shop, and a global manufacturer of hydraulic hose assemblies. Nearby, Westwood Industrial Park is home to the Westwood Fitness and Sports Complex as well as global and regional manufacturers. Eastwood Industrial Park houses a variety of manufacturers, suppliers and service industries. This park is also home to Sterling’s Small Business and Technology Center, where a group of small businesses operates independently within one location. Lastly, there are over 55 acres at Airport Industrial Park and Rock River Industrial Park is in close proximity to Union Pacific railroad tracks.

Another large business and industry site in the Sauk Valley area is the Riverfront Redevelopment Plans in both Sterling and Rock Falls. The cities plan to redevelop former industrial sites located along the Rock River.

The Riverfront Redevelopment Plans seek to establish the riverfront as an amenity and destination, while providing future opportunities. This plan sets forth goals, analyzes existing conditions and trends and illustrates a long-range vision for the physical, social and economic characteristics of the riverfront for both communities.

The Rock Falls Community Development Corporation (RFCDC) is a nonprofit, public-private partnership organized to foster economic growth and development in order to enhance the quality of life for Rock Falls and its citizens. The organization accomplishes these tasks through site inventory and development, relationship building, new enterprise recruitment, entrepreneurial assistance, and assistance for existing business with retention and expansion concerns.

The RFCDC works with elected state and local officials, developers and community members to enhance the area’s quality of life. Its goal is to transform the area into a more vibrant community by fostering economic growth and employment opportunities.

The Greater Sterling Development Corporation (GSDC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose principle objective is to coordinate various development activities to increase the economic base and thereby the well-being of citizens of the city of Sterling, Whiteside County and surrounding areas to create employment opportunities. The GSDC works closely with the city of Sterling, Sterling Township, the Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce and all levels of elected officials and governmental agencies to best assist business in retail, commercial and industrial development in Sterling. The GSDC team can provide assistance with transportation studies, site selection, business relocation, utility cost analysis, business start-up, workforce analysis and training/development resources, grant and incentive programs, and quality of life data.

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