Business & Economy
Governor Quinn Breaks Ground on AAR Corporation Expansion in Rockford That Will Create 500 Jobs PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Katie Hickey   
Monday, 20 October 2014 10:54

New AAR Hangar at Rockford International Airport Will Service Next Generation Aircraft

ROCKFORD – Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by company and local officials to break ground on a new maintenance and repair hangar for global aircraft service leader AAR Corporation at Rockford International Airport. The new facility will create up to 500 new jobs over five years. Today’s event is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to create jobs and drive Illinois’ economy forward.

“This new major aerospace facility will expand Rockford International Airport’s services and boost Rockford’s growing manufacturing base,” Governor Quinn said. “We welcome this new AAR facility and the hundreds of jobs it will bring to Illinois. At a time when Illinois is making an economic comeback, we are proud to see our partners staking a future in our state.”

The 200,000 square-foot maintenance, repair and overhaul facility is expected to operate 24 hours a day. The facility will expand the airport’s current infrastructure to allow for scheduled and unscheduled service, modification, overhaul and all other support services for military and commercial Boeing aircraft. The hangar will be located in the mid-field area of the airport and is slated to open in spring 2016.

The project was made possible by a $15 million state investment to build the new maintenance facility that will service next-generation aircraft. The capital investment is through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). DCEO also will provide the company with a tax credit worth an estimated $7.5 million over 10 years and a $600,000 investment toward training costs for its new employees.

“Rockford is the third-largest multi-modal port system in the world, which makes it a great place for aviation and for AAR to grow its presence and reputation in aircraft MRO,” Chairman and CEO of AAR CORP David P. Storch said. “I see great things coming out of this public-private partnership with the state of Illinois.  Rockford is a community of people who are passionate about Rockford and what the city has to offer.”

AAR chose Rockford as the site of its new facility for several reasons, including its central location, cost effectiveness, specially-trained workforce, regional supply chain and warehouse and distribution network. The Rockford region is a prominent hub of aerospace activity and aviation manufacturing in the country, boasting more than 200 industry specific companies. Rockford joins AAR’s six other locations in Duluth, MN.; Oklahoma City, OK.; Miami, FL.; Lake Charles, LA.; Indianapolis, IN. and Hot Springs, AR. The Rockford airport was chosen following the consideration of several locations in other states.

Rockford is home to a critical mass of tier-one aerospace suppliers including Boeing, Woodward, UTC Aerospace Systems and GE Aviation. The region’s rate of manufacturing employment is twice the national average, with more than 80 percent of Illinois’ aerospace workforce located in the Rockford area.

“Governor Quinn led a strong public-private partnership that convinced AAR to makes this investment,” DCEO Director  Adam Pollet said. “The company’s commitment will provide quality jobs to the Rockford region and secure its future as a hub for aviation work.”

Today's groundbreaking follows a series of aerospace investments in the region including the construction of a second campus for aerospace technology leader Woodward and the groundbreaking earlier this year of the 40,000 square-foot Rock Valley College Aviation Maintenance Technology Program facility. Graduates of the program are prepared to join the ranks of the more than 6,500 workers currently employed in aerospace companies like AAR, assuming positions as airline or general aviation engine and/or airframe mechanics.

AAR is a global aerospace and defense contractor that employs more than 6,000 people in 17 countries. Based in Wood Dale, IL., AAR supports commercial, government and defense customers through two operating segments: Aviation Services and Technology Products. AAR’s services include inventory management and parts distribution; aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul; and expeditionary airlift. AAR’s products include cargo systems and containers; mobility systems and shelters; advanced aerostructures; and command and control systems. More information can be found at

The Illinois unemployment rate hit a new six-year low in August when it fell to 6.7 percent, the lowest rate since before the Governor took office, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security. This is the lowest rate since August 2008 and a continuation of an uninterrupted drop in the state jobless rate that began in late 2013. The number of people employed in Illinois remains above six million, continuing a 2014 trend that has seen more people working in this state than at any time since early 2009.

Since taking office and inheriting decades of mismanagement, the Governor has enacted worker’s compensation reform and unemployment insurance reform to make Illinois a better place to do business, in addition to major fiscal reforms such as pension reform and Medicaid restructuring that are restoring fiscal stability to Illinois. Governor Quinn is also pushing a new tax cut for businesses that provide job training. By lowering the cost to train workers, this will make it easier for businesses to create new jobs and ensure workers have the skills to drive a 21st century economy.


BBB Seeks Businesses of Integrity PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Amanda Acton   
Monday, 20 October 2014 10:08

Better Business Bureau is now accepting nominations for Integrity Awards.

October 15, 2014 (Des Moines, IA) — It’s not all scams and warnings at Better Business Bureau. Today BBB announces a call for nominations for the 2015 Integrity Awards, which honor businesses who demonstrate superior ethics, reliability and trustworthiness.

Individuals and business owners can nominate businesses online at Established in 1993, the BBB Integrity Awards give public recognition to businesses and organizations for their outstanding commitment to fair, honest and ethical marketplace practices. The awards celebrate marketplace role models who exemplify BBB principles and uphold our ideals on trust, reliability and ethics.

“Everyone knows a business who has gone above and beyond to perform ethically,” says Chris Coleman, BBB CEO. “We want to celebrate those who are making the marketplaces in our communities somewhere businesses and consumers can trust each other.”

Nominations for businesses are due December 15. Any company doing business in BBB’s service area for at least three years is eligible to be nominated, no matter how big or how small. Following the open nomination process, nominated businesses will receive a formal application packet. An independent panel of volunteer community leaders will select this year’s recipients, who will be recognized at a ceremony on April 16, 2015, at the Downtown Des Moines Marriott.

Last year’s winners were Brad VanWeelden Company, Gratias Construction/Gratias Homes, Pioneer Communications, and The Rasmussen Group.

BBB also recognizes tomorrow’s leaders through the Students of Integrity awards. The awards are given to three high school seniors, nominated by their guidance counselors and principals, who personify high character and ethical behavior in their leadership and contributions to their communities and schools. Student honorees are selected by a panel of judges to receive a $2,500 scholarship to an accredited school/college of their choice.

About Better Business Bureau: BBB is a nonprofit, non-governmental, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. All BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Reviews on more than 4 million businesses, 11,000 Charity Reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. BBB Serving Greater Iowa, Quad Cities and Siouxland Region was founded in 1940 and is one of 112 local, independent BBBs across North America.

For more about this story or other media inquiries, please contact Amanda Acton, Communications Director, at 515-243-8137, ext. 313 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Ascentra Breaks Ground in Davenport This Friday PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Alvaro Macias   
Friday, 17 October 2014 14:10
Davenport’s Hilltop Campus Village Welcomes Ascentra to the Neighborhood BETTENDORF – Ascentra Credit Union will break ground for a new branch to be built on the corner of Brady and Locust Streets in Davenport on Friday, Oct. 17 at 4:00 p.m. This new branch will replace the nearby branch Ascentra merged in with Scott Schools Credit Union in 2013. It will provide convenient access to members and future members of the credit union in a very visible location. The state of the art facility will have the distinct Ascentra look similar to their new Bettendorf branch. The 3,400 square ft. structure will feature family friendly amenities, will beautify the landscape and enhance pedestrian access to the corner in the Hilltop Campus Village. Ascentra looks forward to opening this office in late spring 2015. Located within walking distance from St. Ambrose University and Palmer College of Chiropractic, this branch will provide much needed access to financial services for students in the heart of our community. “We look forward to working within an area of Davenport that is vibrant and very diverse,” Ascentra President and CEO Dale Owen says. “This is a wonderful location for our business, and we have been very pleased to work with the City staff, the City Council, the Design Review Board and the Hilltop Campus Village organization.” “Ascentra has seized a terrific opportunity by redeveloping a prominent corner site within the historic Hilltop Campus Village of Davenport,” said Joshua A. Schoenemann, Design Project Manager for LaMacchia Group, the construction and design firm for the project. “In addition to convenient vehicular accessibility off Brady and Locust, the enhanced landscaping and pedestrian connection demonstrates the credit union’s desire to immerse themselves into the fabric of the community they are serving. I feel the students, residents and visitors of this mixed-use neighborhood will greatly appreciate the effort Ascentra has put into adapting its signature look and feel to fit amongst the unique excitement of the area,” Schoenemann added. See a progress of the build on Ascentra’s Facebook and Twitter. About us: Founded in 1950, Ascentra Credit Union, is Iowa's premier credit union with more than $340 million in assets and 10 branches serving the communities of Bettendorf, Clinton, Davenport, Le Claire, Muscatine, Iowa and Moline, Ill. Learn more about Ascentra Credit Union at Follow Ascentra on Facebook and on Twitter @ascentra. ###

State Treasury Invests in Iowa's Economy PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Karen Austin   
Friday, 17 October 2014 13:36

DES MOINES, IA (10/15/2014)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald announced that Tuesday's Invest in Iowa online auction was one of the most successful to date. All thirty-four of Iowa's participating financial institutions received money, for a total of $57.5 million in deposits. "We use an auction format offering state deposits to Iowa financial institutions six times a year. This allows the state to earn a competitive return on the funds while ensuring local financial institutions have the money they need to keep the economy moving," Treasurer Fitzgerald said. "The program currently has over $230 million invested in Iowa banks."

Fitzgerald created the Invest in Iowa program in 1983 as a way to invest state funds in Iowa financial institutions. The financial institutions hold the funds as CDs and use the money to make loans.

Invest in Iowa quarterly auctions are held on the second Tuesday of January, April, July and October. The next auction is scheduled for January 13, 2015 at 10 a.m. Each auction has an established minimum interest rate and a minimum bid. To learn more about the Invest in Iowa program, visit, select "Invest in Iowa" under the "For Businesses" tab or contact the Treasurer's office at 515-281-5368.


Significant investment in the Hilltop Campus Village PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Scott Tunnicliff   
Thursday, 16 October 2014 09:31

Davenport’s Hilltop Campus Village will welcome its long-awaited new neighbor this Friday when ground is broken at the southwest corner of Brady and Locust Streets for a new branch of Ascentra Credit Union. A ground-breaking ceremony will be held at 4:00 p.m. by the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce.

Ascentra purchased the site nearly two years ago, but has been waiting until its operation on 53rd Avenue in Bettendorf had been completed and was operational. “In the meantime, we had merged in the Scott Schools Credit Union nearby and have been positioning ourselves to be of service to this part of our community,” said Ascentra President and CEO Dale Owen. “This is a wonderful location for our business, and we have been very pleased to work with the City staff, the City Council, the Design Review Board and the Hilltop Campus Village organization.”

The building will be located near and on the site of the former Professional Arts Building, an office building that was demolished in early 2012. Ascentra purchased the 0.85 acre site in early 2013.

“Ever since it was purchased by Ascentra, we had been in close contact with their people,” said Hilltop Campus Village Board President Robert Lee. “Our director Scott Tunnicliff had made contact early on to provide help and support for their planned expansion into the Hilltop Campus Village. They will be a great addition to the area.”

Plans call for an investment of over $1 million. The facility will be 3,468 square ft., with significant landscaping, drive up window and parking for 24 vehicles. Employment numbers at this point are expected to be in the range of 6 - 8 with an anticipated opening set for spring 2015.

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