ROCKFORD - Local leaders and area business
executives announced once again today they will be showcasing Greater Rockford
companies at this year's Farnborough Air show outside
The companies will be under the wing
of the State of
The goal is to drum up business for
smaller companies who don't have the ability to showcase on their own. Companies like Regal Cutting Tools, whose
international business accounts for less than 2% of their overall sales. Larger area companies like Hamilton Sunstrand
have a presence there as well, but showcase on their own, not with the State of
"We're getting a good reputation in the aerospace business as a cutting tools supplier," said Dennis Weiland, Regal Cutting Tools plant manager. "So as we move and our name gets our there more for that, I believe that'll help spur our growth."
Regal Cutting Tools employs 101 people at the Roscoe plant, and the company is already experiencing growth. Just this year alone the company added 12 new jobs to address increased sales. Only 15-20% of the company's business comes from the aerospace industry, something they want to change.
"If we can grow the foreign sales along with the aerospace business it just helps us grow and provide jobs," said Weiland.
Eric Voyles, Vice President of National Business Development for the Rockford Area Economic Development Council says it's important for local companies to be a part of the state's exhibit at the air show. The council brings aerospace and other companies to domestic trade shows as well.
"These are on going things that we're doing for our aerospace companies," said Voyles. "That's helping them create bottom-line results that's helping grow these companies which is in turn growing the demand for workforce."
With demand for aerospace workers
growing in and around the
"We should be able to graduate more engineers to work at the local companies in our market if we can make engineering more accessible to our residents," said Voyles.