Aerospace and energy firm Woodward Inc. will invest more than $200 million to expand its manufacturing plant in Loves Park, Illinois, where it will produce a new aircraft turbine product line.
Woodward officials said the firm plans to double its workforce in the Rockford, Illinois, area by 2021, creating more than 660 jobs over the next five years. "Our success in gaining new business created numerous investment opportunities," said Woodward Chairman and CEO Thomas A. Gendron. "Ultimately, we decided to remain and grow in the Rockford region due to the strong support of Gov. Quinn, the proximity of the new site to our current campus and the quality of both the aerospace engineering and manufacturing talent."
The new 60 acre campus will house 300,000 square feet of Woodward's Aircraft Turbine Systems business. The company, which is headquartered in Fort Collins, Colorado, plans to break ground on its new second facility in the Rock River region this fall, with initial occupancy planned for late 2013.
"The Rockford region's highly skilled workforce makes Illinois an ideal place for companies like Woodward that are looking to grow," said Gov. Pat Quinn. "Woodward's expansion is a great example of how we are creating jobs, fueling key sectors of the economy and stimulating growth throughout the state."
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said "Winnebago County is the perfect fit for this rapidly growing company. With an established, skilled workforce, the community made a strong case that it is the best location for the company's second aerospace campus. Woodward's large scale growth will mean more economic activity far outside the doors of its facilities as new workers help the area's economy thrive again."
As an incentive the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity provided an investment package which includes Economic Development for a Growing Economy corporate income tax credits. The potential value of the tax credits, which are based on job creation and retention, is currently $45 million. The state is also providing $578,000 in Employer Training Investment Program job training funds, $3 million in capital grants for site improvements and $500,000 in Business Development Public Infrastructure Program funding to the city.