State Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, has convinced Gov. Pat Quinn to redirect $1 million of state capital funding to help entice Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to build a third campus in Rockford.
Syverson worked with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to shift the funds, which had been reserved for a local charter school project that has been cancelled.
Embry-Riddle, based in Daytona Beach, Fla., is deciding where to build its third residential campus. Rockford and Houston, Texas are the finalists.
“In the capital plan passed two years ago, a portion of capital funding was directed toward education-related projects around the state – some of those projects that have since been cancelled,” Syverson said in a statement.
“I was able to redirect $1 million from those canceled projects to the Embry Riddle project, which will be an additional boost for Rockford’s chances at securing the campus.”
Syverson said Embry-Riddle would be a “game changer” for Rockford, adding hundreds of direct jobs an thousands more jobs indirectly because the campus would boost Rockford’s aeorspace industries.
“Part of the reason we were able to redirect this funding was the enormous economic benefit it would bring to northern Illinois,” Syverson said. “But in addition to that, my job was made easier because the way the entire community has rallied behind the project and sacrificed to make it happen. State leaders have been very impressed once again with way the “Rockford Team” has so professionally put together this plan.”
The Rockford Area Economic Development Council is coordinating the community-wide effort to bring Embry-Riddle to the Forest City.