The city of Rockford strives to be a world class community. That's what Mayor Larry Morrissey tells local business leaders at a Chamber of Commerce Annual Luncheon.
"If we want world class jobs and opportunities for our families, then we must see ourselves as a world class community in everything that we do," Mayor Morrissey says.
The dream can be a reality...That's the mayor said, about not only the city of Rockford, but for people visiting, living, and leaving it as well.
"I think at times, we've had a mismatch between what our community expects, and wanting high quality worldclass job opportunities," he says. "But then we don't necessarily match that with what those employers want, which is a high quality world class community."
With the struggle for families to afford sending their kids off to expensive, four year universities, the city continues to look to local colleges to expand and offer unique opportunities.
"We as a community have to wrap our arms around each one of our kids and say you are important not only to your success as a student, but to our success as a community," says Robert Willis, Rockford Public Schools Interim Superintendent. "And until we can do that, and make sure that each one of our students has the same access to higher education if they choose to have that access, we're not gonna be a world class community."
To do that,the city's infrastructure has to allow for businesses and people to visit Rockford, allowing them to see what people here have to offer when it comes to jobs or higher education for the future.
"You've gotta have ways to bring industry or commerce here," says Einar Forsman, Rockford Chamber of Commerce President & CEO. "Or help move commerce around the city."
The mayor continues to focus on growth, with things like expanding the river walk, and adding train service, wich would connect Rockford to the Chicago area.
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