Illinois Northern Stateline Region


The Northern Stateline Region of Illinois has seen major investments and job growth opportunities over the last few years, with expansions from companies such as Woodward Inc. in Loves Park and optimizing investments from companies such as Berner Food and Beverage in Dakota.  Fiat Chrysler Automobiles employs more than 4,300 individuals who assemble the Jeep Compass, Jeep Patriot, and Dodge Dart in Belvidere. So what is special in the Northern Stateline Region?  Why are companies choosing to invest in Boone, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties?  It comes down to key differentiators that impact a business’ bottom line:

  • Unbeatable Logistics Location
  • Center of Manufacturing Excellence
  • Sophisticated Industrial Labor Force
  • Competitive Operational Costs
  • Global Community

The Northern Stateline Region has access to all the global connections of Chicago, the third largest multi-modal port system in the world, with key logistics assets such as Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), seven class-I railroads, and the most interstate connections in the United States.  With all the connections that Chicago offers, the lack of congestion differentiates the Northern Stateline Region from larger metropolitan areas.



With Interstates 39 and 90 connecting the Northern Stateline Region to the entire NAFTA region and six class-I railroads connecting the region to east and west coast sea ports, distribution centers can access 75 percent of households in the United States within a 24-hour truck drive.  Trucks can be driving 55 mph within five minutes of leaving dock doors with immediate congestion-free interstate access.

With more than 20 percent of the Northern Stateline Region’s workforce employed in manufacturing, the region offers a center of excellence in machinery manufacturing, transportation equipment manufacturing, and fabricated metal product manufacturing. These sub-sectors ultimately support the aerospace, automotive, and other advanced manufacturing industries represented in the Northern Stateline Region by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Nippon Sharyo, UTC Aerospace Systems, and Woodward, Inc.

UTC Aerospace Systems – one of the world’s largest suppliers of technologically advanced aerospace and defense products. UTC Aerospace Systems designs, manufactures and services systems and components and provides integrated solutions for commercial, regional, business and military aircraft, helicopters and other platforms. UTC is also a major supplier to international space programs. UTC Aerospace Systems employs approximately 42,000 people worldwide with approximate annual sales of $14 billion. 

Low operational costs ensure sustainability for companies in the Northern Stateline Region with industrial infrastructure which offers excess capacity and low costs.  An abundant water supply and reliable waste-water treatment is especially attractive to heavy industrial users, such as metal fabricators, and low electricity rates reduce costs for all end-users.  While all companies in Illinois enjoy tax-free personal property, exemptions from sales tax on machinery, and no inventory tax or gross-receipts tax, companies in the Northern Stateline Region realize further benefits from Foreign Trade Zone #176 which helps companies optimize their international supply chain.

Companies in the Northern Stateline Region capitalize on the global market and are increasingly participating in international trade.  With a 32 percent growth in exports 2012-2013, the Northern Stateline Region realized the 37th highest export growth rate in the United States, indicating that the region will become more sustainable with higher wages long-term.  International companies are also increasing their interest in the market, with over 100 companies from more than 20 countries investing in and employing individuals in the region.
In the Northern Stateline Region, your company will:

  • Access U.S. and Global Logistics Networks
  • Join an Instant Supply Chain of Manufacturers
  • Hire a World Class Workforce
  • Reduce Cost
  • Engage in a Global Community

Northern Stateline Region Fast Facts: Cities include Belvidere, Freeport, Rochelle, and Rockford
Industries include aerospace production, food processing, healthcare, industrial machine manufacturing, and professional business services.  In addition to those mentioned above, employers include Berner Food and Beverage, General Mills, Mondelez International, Packaging Coordinators Inc., Rochelle Foods Inc., and UPS. 



Companies in the Northern Stateline Region pull from a labor force of over one million people from a 50 mile radius.  Over 75 higher education institutions - including Northern Illinois University, University of Illinois’ College of Medicine, Rock Valley College, Highland Community College, and Rockford University - train a next generation workforce.  In 2015, Northern Illinois University and Rock Valley College announced a partnership that will allow students to complete a four-year engineering degree from Northern Illinois University at Rock Valley College’s Rockford campus, providing further access to STEM education to Rockford’s youth.



Learn more about this region’s population statistics, local workforce area and community college district boundaries and locations, demographics (such as percentage of veterans, household income, educational attainment, and poverty level), employment projections by industry, and community college graduates by career cluster. 



Jonathan McGee (Temporary)
(312) 485-1137

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