Broad engagement through community conversations and forums has become a standard in our community. It fosters and accelerates our ability to achieve our region’s top 25 vision. Recently, Transform Rockford learned from the March 22, 2020 article in the Rockford Register Star that Rock Valley College is exploring an alternative location at the Chicago-Rockford International Airport for their Advanced Technology Center (ATC).
We believe it is important for Rock Valley College leadership to re-engage and inform our regional community on its decision-making process. It’s the best way to help the entire community understand which location will ultimately achieve high program success similar to a recent partnership like the OSF School of Nursing and NIU/RVC Engineering program (which enabled strong business participation and maximized student access and learning experiences).
Last September, when we learned that Rock Valley College was considering an alternative location to the Barber Colman Village location for the ATC, we engaged in dialogue with key stakeholders for that project. Then, and still today, we believe the outcomes for Barber Colman Village and the ATC are important and transformational efforts. Ultimately, Rock Valley College leadership decided not to build at Barber Colman and explore the Rockford Register Star building in downtown Rockford as an alternative location for the ATC.
This decision will have a long-term impact on our region and should be made with concern and consideration of our community’s understanding, buy-in, and support for the programming and location of the ATC. We recognize the current environment does not allow for in-person dialogue; however, we want to publicly urge Rock Valley College to consider the community voice and create a digital forum of engagement of which Transform Rockford would assist with facilitation.
David Sidney – Executive Director, Transform Rockford
Christie Jarrett – Steering Committee Chair, Transform Rockford