College access is the cornerstone to advancement for careers and economic stability for our region, which is why the RVC ATC development was high on the list of local Democrats to be a priority project for Downtown Rockford. When news that the project was in jeopardy was reported by RVC, local Democrats urged the Mayor McNamara to step up pressure in assuring that the ATC would happen in Rockford. Our Mayor lined up a developer for an alternative site once the college had said “no” to Barber Colman, but even after securing the necessary people to move the project forward, the college moved the goal posts, again, and again.
Rockford holds 71% of the manufacturing jobs in a four county region, but RVC chose Belvidere for their site, which holds only 10% of the local manufacturing capability. Our party has been consistent in holding the board of trustees and college president accountable to local taxpayers. Rockford residents fund a majority portion of the school’s local tax dollars, but we are seeing disinvestment at an alarming rate from OUR College. That is why the local Democratic Party has moved forward with an Our Community Our College Campaign to bring about more transparent processes when these decisions are made. We are also working with our state delegation to ensure Community Colleges are held accountable to minority recruitment practices that meet state goals.
Bill Rose, 9th Ward Alderman