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Rockford, IL

Located along three major freeways (I-90, U.S. 20, and I-39) and on the banks of the Rock River, Rockford is the third-largest city in Illinois with a population of around 170,000. Rockford is the seat of Winnebago County and is also a major cargo-transportation hub--Rockford International Airport is heavily used for cargo, particularly by United Parcel Service (UPS), a major employer in the area. Although Rockford experienced a period of economic decline that lasted from the 1960s until the 1980s, the city today has a broad-based economy that has allowed it to thrive as both a business and entertainment center for the region.


With about 62,500 workers, Rockford's service sector offers the most jobs in the area, particularly in healthcare services, followed by manufacturing, at 34,000 jobs. Products made in Rockford range from chewing gum to aircraft and aerospace components, packaging, fasteners, and farm machinery. The rest of Rockford's diverse employment base includes jobs in government, mining and construction, transportation and warehousing, financial, and information sectors. The largest employer in Rockford, with 3,735 employees, is Rockford Health System. Other major employers include:


Neighborhood pride is alive and well in Rockford. Many neighborhoods are organized into associations for improvement and preservation:


Rockford has a plethora of malls and shopping centers, including:


Performing arts are an integral part of community life in Rockford. Several theater and choral groups call the area home. One group is Kantorei, a boys' choir that performs both locally and internationally. The area is dotted with popular venues:

Rockford is also home to a number of art museums:


Opportunities for learning and exploring abound in Rockford:


For a city of its size, Rockford boasts quite a few representative teams in different professional sports:


Rockford keeps a busy social calendar:

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