Recent News


Scholarship Opportunities for Seniors Interested in Manufacturing







The Rock River Valley Tooling and Machining Association (RRVTMA) is offering five $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors graduating in Spring 2014.

This offering supports a focus of our association’s mission, namely, “promoting and emphasizing education”. It is our hope that awarding scholarships to high school seniors pursuing a manufacturing related degree program will encourage more young people to pursue careers in manufacturing.


Individual who is a high school senior graduating in 2014

Primary residence must be in Winnebago, Boone, Ogle, Stephenson or Whiteside County in Illinois or Rock or Walworth County in Wisconsin

Must be a U.S. citizen or documented permanent resident of the United States

Intended course of study is in a manufacturing technology or manufacturing engineering related major

Plan to attend a community college, technical college or four-year college or university

In an essay, state your interest in a manufacturing industry career, what event or series of events led you to this decision and your specific career goals after graduation from college

To apply for this scholarship, download the Scholarship Application Packet from The completed application MUST be RECEIVED by the revised February 17, 2014 deadline. Incomplete and late applications will not be accepted.

If you have any questions, contact:
Don Williams
RRVTMA Apprentice Administrator
P 815.978.3698

Read Article: RRStar



Belvidere Park District

Belvidere Park District Expanding in 2014

Belvidere Park District






The Belvidere Park District will be expanding its footprint in 2014 to meet the community’s surge in demand for special recreation programs.

In November, the district purchased an 8,000-square-foot single-story building at 6581 Revlon Drive to house activities for people ages 3 and older who have physical, mental and development disabilities, Executive Director Dan Roddewig said. Activities are currently held in the lower level of the administrative building and a rented house — about 3,000 square-feet worth of space.

The park district has budgeted $700,000 for the new building and renovations. The project is being funded through property taxes, although Roddewig said residents shouldn’t notice a hike in their bill because leaders paid off other bonds earlier this year.

It’s worth every penny for parents like Michelle Rojas, whose 9-year-old autistic son, Niko, benefits from having extra attention in social situations. The Belvidere mom said the children build friendships through the programs while the adults meet others who understand what they are going through.
“It’s helped him with teamwork — how to play with other people in an environment — that’s accepting to him. I can see us going to state competitions when he’s 20, maybe even older,” Rojas said of Niko, who participates in swimming, basketball, track and field.

The building will be renovated to create a kitchen, multipurpose rooms, reception area, breakout room, exercise room, computer room, library, laundry room, arts and crafts room and garden. There will be 1.5 acres of green space outside.

“It’s just unbelievable,” Roddewig said. Before Katie Humphrey took over as special recreation manager in 2007, he said, the district would do just a five-week summer camp, with programming four hours a day.

“That was the extent of our special recreation program,” Roddewig said.

Since then, the park district has expanded its special recreation programs to sports leagues, overnight trips, dances, game nights and outings in the community. The initiative is tied to the Northlands Association for Special Recreation, which is partnered with the Belvidere, Freeport and Rockford park districts

The larger space will help children and adults who benefit from small group activity. Humphrey said sometimes participants will have behavior meltdowns because they are over stimulated in large crowds or cramped areas.

More importantly, the new building will allow additional people with special needs to learn basic life skills, participate in recreational activities and meet friends.

“It’s nothing special to them, it’s just part of life. We are giving them the ability to experience that in a safe environment,” Humphrey said.

Read: RRStar Article



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Celebrating 35 Years of Economic Development Efforts in Boone County

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Growth Dimensions, the economic development team working to enhance opportunity and investment in Boone County, will celebrate its 35th anniversary next year.

It will mark over 3 decades of hard, dedicated work to economic development growth in Boone County. Not only by staff, but by countless volunteers who have spent time and energy supporting the efforts for prosperity in the community.

Read: Full article posted by Bob Trojan





Boone County Historical Museum Ribbon Cutting










The ribbon has been cut on the newly expanded Boone County Historical Museum.

It has been a little over a year since the ground breaking of the expansion project at the Boone County Historical Museum which would join the two exisiting buildings into one creating a beautiful atrium space. The ribbon cutting took place on Friday, December 6, 2013 with a grand opening celebration on Saturday, December, 7th. 

Click here for ribbon cutting photos.

Click here for Boone County Historical Museum website.



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Belvidere Production Boosts Chrysler Sales Momentum

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Chrysler Group LLC reported its U.S. sales in November grew 16 percent compared from 2012, helped again by the trio of vehicles built at its Belvidere assembly plant.

In November, dealers sold 142,275 Chrysler vehicles versus 122,565 in November 2012. Of the total sales, 15,181 were from its Belvidere products — the Dodge Dart, Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot. That was 33 percent more than November 2012 and it marked the 13th straight month that sales of the trio of Belvidere-assembled vehicles were at least 25 percent higher than the year before.

Chrysler employs about 4,500 people at its Belvidere plant, making it the largest local employer in the Rock River Valley. More than 1,500 work at supplier plants nearby.

Through November, dealers have sold 197,047 Darts, Compasses and Patriots. That’s the most sales of Belvidere-built vehicles since 1997, which was the early days of the Dodge and Plymouth Neon.

Each of the three Belvidere-produced vehicles have already set an annual sales record this year.

Read: RRStar Article



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