As an Illinoisan, hearing about our state's troubles has become a common occurrence.

However, I love it when you see things like this. A northern Illinois town just a little over 30 mins from Rockford is defying the odds.

It's like the little engine that could, those stories of triumph over tragedy which has unfortunately has grabbed a hold of this state.

The town is none other than Rochelle.

Even though there is a lot of wrong in state right now, this town is plugging away and growing adding more business by the day it seems.

According to BetterGov.orgRochelle is proving that even in the hard times there is still a way to keep moving forward.

The Hub City is on an "industrial roll, blissfully ignoring a common narrative among political and business elites that economically maligned Illinois is circling the toilet bowl."

The city has steadily climbed in these troubled times with their businesses known for the production of canned good fruits and veggies,"french fries...bacon...fabricated steel, ethanol, hydroponic tomatoes, the production of passenger cars for METRA" and very soon the possibility of churning out brand spankin' new Toyotas and Mazadas. states that "the sheer number of businesses calling Illinois home is up 28 percent since 2001, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics." Also, "most of the growth in Illinois is in small businesses, yet the data also show that Illinois has done better than neighboring states in retaining its roster of very large businesses."

Look there is a silver lining in the dark ugly clouds that hang over Illinois.

I don't know about you, but that puts a smile on my face.

Maybe it's because I have special place in my heart for Rochelle. I grew up around the town. My grandpa used to work for Del Monte. I went to high school there and even held a radio job there as I worked my way up the broadcasting career chain.

May this be a lesson for all of us.  Even though things may look dark and discouraging there is always a way to make it better. There is a light at the end of the tunnel if you just keep going forward. Honestly, it doesn't matter how fast you're going it's just the fact that you're moving that counts.