During a press conference on Monday, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver announced her newly created Economic Development (ED) team, which will be led by Rodrick Miller, formerly president and CEO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. She also announced that her new team would be partnering with the Flint & Genesee Chamber to develop a comprehensive economic development strategy for Flint.

This is great news and a great opportunity for the Chamber to expand our partnership with Flint. It will allow the City and the Chamber to develop a shared vision, and better align our strategies and goals to boost economic development. Together, we will more effectively and efficiently attract and retain businesses and residents; and recruit more employers that offer residents jobs that pay a living wage, which also leads to increased household incomes.

Significant changes like these won’t happen overnight. But, over time, our results will yield a larger tax base that will help sustain the city’s revitalization and recovery.

As the lead economic development agency for the region, we collaborate with many entities, including the I-69 Thumb Region partners, Genesee County and Flint as well as our funders, colleges and universities, and medical centers, to name a few. Our core focus is on developing businesses and entrepreneurs, developing talent, and developing place. And through our collaborative efforts, we have an excellent foundation for growth.

I believe we all share a vision of creating a place where people want to be and businesses want to locate and grow. And there’s never been a better time than right now to do exactly that.