Flint, Michigan – May 28, 2014  U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced that Advance Michigan, a partnership representing a 13-county Michigan region anchored by the cities of Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, Lansing and Pontiac, has been designated to receive major federal investments aimed at revitalizing manufacturing through the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Program (IMCP).

The Advance Michigan region was one of a dozen communities that were designated nationally; all IMCP communities will be eligible to compete for a combined $1.3 billion in federal funding from 16 federal departments and agencies including Commerce, Defense, Education, Housing and Urban Development, Labor, Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“We deserve this designation because Flint continues to be one of the leading global centers of advanced manufacturing and innovation. The additional resources will assist us in implementing our master plan and growing our economy in the 21st Century,” stated Mayor Walling.

The funding amount for each region is yet to be determined and the Flint area specifically will benefit directly from only a portion of those funds awarded to Michigan, however the potential estimated impact is more than 100 jobs per year for the Flint area once the programs are underway. The funds are expected to leverage additional private investment which will multiply the affect.

The Advance Michigan initiative, led by Wayne County EDGE, Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN), and the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) along with key partners across the region, will focus on innovations that support increased efficiency and enhanced safety in the automotive and mobility sector, including:

  • Connected and automated vehicle technologies
  • Lightweight and multi-material vehicles
  • Advanced powertrain and propulsion systems
  • World class manufacturing
  • Supply chain and logistics systems

These technology areas are consistent with the State of Michigan’s Automotive Strategic Plan published earlier this year. The Advance Michigan plan contains detailed strategies aimed at expanding workforce and training initiatives, developing supplier networks, supporting research and innovation, developing infrastructure and sites, increasing trade and international investments, and improving operations and capital access.

The City of Flint is a lead partner in Advance Michigan. Mayor Walling led the effort to recruit municipal partners including the City of Detroit with Mayor Duggan and the City of Lansing with Mayor Bernero, as well as numerous other municipalities and counties in the I-69 International Trade Corridor.

The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce was an active member of the strategy development team and coordinated the participation of the area colleges and universities, workforce development agencies and economic development partners.

“Our goal of job creation and manufacturing growth in Flint & Genesee is strengthened by our inclusion in the IMCP designation,” said Tim Herman, CEO, Flint & Genesee Chamber. “Partnering with Lansing, Detroit, Pontiac and Ann Arbor helps us leverage federal resources to enhance our competitiveness.”

In total, Advance Michigan represents an unprecedented collaboration among Michigan’s manufacturing communities. The IMCP application received letters of commitment and support from over 170 partners, companies, municipalities, educational institutions, non-profit organizations and elected officials, including: Chrysler, Ford, GM, and Toyota and a number of automotive suppliers; the UAW; Kettering University, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, Oakland University, the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, and nearly every Community College in the region; Governor Rick Snyder, and both of Michigan’s U.S. Senators and all 10 Members of Congress who represent the 13-county region.