The future of Flint and Genesee County depends greatly on the investments made yesterday, today and tomorrow. And based on the returns thus far, the outlook for a thriving 21st century urban center in the next few years is very promising.
That’s because the Flint area is “comprised of forward thinkers and doers,” said Chamber CEO Tim Herman, to more than 400 guests in attendance today at the Holiday Inn Gateway Centre.
“We have a clear vision of what can be accomplished leading up to the year 2020,” Herman said. “And there are a lot of good, smart people working to make our vision a reality over the next three years.”
The Chamber’s 2017 Annual Meeting also featured a panel discussion that addressed three areas – Flint & Genesee County Today; Models to Follow; and Flint & Genesee Tomorrow. The panelists were: Dr. Beverly Walker-Griffea, President, Mott Community College; Bob Waun, CEO, C3 Ventures Flint, LLC; Eric Larson, CEO, Downtown Detroit Partnership; and Will McClure, Jr., a student at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.
In addition, Steve Landaal, President of Landaal Packaging, was elected Chair of the Flint & Genesee Chamber’s Operating Board of Directors for a one-year term. He replaced Past Chair Robert Rummel, Senior Vice President at Chase.
Before detailing the Chamber’s accomplishments from the past year, Herman shared several data points as evidence of the region’s momentum, including:
- Overall total wage growth increased 24.8 percent from 2010-2015.
- Genesee County unemployment rate was down to 5 percent in December 2016 from 5.8 percent the previous year.
- Home prices rose 3.26 percent in 2016 over 2015.
“In 2016, Flint and Genesee County continued to make forward progress on important measures, despite some of the challenges we faced,” Herman said. “When you look at
the numbers – not only in 2016 – but over the past five years, it’s clear that Flint-area businesses are growing, expanding their workforce and painting a clear picture that the region is moving forward.”
Following are 2016 accomplishments directly related to the Chamber’s economic development, tourism and education efforts, and other programs and services:
- Supported more than $503 million of total investment and contract value
- 21 investment projects generated an estimated $127 million in annual payroll
- 1,708 jobs created and retained
- 20 retention/expansion investment projects and 1 attraction investment projects in Genesee County
- 1,219 government contracts won with assistance from the Chamber’s Procurement and Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) and 511 companies counseled
- Over $131 million in tourism economic impact due to overnight hotel room rentals in Genesee County
- Lodging revenue rose 7.8 percent with occupancy at 54.3 percent
- Served 2,569 students through 61 career prep workshops
- Graduated 401 students from the TeenQuest leadership and pre-employment training program
- Hired 569 teens through the Summer Youth Initiative (SYI) Job Fair
- Served 3,378 students in county elementary and middle schools through YouthQuest
- Conducted 146 workshops, which served 4,614 firms and trained 8,073 employees
- 19,641 individuals attended 142 member events
Landaal said the Chamber and region made significant strides in 2016.
“But not only is it important to look in our rearview mirror regularly, it’s equally, if not more important to look ahead,” said Landaal.
A copy of the Chamber’s Annual Report is available online at flintandgenesee.org.