Moving our community to create jobs and promote a sustainable and prosperous future

(Flint, Michigan—December 20, 2010) On Monday, December 20, a new Flint-Genesee County Economic Development strategy was announced during a 10:30 a.m. news conference hosted by Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. Additionally Flint-Genesee County leaders have reached out to Governor-elect Rick Snyder and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) in support of this economic development plan.

Partners for Progress: Flint-Genesee Region Economic Development Playbook

During the news conference, Flint-Genesee County leaders pledged their support to work closely with Governor-elect Snyder and his administration to create and retain jobs while transforming Michigan into a sustainable, innovative and prosperous future.  Leaders will deliver on their pledge through the implementation of projects detailed in the new Flint-Genesee Region Economic Development Playbook.

The Playbook outlines a strategy to build on Flint-Genesee County’s recent job creation successes, seize new opportunities, and identify policy issues that local units and state government can resolve together.

The aim is to be one of Michigan’s major success stories by advancing Flint-Genesee County to diversification and growth.  Over the next three to five years, Flint-Genesee County will  achieve success by generating new jobs and doubling export activity; increasing enrollments across higher educational institutions; attracting and retaining mobile talent and young families; stabilizing property values and local tax revenues; reducing unemployment and poverty; and improving health outcomes, quality of life and environmental sustainability.

“The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce has always been a champion for economic growth, diversification and revitalization,” said Tim Herman, Regional Chamber CEO. “The Playbook highlights this fact as well as the collaborative efforts underway to deliver prosperity to all of our citizens.”

As detailed in the Playbook, the collaboration with major institutions, government and non-profits has proven successful even in the ongoing recession. In the last year economic development efforts in Flint-Genesee County created 1,700 jobs and retained 1,000 more.  Over the past two years public and private joint efforts have brought more than $230 million in new manufacturing investment, more than $200 million in private investment to downtown Flint, and over $100 million in new higher education assets. This was also a milestone year for area colleges and universities with enrollment reaching nearly 34,000 students, once again reinforcing Flint’s shift from a car town to a college town.These successes exemplify the results-oriented approach in Flint and Genesee County. “We know that a more diversified economy with new and retained jobs is key to Flint’s 21st century sustainable city transformation,” said Flint Mayor Dayne Walling. “The Playbook is a tangible guide that highlights our economic development successes, our challenges and our next steps to a more prosperous and viable community.”

To further enhance collaboration between Flint-Genesee County and the Snyder administration, the Playbook partners requested that Governor-elect Snyder include advisors from the area on his team. “We have a history of partnerships and collaboration in Genesee County,” explained Herman. “I look forward to new partnerships that will achieve results for the region and the whole state as well.”

“Economic development can no longer happen by chance, but rather through deliberate actions and strategies on the part of Genesee County and its component communities,” said Jamie Curtis, Chairman, Genesee County Board of Commissioners. “With the Playbook and our CEDS strategy our region is well-positioned for success.”“Our region is positioned well to work with the Governor and his economic development team,” added Michael Brown, Director of the Flint Area Reinvestment Office. “A result of a broad-based collaboration, the Playbook has received support from many partners including Kettering University TechWorks facilitation and writing support. We have a plan and we are eager to build on our partnerships between the public and private sector. Together we can create jobs and provide opportunity for citizens and businesses of the region."Participating in the news conference was Mayor Dayne Walling, City of Flint; Michael Brown, Director of the Flint Area Reinvestment Office; David Hollister, President & CEO of Primas Civitas Foundation; Michael Finney, outgoing CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK and newly-appointed CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC); Jamie Curtis, Chairman, Genesee County Board of Commissioners; Neal Hegarty, Program Director, C. S. Mott Foundation; and Janice Karcher, Vice President of Economic Development at the Regional Chamber.    To review the Economic Development Playbook log onto