(FLINT, MICH. – Sept. 18, 2013) The I-69 International Trade Corridor, which includes economic development efforts for Shiawassee, Genesee, Lapeer and St. Clair counties is joining forces with Tuscola, Huron and Sanilac counties in the Thumb as part of the State of Michigan’s Regional Prosperity Initiative.  The combined economic development effort will broaden the region’s ability to leverage assets and spur growth. 

The Regional Prosperity Initiative (RPI) is designed to promote collaboration among entities in designated planning regions across the state.  Collaboratively the new Michigan Region 6 will be eligible to receive funding from the State of Michigan through the RPI.

According to Janice Karcher, Vice President of Economic Development for the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce this expanded collaboration will make it easier to work with the State of Michigan and will have a positive impact on the I-69 Corridor.

“It is good to see the State of Michigan encourage collaboration in major planning regions across the state,” said Karcher.  “The I-69 International Trade Corridor has been asked to work with our neighbors in the Thumb region to promote economic development and workforce development.  This provides a great opportunity for growth in both regions.  It is a vote of confidence for our collaborative work in the Corridor.”

Region 6 includes six economic development offices and seven counties working collaboratively to enhance growth and bring jobs to the area.  The RPI will serve as the vehicle for access to all state funding based on collaboration with planning organizations, nonprofit partners, workforce boards, economic development departments, adult education programs and institutions of higher education.

“This regional partnership emphasizes the importance of our training and employment assistance efforts,” said Craig Coney, President/CEO of Genesee/Shiawassee Michigan Works!.  “Together we have job growth and education strengths that will lead to greater synergies in our region.”

To learn more about the State of Michigan’s Regional Prosperity Initiative visit http://www.michigan.gov/dtmb/0,5552,7-150-66155---,00.html.

For more information about the I-69 International Trade Corridor visit www.I-69internationaltradecorridor.com .