(FLINT, MICH. – Sept. 18, 2013) Nearly 200 local business, civic and education leaders convened today during the 2013 I-69 International Trade Corridor Regional Summit to learn about the Corridor’s competitive advantage, leveraging workforce talent and taking advantage of trends in automotive and manufacturing.  The Summit was hosted by the Corridor partners Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership, Lapeer Development Corporation and Economic Development alliance of St. Clair County. 

The half-day event featured presentations by Greg Burkhart, Managing Director for Duff & Phelps; Bernard Swiecki, Senior Project Manager for the Center for Automotive Research; Margaret McAvoy, Chair of the I-69 International Trade Corridor Next Michigan Development Corporation; Amy Cell, Senior Vice President, Talent Enhancement for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, as well as Tracey Watlington, Human Resource Manager for Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy in Flint, Troy Angst, Chief Financial Officer of Rugged Liner in Owosso and Lynn Lee, Recruitment and Training Coordinator for SEMCO in Port Huron.

According to Janice Karcher, Vice President for Economic Development for the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce the region is building momentum.

“Today’s event made the case for continued growth in the Corridor,” said Karcher.  “The I-69 International Trade Corridor partners are working collaboratively to leverage the strengths of the region and this Summit provided information about resources that businesses and partners can use to help them take advantage of opportunities today and in the future. The speakers provided a wealth of information.”

Justin Horvath, President and CEO of the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership says the importance of how others view our region cannot be overlooked.

“It is important to know how site selectors view our region,” said Horvath.  “Today’s event provided an encouraging view of the Corridor’s competitive advantages and important information about ways to leverage them.”

Patricia Lucas, Executive Director of Lapeer Development Corporation says the opportunity to hear about new state initiatives is a good thing for businesses in the region.

“Workforce training and preparedness helps strengthen the Corridor’s appeal,” said Lucas.  “It was great to hear about all of the many ways the state provides programs that help businesses hire Michigan workers.”

“Understanding and acknowledging trends is important to the Corridor’s growth,” said Dan Casey, CEO of the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County.  “Today’s presentation gave Summit participants a look at the future of automotive and manufacturing that will have an impact on the future of trade in the region.”

The I-69 International Trade Corridor Partners include:  Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership, Lapeer Development Corporation, Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County and the I-69 International Trade Corridor Next Michigan Development Corporation (NMDC).

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