(FLINT, MICH. – January 22, 2014) The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce along with economic development partners in the I-69 International Trade Corridor and the Thumb are collaborating with the University of Michigan-Flint to embark on the first Regional Wage and Benefit Survey.  The survey is designed to aggregate data from a 7-county region, which includes Shiawassee, Genesee, Lapeer, St. Clair, Tuscola, Sanilac, Huron.

Employers in the region will be invited to complete the survey.  Participants will receive a free copy of the results, which will focus on average wages and benefits paid by employers.  The report will provide data for area firms to see how they compare.  Economic development offices will also use the findings to inform prospective new firms of wage expectations in the region.

According to Janice Karcher, Vice President of Economic Development for the Chamber the data provided through the Regional Wage and Benefit Survey Project will serve as a resource for local employers and as a valuable tool for business attraction.

“This survey is designed to create a resource for our region that will help employers stay competitive,” said Karcher.  “Companies from throughout the region will be invited to participate.  The data collected will be aggregated for use in county and regional reports.  By spearheading the first survey of its kind in this area, we will be able to leverage our collective data in ways that strengthen our economic development efforts whether we stand as individual counties or as part of a broader region.”

Paula Nas, Director, Center of Economic Education for the University of Michigan-Flint, says partnering with the Chamber and the counties included in the study strengthens connections between the University and the community.

“This is a very unique project and we are pleased to play a role in survey design, data compilation and report creation,” said Nas.  “By combining the resources available through the University with the real-world economic development expertise in each of the seven counties, the Regional Wage and Benefit Survey project brings together the best of both worlds.  The result will be a first-of-its-kind report with multiple applications.”

The survey results are slated for release in March.  To learn more about the Regional Wage and Benefit Survey Project contact David Merot, Data and Research Consultant for the Flint & Genesee Chamber at dmerot@flintandgenesee.org .