Manufacturing Coalition Works with Educators to Bridge Talent Gap

Tim Herman, CEO

Tim Herman, CEO

A strong manufacturing industry is fundamental to not only our local region, but to our nation’s prosperity. The industry contributes to high export potential, better standards of living, and more jobs – with a strong multiplier effect. And according to the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget, we have over 300 manufacturing firms right here in Flint and Genesee County.

While the experts are forecasting a favorable outlook for manufacturers in terms of growth and hiring, there are challenges before them, not the least of which is the gap between the talent they need to keep growing their businesses and the talent that is available.  This issue, among others, was the impetus of Genesee County manufacturers partnering with the Flint & Genesee Chamber to form the Flint & Genesee Manufacturing Coalition.

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Community Collaboration brings New Hunger Solution Center Vision to Reality

The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan Board of Directors is pleased to announce the completion of the new Hunger Solution Center. More than 700 donors contributed to the project, including corporations, foundations, local businesses, hospitals, labor, faith organizations and individuals.

“Not only did we meet, we exceeded the goal of $5.25 million to bring the total to over $6 million, including in-kind gifts,” said Claude High, Board President. “The goal of the capital campaign will enable the Food Bank to support more, to educate more, to engage more, and most importantly to feed more.”

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$1 Gets You a Passport to the City in 2015 ‘Be a Tourist’ Event

Be a Tourist in Your Home Town 2015Looking to stretch your dollar? How about all the way around the city of Flint? The Flint & Genesee Convention & Visitors Bureau has you covered.

The CVB’s third annual Be a Tourist in Your Hometown event from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on July 18 will give Flint & Genesee residents and non-residents alike the opportunity to experience the best the community has to offer – all for only $1.

“Tourists” purchase passports that will grant access to over 30 venues throughout Flint. The passports are also valid for discounts in downtown Flint restaurants and businesses that day.

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Craft Beer Month in Flint & Genesee – Hop to It

Craft Beer Month in Flint & GeneseeThose looking to celebrate Michigan’s Craft Beer Month in July won’t have to travel far:  The brew is bubbling all over Flint & Genesee.

Michigan is home to more than 150 breweries, according to the Michigan Brewers Guild, and is ranked fifth in the United States for its number of breweries.

Genesee County is in on the trend.

“Pure Michigan’s website section featuring ‘Wine, Beer & Spirit Trails’ now links to the Flint & Genesee CVB website because we have a growing number of locations here,” said Cheryl DeFrain, Director of the Flint & Genesee Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Whether it’s craft beer or wine, or even hard cider, we have it all. And many of our restaurants, breweries and tap rooms also have ample space for meetings or banquets, so the possibilities are endless – all right here in our own backyard.”

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Huge Annual Girls’ Softball Tournament Swings into Flint & Genesee

FireStix Tournament flyerHundreds of girls’ fast-pitch softball players will get their shot in front of dozens of college coaches at the annual FireStix College Exposure Tournament on July 10-12 in Grand Blanc.

This is the fifth year for the tournament, which in addition to the three-day competition among nearly 100 teams, gives players the highly coveted opportunity to show their skills in front of college coaches. The Michigan Blue Chip Softball Camp, a one-day skills camp run by seasoned college coaches, will be held the day before the tournament, on July 9.

“Our tournament has grown to 98 teams this year, and players come from all over the state of Michigan, Ohio and Indiana,” said tournament organizer Kevin Babcock, who added that 42 college coaches were in attendance for last year’s tournament.

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Call for Speakers: ‘Lunch is on Us’ Provides Platform for Local Professionals to Share Expertise

Lunch is On UsAre you a member of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce with an idea to share with the local business community? Do you have a story to tell that will excite, educate and inspire? The Flint & Genesee Chamber is looking for guest speakers to do just that during our monthly Lunch is on Us events.

Each month, the free luncheon draws up to 150 attendees for an hour-and-a-half of networking, giveaways and a brief learning session led by a Chamber employee or member. Each talk covers business-related topics, with past presentations highlighting levels of leadership; introversion/extraversion in the workplace; and mindfulness in the office.

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Innovation, Creativity, Reinvention: The Josh Linkner Perspective

Josh LinknerFlint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce ‘s Young Professionals welcome four-time tech entrepreneur, hyper-growth CEO, New York Times bestselling author and venture capitalist Josh Linkner to Flint. He will speak July 9 at the Flint Institute of Arts, 1120 E. Kearsley St., in Flint.

Linkner, a Detroit native, brings a unique and diverse set of experiences to any project. He is passionate about helping people and organizations drive creativity, innovation and performance. Linkner, who started his career as a jazz guitarist, has been the founder and CEO of four tech companies, which sold for a combined value of over $200 million. He is also an experienced business leader, venture capitalist, top-rated keynote speaker, and author of two New York Times bestsellers: Disciplined Dreaming and The Road to Reinvention.

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New Members: June 2015

To become a member, contact Heather Kale at or (810) 600-1427 or DeAndra McCain at or (810) 600-1408.

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Chamber’s Summer Youth Initiative Employs 350 Teens

Nearly 350 teens have jobs this summer thanks to the Flint & Genesee Chamber’s Summer Youth Initiative (SYI). Through SYI, local businesses hire area students during the summer for half or less of their normal hiring and employment costs.

“Teen unemployment in Michigan has dropped, but it remains around 17 percent,” said Rhetta Hunyady, Vice President of Education & Training at the Chamber. “Through our SYI program, we are able to partner with area employers to put teens to work. It’s a win-win for students and local businesses.”

By hiring SYI applicants, employers have the opportunity to employ teens who are ages 14-18 and in grades 9-12. For-profit employers are eligible for a 50 percent match of the students’ salary for the first 90 days of employment. Nonprofits compete for funding to pay 100 percent of employing the students.

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Health & Wellness in the Workplace: Sitting for Too Long May Increase Anxiety, Says Research

Sitting for Too Long May Increase Anxiety, Says ResearchSedentary behavior has long been associated with a laundry list of health problems: obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis, to name a few. But new research from Deakin University in Australia suggests that prolonged sitting could also have an impact on your mental health.

The findings suggests that anxiety risk increases as sedentary behavior increases. While further research is required, researchers say the connection between anxiety and sitting may be related to disturbances in sleep patterns, poor metabolic health and withdrawal from social relationships. It may also be possible that people with anxiety are more likely to engage in sedentary behavior as a coping mechanism.

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