Flint & Genesee ‘Talent Tours’ recognized by International Economic Development Council

(FLINT, Mich., Oct. 2, 2023) – Less than a year after the Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance launched its Talent Tours program, the initiative has received recognition from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Specifically, the program has earned a 2023 Excellence in Economic Development Bronze Award in the category of Innovation Programs & Initiatives.

“We are thrilled to be recognized for our work in connecting underserved residents and returning citizens to local employers and job opportunities,” said Tyler Rossmaessler, executive director of the Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance, a division of the Flint & Genesee Group. “The Talent Tours initiative turns the concept of a job fair on its head by bringing job applicants to the employers. It’s a great way to break down barriers, support local businesses, and empower community members seeking a second chance.”

According to Rossmaessler, the initiative has brought together clients of Catholic Charities, Re-Connections, and St. Luke N.E.W. Life Center for tours of companies including Lear Corp., WGS Global, Clearview, and Curbco. Job seekers have the opportunity to hear from the human resources department before touring the manufacturing floor or workspace.

The Economic Alliance also partners with GST Michigan Works! which provides job readiness and interview training leading up to the tours. Attendees come to the tour with a resume in hand and ready to interview for job openings on-the-spot, when possible.

So far, at least six participants have successfully found employment through the program.

“This program is a strong example of what can be achieved by collaborating with community partners,” Rossmaessler said. “We turned to organizations that were already doing great work with residents and built upon that by leveraging our relationships with employers.”

Every year, IEDC looks specifically for economic development organizations, government entities, initiatives, and programs that have demonstrated consistent, exemplary performance in the economic development profession, leading the execution of projects that have a significant impact on revitalizing communities, and playing a major role in shaping and improving the practice of economic development.

This year’s award recipients were announced at the IEDC 2023 Annual Conference during the inaugural Recognition Night event in Dallas, Texas on Sept. 19.

“The Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance has raised the bar for excellence in economic development with its Talent Tours program,” said IEDC President and CEO Nathan Ohle. “This award is a testament to the Economic Alliance’s dedication to its residents and serves as a great example of how economic development can help transform a community for the better. It is IEDC’s honor and privilege to present the Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance with this award and recognize its leadership and innovation in the field of economic development!”

About the Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance

The Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance, a division of the Flint & Genesee Group, is the lead economic development organization for Flint and Genesee County. To build a more vibrant local economy, the Economic Alliance provides tools, resources, and guidance to local companies of all sizes and stages to support their growth. The division also promotes available sites, workforce, and unique assets to attract growth-oriented businesses to Genesee County. For more information, visit FlintandGenesee.org, and check us out on Facebook and LinkedIn.

About the International Economic Development Council

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 4,300 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities by creating, retaining, and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth, and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members engage in the full range of economic development practices. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in various settings, including local, state, provincial, and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities, and a variety of other institutions. When we succeed, our members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their regions. Learn more at iedconline.org.