2009 Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce Annual Report
2009 Annual Report
From the Chairman
Fellow Citizens of Genesee County
T his the first Annual Report of the Genesee Regional Chamber of
Commerce since the organization was formed in 2006. In years past we
have delivered a “report card’ to the community at our annual meeting.
This year we felt it was important to go one step further and document the
success our organization has achieved in our three areas of activity: Economic
Development, Employer Education and Training and Member Services.
The Regional Chamber has made significant progress in all three areas.
The Operating Board and staff are focused on delivering high value to our
members, investors and the community of Genesee County. We cannot
accomplish this on our own. We understand this community will be successful
if organizations and individuals partner and collaborate to reach shared
goals. More than ever before, our public, private and foundation partners
have alignment on key issues. More than ever before, we need to use this
consensus to enhance the quality of life for all the citizens of this community.
While we have a very aggressive work plan for 2010, it is important to
look back and measure our efforts in 2009. After reading our report I think
you will conclude that we are heading in the right direction and we are
achieving success in the face of challenging times.
Dr. Julianne Princinsky
Chairman, Operating Board of Directors
President, Baker College Flint
From the CEO
T he 2009 Annual Report is a record of the many ways the Genesee
Regional Chamber of Commerce is helping Flint and Genesee County
become a strong and vital 21st century community. The Genesee Regional
Chamber of Commerce is a leadership organization that facilitates
partnership and collaboration with the public, private and nonprofit
sectors in our community to enhance our quality of life. The Regional
Chamber is a hybrid chamber of commerce model that is a reflection of
the needs of Flint and Genesee County. We work in areas that are not
commonly the charge of a traditional chamber of commerce.
We are the principal economic development agency for Flint and Genesee
County. With the help of public, private and foundation investors Flint
and Genesee County made significant progress in 2009 improving its
economic foot print.
The Regional Chamber also takes a leadership role in training area youth
to prepare them for the world of work. Our TeenQuest and Summer Youth
Initiative programs are cutting-edge education programs that have a
significant impact on the lives of 14-18 year students from across the
county who take advantage of these opportunities. Our Career Preparation
programs reach thousands of students every year.
The affinity and networking programs we provide our members save
them hundreds of dollars every year. We have one of the finest collections
of affinity programs to be found anywhere in the State of Michigan.
And our networking events continue to grow as we reach out to
Chambers of Commerce across Genesee County to connect, collaborate
and communicate the significant opportunities within our business
As we enter our fourth year as the Genesee Regional Chamber of
Commerce we can look back at 2009 and see the real, tangible results of
our strategic planning and concentrated work plans. I think you will be
pleased with the efforts you see on the following pages.
Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce
C reating new jobs and retaining current jobs are uppermost in the minds of the citizens of Genesee
County. In 2009 the Regional Chamber economic development staff and partners made significant
accomplishments that will aid the local economy for years to come. Projects that took months and in some
cases years to accomplish came on line. Private sector investment in the community and the winning of new
government contracts for existing businesses generated nearly $169 million in new business activity.
An important objective of the Regional Chamber’s economic development team is to visit local companies and discover how best
to assist them with issues that are impacting their business. Overall 107 retention visits that impacted 2,298 jobs were conducted
in 2009. The Regional Chamber staff helped companies with everything from bringing a new green technology to market to
selling furniture to the U.S. Navy.
A total of five retention investment projects were completed in 2009. This represented an investment of $13,156,187, with a total
of 134 jobs created, and 207 jobs retained.
Barrette Outdoor Living
Barrette Outdoor Living (formerly U.S. Fence) is a Flint manufacturer of outdoor
fencing products. When they wanted to obtain a tax abatement for a new investment
they came to the Regional Chamber for assistance. The result was a cooperative effort
with the City of Flint that provided the abatement. Barrette Outdoor Living then
invested $10 million in new equipment and made plans to hire at least 82 people over
a two-year period.
L&L Machine Tool
L&L Machine Tool has been in business since 1977 doing precision CNC vertical and
horizontal turning, boring and jig milling with small to mid size production runs of
five to 5000 pieces. When the company decided to expand and invest $456,187 they
asked the Regional Chamber for assistance. Through consultation with staff and
collaboration with Grand Blanc Township they were able to obtain three-year personal
property tax abatement. The company purchased five pieces of equipment that
they plan to use to serve current customers with new services and diversify into new
markets with the potential of adding eight new jobs.
Retention projects brought $13,156,187 of
investment to the community creating 134 jobs
page 4 and retaining an additional 207 jobs.
Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC)
The Genesee Valley office of the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center housed at the Regional Chamber helps local
manufacturers adopt lean practices and processes that help improve their bottom lines. The MMTC also helps area manufacturers
identify and go after new markets for their products and services. July 1, 2009 marked the start of the MMTC fiscal year, and since
then the Regional Chamber’s MMTC has done more than $100,000 in projects with 18 companies, which were subsidized by a
federal grant. The program far exceeded its yearly requirement of $80,000 in projects, ending the year at $204,587 resulting in new
sales, cost savings and other significant measurable results for the companies served .
TMI Custom Air Systems
TMI Custom Air Systems worked with MMTC to improve their quoting system
and assembly plant efficiency in 2009. Through the application of lean process
improvement tools they were able to improve work flow, plant productivity and
ultimately decrease the build time per unit.
Additionally TMI improved office procedures for creating quotes. Quote reworks
were reduced by more than 50%. Jobs quoted have increased and profitability is up,
enabling them to hire additional people.
Mac Arthur Corporation
Mac Arthur Corporation creates labels, die cuts and other products for automotive OEM
and tier 1 customers. The MMTC at the Regional Chamber was able to help them obtain
grant funding through the From Surviving to Thriving (FSTT) program and Incumbent
Worker Training fund. The company used the opportunity to redesign their plant floor
layout and office systems.
Through these two initiatives the company has been able to save more than $100,000
Additional 2009 projects
Several area companies have worked with MMTC to develop new websites. The
companies include Weinstein Electric, Webasto Product North America, Cardinal
Machine and Blevins Screw Products.
MMTC completed consulting projects
valued at $204,587 in 2009 page 5
Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)
The Regional Chamber’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center is a federally funded program aimed at helping area businesses
become certified and compete for government contracts. Last year, 566 contracts were awarded to PTAC clients, valued at
$77,901,626. PTAC representatives hold ten training sessions each year and counsel hundreds of businesses on the ins-and-outs of
government contracting. PTAC counseled 245 businesses in 2009.
Adaptive Manufacturing Systems and Burton Industries
Adaptive Manufacturing Solutions (AMS) and Burton Industries secured a $6.8 million
defense contract. Burton Industries will retain five jobs as they serve as the lead
company on the two-year contract to design and manufacture equipment for Pine
Bluff Arsenal in Arkansas. The equipment will allow the arsenal to assemble smoke
grenades. Additionally, the Regional Chamber partnered with Atlas Township to help
the company obtain a Tool & Die Recovery Zone designation.
J. Perez Construction Company
CONSTRUCTION INC. Several years ago, J. Perez Construction Company in Flint catered almost exclusively to
commercial clients. Today, nearly 80 percent of the company’s work comes from one
EREZ of the largest clients in the country—the U.S. government. The 25-year-old company
now has a five-year, open-ended contract with the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and
Armaments Command (TACOM) to perform defense-related construction work. PTAC
staff worked with the company to secure the contract, which was awarded last year.
Over the life of the contract, the construction company has the potential to have sales
up to $15 million.
PTAC activities helped local companies
win566 government contracts worth
page 6 $77,901,626 in 2009.
The Regional Chamber completed nine attraction projects in 2009 representing $91,027,000 in investment that will add 902 new
jobs to the community. These projects include:
Magna Electronics, Inc.
The Magna Electronics project is expected to bring 525 jobs and an estimated $70
million in new investment to Genesee County and Grand Blanc Township. The project
will include the manufacture of motors for electric vehicles. Magna Electronics plans
to begin manufacturing the electric motors in early 2011. The project also includes
expansion of the company’s existing facility to build the electric propulsion system
controls for the 2012-2017 Ford Focus and other battery electric vehicles.
Frank W. Ervin III, manager of government affairs for Magna International, said the
company considered three other states and several other Michigan sites for the
project. “But the help we received from Grand Blanc Township and from the Genesee
Regional Chamber of Commerce convinced us to locate this project in Genesee
County,” he said. “The help we received was the deciding factor.”
Woodworth Inc., a Detroit-based company that provides heat-treating for the
automotive wind power and other industries, will invest more than $20 million to
renovate and equip a building on Pier North Boulevard and plans to construct an
expansion of the building at I-75 and Pierson Road in Mt. Morris Township.
Woodworth is a brownfield redevelopment project and has qualified for state tax
credits and a tax abatement from Mt. Morris Township. This project in Liberty Business
Park will create 40 to 50 jobs initially, primarily skilled trades and technical positions,
and 30-40 more when a new addition is constructed in 2012.
Other 2009 projects include
• University of Phoenix, Flint Township • SI Sunrooms, Burton
• IC Agency Interactive Communications, • Rogers Foam Corporation, Flint
Flint Township • Census Bureau, Flint
• Dean River Productions, • Icecat, Fenton
Building relationships and communicating effectively with site consultants is a very important part of Regional Chamber
attraction activities. Site consultants advise their business clients on possible locations for expansion. In 2009 the Regional
Chamber developed new relationships with national site consultants through active participation in three conferences during the
year. The goal is to have these important decision makers visit our community. Four site consultants and other multiplier groups
were hosted in Genesee County in 2009 to increase their knowledge of our strengths and assets.
Nine private sector projects brought
$91,027,000 in investment and 902 new jobs
to the community in 2009
Employer Education & Training Connection
T he Employer Education and Training Connection “connects” Genesee County employers, workers and
students to programs designed to enhance their business and work place skills. EETC provides several
programs to achieve this objective. Each year the Regional Chamber conducts workshops for area employers
and their employees on a wide array of topics. In 2009, 41 different workshops were held that served 610
businesses and more than 800 employees.
TeenQuest & Summer Youth Initiative
EETC also provides the TeenQuest program, which provides pre-employability skills
to area youths. TeenQuest is a five-week after school program that is free and open
to all Genesee County high school students ages 14-18. Successful completion of
the program gives students eligibility for the Summer Youth Initiative. Through
the Summer Youth Initiative students are given the opportunity to interview
for positions with local nonprofit and for profit organizations for 8-10 weeks of
summer employment. This Regional Chamber program, through the support of
local foundations, provides the minimum wage paid by non-profit organizations to
the students. When students work for a for profit business, the Regional Chamber
subsidizes half of a student’s salary.
In 2009, 494 students graduated from the TeenQuest program. Students employed
in the Summer Youth Initiative totaled 593 (graduates s from previous years can seek
employment through the SYI program).
Another important component of the EETC program is career preparation workshops.
These workshops provide area high school students a chance to learn about resume
writing, business etiquette, and other important skills necessary for the work place.
Local businesses connect with students by assisting at career fairs, holding work site
visits and doing mock interviews with students. These activities provide students with
an inside view of the world of work. In 2009, 279 workshops were conducted in 40
different Genesee County schools. In all 354 Genesee County firms met with more than
12,000 students last year.
TeenQuest graduated 494 students
and another 593 students were employed
through the Summer Youth Initiative.
EETC also conducted 279 workshops
page 8 that served over 12,000 students in 2009.
M ember Services completed a very solid year in 2009. While Chambers of Commerce across the state
faced significant declines in membership, the Regional Chamber experienced its fewest lost members
in a decade. Through an aggressive sales program, the Member Services team made 256 face-to-face sales
meetings resulting in 122 new members. Through sales activities, the Member Services team also retained
202 businesses that were contemplating dropping their membership. Membership at year end was 874.
Member Services at the Regional Chamber encompasses many different activities.
The Regional Chamber offers affinity or money-saving programs for its members. In
2007, the Regional Chamber offered seven affinity programs. At the end of 2009 the
Regional Chamber offered 30 different programs for members.
Networking opportunities for our members and the community at large are offered
through Member Services. In 2009, the Regional Chamber hosted 25 networking
programs such as Lunch is on Us, After Hours Connection, the Business Awards and
the Business to Business Expo. Thousands of area business people attended the events
and made new business connections.
Three business committees that address specific concerns in the community
are overseen by Member Services. Those committees are the Women’s Business
Committee, Small Business Committee and the African American Advisory Committee.
In all, 45 committee events were held in 2009.
In 2009, Member Services hosted 70 networking
and committee events attended by thousands
of area residents. Affinity programs now stand at 30,
one of the most comprehensive set of programs in the state.
Premier Corporate Business
A. G. Bishop Charitable Trust AT&T - Michigan Ace Asphalt & Paving
Baker College of Flint Career Alliance, Inc. Bishop International Airport
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation Citizens Bank - Main Office City of Fenton
Chase - Plaza One Branch Dee Cramer, Inc. Compak - Webcor-C/W South
City of Flint Genesee Packaging, Inc. Corporations
Community Foundation of Greater Flint Goyette Mechanical Company, Inc. Davison Township
Consumers Energy Grand Blanc Township Flint Cultural Center Corporation
Genesee County Commissioners Hubbard Supply Co. Genesee Intermediate School District
Genesys Health System Hurand & Hurand, LLC IMA Recreation Association
HealthPlus of Michigan, Inc. Kettering University Metro PCS
Hurley Medical Center Koegel Meats, Inc. Morgan Construction
Lewis & Knopf, CPAs, PC Landaal Packaging Systems Mott Children’s Health Center
McLaren Regional Medical Center Mass Transportation Authority National City Bank
Mott Community College Plante & Moran, PLLC Randy Wise Auto Mall
ROWE Professional Services Company Ruth Mott Foundation Randy Wise Buick GMC
Security Packaging, Inc. Randy Wise Chevrolet, Inc.
Serra Automotive Target Stores (T0350)
Shaltz Automation, Inc. Target Stores-Lapeer
Siwek Construction The Kroger Company Of Michigan
Sorensen Gross Construction Services, LLC Wade Trim, Inc.
THA Architects Engineers
The Flint Journal
University of Michigan-Flint
Weinstein Electric Company
519 S. Saginaw St. | Suite 200
Flint, MI 48502