A skilled workforce essential to economic development in Flint & Genesee



In two weeks, the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce will convene for our annual meeting at the Holiday Inn Flint- Grand Blanc to highlight our accomplishments in 2019 and set the stage for the year ahead.

The Chamber staff puts in a lot of work and long hours to pull it all together, and it’s certainly one of my favorite events of the year. In addition to sharing our “report card,” known otherwise as the Annual Report, the meeting brings together many of the region’s business and community leaders and elected officials to network and help celebrate the wins. In fact, some of these leaders partnered with the Chamber on various initiatives.

The 2019 results, including the progress made toward our strategic goals, will be released publicly during the March 11 luncheon, themed Investing in Talent for Economic Growth, in recognition that attracting and retaining talent is a top challenge for employers.

Developing a skilled workforce is essential to attracting new businesses to Flint & Genesee as well as for supporting the expansion of existing businesses. As such, the Chamber devotes considerable resources on growing the talent pipeline through our education and training and economic development programs to ensure that businesses have the skilled workers they need today and in the future.

In addition to the Luncheon, the Annual Report will focus on how the Chamber helped to connect employers with talent resources and prepared students for college and opportunities such as career exploration, apprenticeships, job fairs, and summer and permanent jobs.

To help drive home the importance of talent development and retention, I am honored to have noted businessman and Michigan-native Dave A. Brandon as the keynote speaker for the luncheon. Brandon brings a wealth of knowledge both as a corporate leader and board member for several corporations in different industries. His experience includes serving as chairman and chief executive officer of Valassis, Inc., an international marketing services and sales promotion company; Domino’s Pizza, Inc.; and Toys ‘R’ Us.

Brandon, who is currently Domino’s board chairman, will share his perspective on the “talent gap” and implications for communities; talk about some of his strategies and experiences with talent attraction, retention and development; and share lessons learned from the high-profile positions he has held throughout his admired career.

It’s sure to be an enlightening presentation for our guests.

And you’re welcome to attend. The Chamber’s annual meeting is open to the public. Tickets are available online at flintandgenesee.org or by contacting Member Services at jmain@flintandgenesee.org.

But even if you cannot make it, our Annual Report will be available online on March 11 after the luncheon concludes. I welcome you review a copy to learn more about what we are doing to help make Flint and Genesee County a great place to live, work, visit and start a business.

Tim Herman is the CEO of the Flint

& Genesee Chamber of Commerce.