Flint, MI — Flint-area General Motors (GM) plants have announced $270,000 in grants to eight local nonprofits.
The funding comes from the company’s Community Impact Grants program. According to a GM press release, the program is part of a series of grants supporting the Flint and Genesee region which total to more than $6 million since 2019.
The program is designed to tackle issues in the neighborhoods and cities where GM operates. The recipients of its 2023 Flint-area grants are:
- Boys and Girls Club of Greater Flint
- Communities First, Inc.
- Flint River Watershed Coalition
- Kettering University
- Michigan Crossroads Council, Boy Scouts of America
- Neighborhood Engagement Hub
- Red Ink Flint, Inc.
- United Way of Genesee County
Michigan Crossroads Council, Boy Scouts of America and Red Ink Flint are new to the grantee pool for 2023. All other organizations were also awarded community impact grants last year.
According to Ty Allushuski, the senior manager of plant communications for Flint Assembly, the program is “employee-driven,” and the nomination process is a collaborative effort between representatives from GM’s six facilities in Genesee County as well as local UAW partners.
Allushuski said organizations are nominated by the committee based on a variety of factors, “including immediate need and the ability of the nonprofit to make an impact in one of GM’s focus areas of STEM Education, Vehicle and Road Safety, and Community Development.”
Once nominated, he explained, the nonprofit is invited to apply for grant money by detailing its proposed use of funds.
During a Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce lunch on May 10, 2023, GM recognized this year’s grant recipients.
Chad Pung, plant executive director at Flint Assembly, spoke on behalf of the local GM plants involved in the grants process. Those facilities include Customer Care and Aftersales – Burton and Swartz Creek, Flint Assembly, Flint Engine Operations, Flint Metal Center, and the North American Engineering and Tooling Center.
“The work being done by these eight nonprofits in our local community is remarkable,” Pung said. “GM is proud to be able to support the efforts with Community Impact Grants, and it’s important that we partner with the local communities and our employees to continue to make Flint and Genesee County a great place to live and work.”
Jamie-Lee Venable, vice president of United Way of Genesee County, told Flint Beat that her organization was particularly grateful for its $125,000 award because the money goes toward programming that more traditional grants won’t fund.
Venable said United Way will use its grant to support the nonprofit’s Employer Resource Collaborative program, which partners with Michigan Works! and roughly 14 local businesses to help remove barriers for entry level employees. Those barriers can include anything from needing new work boots to car repairs and childcare, she explained.
“Without the funding from General Motors, it would be a struggle to have any resources to remove these barriers,” Venable said. “Federal and state grants don’t just allow you to fix someone’s car or get some childcare… So this really fills a gap where other funding doesn’t, and in the long run, it keeps people employed.”
Aside from the Community Impact Grants program, GM is also poised to award another $270,000 in grants to 17 local, small businesses through its “Moving Flint Forward” partnership with the Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance.
Allushuski told Flint Beat that more information on those grantees will be shared soon.