Flint, MI—At the Flint & Genesee Group’s 2021 annual meeting, CEO Tim Herman outlined the organization’s recent accomplishments, focusing on how the group is helping support the region’s businesses through continuing pandemic-related labor shortages.
“I would say that 2021 was a reset year for the Flint & Genesee Group,” Herman said to the crowd gathered at the Capitol Theatre on March 30. “It was a year of introspection, a year spent reimagining and in some cases reinventing our programs, partnerships, and services.”
Herman then walked through highlights of the organization’s 2021 Annual Report, addressing business owners’ difficulties finding and retaining employees.
“In 2021, a talent crisis emerged,” Herman said. “In personal conversations and surveys, employers cited a talent shortage as one of their top concerns.”
Herman said that feedback, along with “The Great Resignation” and the level of “out-migration” occurring in the area, prompted the group to invest more resources into assisting employers with meeting workforce needs.
Herman said the group hosted the region’s largest job fair and a host of other smaller, specialized fairs, launched an internship program called “Flinterns,” and graduated 179 students from its TeenQuest program, which trains high school students for summer job placements.
Aside from workforce support, the Group also noted direct support offered through the Group’s Small Business Help Desk as well as economic development successes, which resulted in over $100 million in regional investment.
“Our Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance division closed seven business development projects that resulted in $123 million dollars of private investment and created 773 jobs,” Herman said.
After a keynote address from Flint-native and Exact Sciences CEO and president Kevin Conroy, Herman closed by sharing the Group’s future goals.
“As we move forward in 2022, we’ll continue our focus on key strategies such as attracting and retaining talent, … being more inclusive to small and minority-owned businesses, and driving economic growth,” Herman said.
He added that the group plans to create a “talent attraction program” that will target individuals looking to relocate and partner on “talent management” training to help businesses strategize hiring and retaining employees.
“With a talent shortage at a 10-year high, we are laser-focused on implementing talent initiatives to help boost the region’s workforce,” Herman said.