The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency met with area manufacturers and business leaders yesterday to discuss the agency's role in fostering sustainable manufacturing, lean manufacturing and increased energy efficiency in Flint and Genesee County. Jim Jones, an EPA Official, addressed the business leaders at the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce in downtown Flint.

Tim Herman, CEO of the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce, says the EPA's visit is important to help local businesses understand how the agency can support economic growth in the region. "This is a great opportunity for local manufacturers to hear directly from the EPA," said Herman. "The roundtable provided an opportunity for two-way dialogue focused on the need of area manufacturers and the assistance the federal government can provide."

Being able to discuss manufacturing issues and receive feedback from local manufacturers is important to the EPA, according to Jones. "The bottom line is that we want to help manufacturers increase their energy efficiency, reduce waste production and increase profitability," said Jones. "By working with companies to reduce their environmental footprint, the EPA along with other federal agencies is on a mission to bolster sustainable American manufacturing through helping manufacturers impact their bottom line through efficiency."

According to Janice Karcher, VP of Economic Development for the Regional Chamber, learning more about what the EPA has to offer will help enhance opportunities for local companies. "The more we learn about how the EPA is working to clear the way for manufacturing, the better prepared we will be to provide guidance for businesses in Flint and Genesee County," said Karcher. "This meeting provides an important opportunity to hear directly from the EPA about programs that will help grow our base businesses."

The EPA is one of several federal government departments charged by President Obama to support American sustainable manufacturing. Flint is one of several cities targeted for manufacturing support.