The Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce held their annual meeting at the Riverfront banquet Center in Flint yesterday. The meeting focused on the Regional Chamber's impact on the Flint-Genesee County region in 2011, as well as future growth.

According to Tim Herman, CEO of the Regional Chamber, 2011 was a transformative year for the region. Herman said "Flint and Genesee County are moving forward in dynamic ways and the  Regional Chamber is proud to play a critical role. we are proud to have influenced millions of dollars in investment, worked with local businesses to create and retain jobs, and led the way to new initiatives that will bring economic growth and diversification to the region."

The annual meeting showcased the Regional Chamber's key results in 2011, including:

  • Retention/expansion and attraction efforts resulted in $205 million of total investment and contract value in the region; and as a result, 830 jobs were created and 1,482 jobs were retained.
  • Nearly 2,800 students were enrolled in YouthQuest, an after school enrichment program. Five hundred eighty-five students graduated from the TeenQuest leadership and pre-employment training programs.
  • Four counties and 33 municipalities collaborated to apply for and receive an I-69 International Corridor Next Michigan Development Corporation, also known as Aerotropolis. The I-69 Corridor offers great potential for new business investment and thousands of jobs.
  • Exposed the region to international site selectors to increase potential for new investment.
  • Area businesses secured just over $53 million in government contracts with the assistance of the Regional Chamber's Procurement and Technical Assistance Center (PTAC).

Harvey Hollins III, Director of Urban and Metropolitan Initiatives delivered the keynote address =, which focused on urban agenda for the State of Michigan. Hollins, the principal advisor to Governor Rick Snyder on matters related to urban and regional economic initiatives, says Flint is one of four cities that will have a focused effort from his office and that the goal is to work with local leaders to compliment efforts already underway. He says the goal is to create a strategic plan that will transcend administrations and strengthen the state's key urban areas. Brian Larkin, Associate Director of the Office of Urban and Metropolitan Initiatives will be based in Flint. The other cities in the initiative are Detroit, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo.

A copy of the Regional Chamber's Annual Report is available online at To keep current on the Regional Chamber's activities throughout the year, check out Inside Business at