On Tuesday, Landaal Packaging Systems announced plans to open a packaging innovation center and bring its corporate offices to downtown Flint. The announcement was made during a "Partners for Progress" press event hosted at the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The Center represents a $2 million investment and will be located in the ROWE building on South Saginaw Street in downtown Flint.

Tim Herman, CEO of the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce, said "this is great news for the Landaal family and downtown Flint. As the economy gets stronger we are seeing more businesses invest and bring their employees and new jobs to downtown. The ROWE building has played an important role in the revitalization of downtown Flint and now it will be home to Landaal Packaging -- one of Flint, Genesee County's longstanding, successful businesses."

Landaal Packaging will create two new positions in the first year and will also work in partnership with design, business and packaging programs at U of M-Flint, MSU and Kettering University to drive creativity and innovation at the new center. Landaal Packaging will also reach out to Mott Community College and Baker College to contribute to this effort. The company plans to hire college interns to work in collaboration with packaging efforts.

According to Steve Landaal, President of Landaal Packaging Systems, the company will partner with local universities to identify what motivates customers' buying decisions. The knowledge gained will drive innovative packaging designs that add value to customers.

"Our family has always wanted to impact downtown Flint," said Landaal. "Opening the innovation cent6er in the heart of downtown and forming a creative partnership with area universities is one of the ways that we are demonstrating our commitment not only to our customers, but the downtown Flint community."

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling acknowledges the importance of local companies making a strong commitment to the region. He says businesses like Landaal Packaging represent the history and the future of the region and that he welcomes the innovative collaboration this move represents.

"It is a pleasure to welcome Landaal Packaging to downtown Flint," said Mayor Walling. "By opening an innovation hub in downtown, they will benefit from the vitality and diversity of the city. Students and business people working together to show the world that Flint is open for business while driving creativity is a good thing not only for Flint, but the entire region."

Landaal packaging is an industrial and retail packaging company that works with business to address their supply chain needs. Founded in 1959, the family business is full-service providers of packaging products and services. The new downtown location joins Landaal Packaging facilities in Bay City and Burton.

Jaime Curtis, Chairman of the Genesee County Board of Commissioners, said "Genesee County is on the move and by choosing to add a new location to their existing facilities, Landaal is broadening their longstanding commitment to the region. I'd like to thank the Landaal family for maintaining strong support of the county for more than 50 years."