Image: Forward Together Steering Committee holds its first meeting at the Ferris Wheel in downtown Flint
Forward Together – an ambitious process to establish a shared vision for Flint and Genesee County’s future – kicked-off on Tuesday, February 19 with the first convening of the 24-member Steering Committee. The process is backed through a unique partnership between the City of Flint, Genesee County, and the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. The Steering Committee will guide the process and is made up of individuals representing a diverse set of professions, businesses and organizations from across the County. This group is expected to meet several times throughout the eight-month planning process and will work closely with the Planning Team to share insights and perspective that will contribute to the final Economic Vitality Action Agenda.
“Several challenges have hindered the County’s positive momentum, but a lot can be accomplished when we work together to move the community forward; and the Chamber is excited to be a part of this ambitious process.”
Tim Herman, Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce CEO
The collaborating entities (including the City of Flint, Genesee County, and the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce) initiated the process to create a county-wide vision for economic vitality. The process will be facilitated with the support of a consulting team including Planning NEXT of Columbus, Ohio and Ninigret Partners of Providence, Rhode Island. This effort is intended to establish a common vision for guiding the County forward and will focus on promoting systematic and long-term change in such a way that existing institutions (government, civic groups, non-profits, etc.) can be more responsive to the community’s needs and aspirations.
“With our challenges and potential in mind, now is an important time for county-wide collaboration to address economic concerns and build upon our assets.”
Mayor Karen Weaver, City of Flint
“The most important element of the Economic Vitality Action Agenda is the development of a community-owned vision that will begin to guide our economic development efforts ensuring that our future is not left to chance.”
Ted Henry, Chair, Genesee County Board of Commissioners
During its first session, the Steering Committee committed to an open process and will invite the public to contribute their ideas and feedback. The Committee emphasized the need for the county-wide vision to represent the voice of the full community. To ensure these voices are heard, two public engagement sessions will be facilitated during the process. The first of these workshops will focus on defining the community’s vision for economic prosperity. The Planning Team will use this valuable feedback to craft a draft Action Agenda that will then be tested through additional engagement activities. The input will serve as the foundation for the community’s vision statement, contribute to the Action Agenda’s goals, inspire actions, and set the course for implementation. The Action Agenda is set to be completed in the third quarter of 2019.