Officials believe businesses drawn towards Flint despite crisis - WNEM TV 5

Officials believe businesses drawn towards Flint despite crisis

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Source: WNEM Source: WNEM
FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

Despite the water crisis plaguing Flint, some say new jobs are coming to the city.

"Businesses that want to come here recognize the challenge and that's because we've had some significant improvement because they don't want to be a part of the problem. They want to be part of the solution," said George Wilkinson, with the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce.

Wilkinson believes corporations aren't running from the crisis, but instead running toward it.

"So we had a good 2016, a great 2016. And so that paves the way for 2017," Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson cites companies like General Motors and automotive supplier C3 Ventures, which made multi-million dollar investments in Flint last year.

He said there are even more deals in place that he can't address publicly until they are solidified, but expects to add thousands more jobs in 2017.

"It's across the board. And because it's across the board it means that there's going to be diversity. There's going to be significant opportunity for all," Wilkinson said.

Some of the deals involve foundation and public components like an initiative to build new grocery stores in the city's north side, which he said will also create jobs.

When the renovated Capitol Theatre opens in the fall it will create 82 more jobs.

Wilkinson said companies aren't in denial about the substantial issues facing Flint - from a water system that could take more than three years to fix to troubled communities in the north and east sides - but he said the signs show the Flint is transforming despite its problems.

"Flint is resilient. Genesee County is resilient and we will go through and come through this," WIlkinson said.

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