Kellogg Foundation awards Flint with $2.9 million grant for econ - WNEM TV 5

Kellogg Foundation awards Flint with $2.9 million grant for economic development

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has awarded the Flint with a $2.9 million grant to help boost economic development in the city.

"It's been years since the city of Flint has had its own team, solely focused on economic development," said Mayor Karen Weaver.

Weaver said her team was significantly reduced because they were under state-appointed emergency managers.

Some departments being eliminated, while others were merged and saw drastic cuts.

Weaver said while the focus has rightfully so been on the water crisis, there is more the city needs to truly thrive.

"We are talking about recovery," Weaver said. "I think that's what we had to do first is to let people know that we were addressing the water issue. That was our priority but one of the things that we talked about is it city can't come back from that without economic development."

So what will the money be used for? The specifics are still unknown. 

The mayor said the first step is to hire an "economic team".

She said after the team is hired, they will make plans on how to move forward.

"I'm looking at at least four jobs, five jobs, not quite sure. Have to look at what we have in place and see if we need to shift some things around," Weaver said. 

The mayor said the awarded funding of $2,957,800 will be spread out over the next four years and that they will work closely with the Chamber of Commerce.

Yazyed Moore is a Program Director for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. He said this money is important to jumpstart the economy in a post-industrial era.

"We are looking forward to working with the city," Moore said. "We are going to track their progress. Work with them and their other partners here in town to see how those things are going. There's a lot riding on this most importantly the outcomes of the children and families that live here."

The city has been working on getting this grant for over a year according to Weaver.

She said to start this revitalization process, the city needs to start doing one thing.

"Start hiring! Really to start hiring," Weaver said.

The city is already seeing some new development with a new automotive parts plant that is under construction and a new state-of-the-art school opened as well.

TV5 reached out to the Kellogg Foundation to find out if the city offered any specifics of how the money will be used and the foundation said it's considering our request.

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