Feds support efforts in Flint

Apr 2, 2010

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez met with local leaders on Kettering University's campus to talk about economic re-development options in Michigan.

President Barack Obama’s Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez was on Kettering University's campus Tuesday, March 30, as part of his tour of southeast Michigan.  He also visited Ann Arbor and Detroit.

Fernandez met with community leaders inKettering’s new technology incubator, The Innovation Center, on Bluff Street, just east of the main campus.  TheInnovationCenter, based on an incubator model for small technology start-up companies, was funded by a nearly $2 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant. It will open this summer.

Fernandez said his office wants to help theFlintcommunity create jobs and move forward.  “There’s no reason to fear this market. We should own it,” Fernandez said during a roundtable discussion that included political, education, business and government leaders from the Flint area.  He also said the EDA is committed to funding public-private partnerships and business-education partnerships, such as those he saw inFlint.

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling, who met Fernandez inWashington,D.C.,last fall, said the EDA is supporting innovation and entrepreneurship efforts and offers a gateway to grant funding and other dollars to help local initiatives.

Contact: Dawn Hibbard