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Nine hundred residents shared their views through telephone and online opinion surveys conducted in the first half of 2019. Key findings are summarized, including ratings for different aspects of life in Flint. Ratings are based on a scale of one to five, in which five means “very positive” and one means “very negative.” For more information about how the ratings were calculated, see Methodology.


This section highlights survey results regarding what’s working and what needs improvement. If a section of Focus on Flint does not include information about Things to Celebrate or Things to Improve, it’s because the survey didn’t yield responses to fit the categories.


In addition to results of the opinion survey, Focus on Flint shares information that local nonprofit organizations and agencies have reported hearing from the residents they serve.


Support for the organizations and programs presented in bold text includes funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, which produced this report. To learn more, visit the Foundation’s website,


Each section includes data and statistics that illuminate strengths of the Flint community and highlight challenges. These facts were collected through opinion surveys of Flint residents; from city, state and federal agencies; and from local nonprofit organizations. The Flint surveys were conducted in the first half of 2019. Unless otherwise noted, all remaining data are from 2018.


This section highlights organizations and programs working to address issues in the Flint community and provides information about how to connect with them.


Focus on Flint explores nine important issues facing the local community: Arts and Culture, Economy, Education, Health, Housing, Public Safety, Quality of Life, Standard of Living and Water. This section describes why each issue is critical to the community and summarizes work underway.

Head Seamstress Olivia Young makes final touches on a Stormy Kromer vest at St. Luke N.E.W. Life Center. 


“I always hated getting up in the morning to go punch a clock. But when I started working here, I looked forward to it. Knowing that I was doing something productive and helping myself, along with others, to make life more bearable meant a lot to me.”

— Olivia Young, head seamstress at St. Luke N.E.W. Life Center


A strong economy is essential for creating and maintaining a vibrant community. Jobs, careers and pathways to economic mobility give residents the ability to plant deep roots in the city and invest in homes, neighborhoods and new businesses. Unfortunately, much of Flint is still struggling with low workforce participation rates, high poverty rates and below-average household income. There’s a continuous need for different types of workforce development programs that support a living wage and help residents build the skills they need to improve their quality of life.


Workforce development programs available in the community prepare Flint’s workers and entrepreneurs for current and new job opportunities. Michigan Works!, Flint & Genesee Group’s Summer Youth Initiative, and Flint & Genessee Job Corps are among those leading the way to support those new to or reentering the workforce. The Greater Flint Health Coalition, Mott Community College, St. Luke N.E.W. Life Center, Peckham, MADE Institute and Flint STRIVE are some of the organizations preparing adults who are traditional and non-traditional job seekers. These programs provide training to hundreds of individuals in Flint each year, placing them into employment with above-minimum-wage jobs that offer opportunities to advance. The programs also provide wraparound services to help residents become or stay employed.

Health care and education are among the top employment sectors in the city, and those, along with manufacturing, remain strong for job training and placement. Newcomer Lear Corporation already is among the top 10 employers, and Ashley Capital’s recent purchase of the former Buick City could usher in as many as 3,000 new jobs through future development of the site.

PHOTO: 3SIXTY INTERACTIVEAliz Mendoza, owner of I Love Pig, wins the People’s Choice award during a 100K Ideas pitch competition.


Entrepreneurs are contributing to Flint’s economy by starting and expanding small businesses in the city. For instance, Spectacular Spudz has moved from the Flint Farmers’ Market to its own downtown storefront. They’ve expanded their menu offerings, added days of operation and increased staffing to meet community demand. A strong network of entrepreneurship service providers, such as SIPI, the Flint & Genesee Group, Flint SOUP and 100K Ideas, support both emerging and established entrepreneurs’ efforts to get to their next level in contributing to a robust local economy in Flint.


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