The University of Michigan-Flint School of Management (SOM) is assisting a variety of local businesses with the talents and expertise of faculty and students. "Community One" is a new program that is offered in conjunction with a variety of classes to provide businesses with the information and research needed to make important decisions.
"Community One is making available the expertise of the School of Management to help move forward the economic development of the Flint area," said SOM Dean Jack Helmuth. "Hopefully, our input will help create business expansion and new jobs."
Currently, 30 SOM students are spread among 10 businesses and institutions in the area. The program involves students and faculty working with the businesses to understand their needs and plans to expand into new product or new markets.
In just a short period of time, Community One has already produced some success stories. Mac Arthur Corporation is a local label manufacturer. A group of SOM students have been researching ways for the company to diversify into the medical industry. The students conducted interviews with procurement professionals at Hurley and McLaren and participated in an audit of label usage in their respective hospital facilities. The students are preparing a report of their findings. This project will help Mac Arthur understand the needs and usage of the hospital industry so it can create a new Marketing Plan.
"Besides helping the businesses, students get a real world experience that better prepares them for a business career," said UM-Flint Purchasing Director Greg Snyder. "It could also lead to internships and perhaps a full time job."
The program is working in cooperation with the Michigan Minority Business Development Council.
The accomplishments of Community One will be showcased in a special presentation on Thursday, April 16 at 4 p.m.in the Tuscola Room of the William S. White Building. The students will present case studies of the projects they have been working on.