The University of Michigan-Flint has been selected as the 2009 Michigan Minority Business Development Council (MMBDC) Education and Government Entities Award. The award was presented at the 26th Annual MMBDC Awards Dinner on September 29 in Detroit. Other finalists in the category were Wayne State University and Michigan State University.
Photo by Chris Jones (M-Times)
The recognition is for the establishment of new program called Community One, a "business think tank" for the community. Working in cooperation with MMBDC and the UM-Flint Purchasing Department, the School of Management (SOM) assisted a variety of businesses with the talents and expertise of faculty and students to provide information and research needed to make important business decisions. Thirty SOM students worked with 10 businesses and institutions in the area to get a better understanding of their needs and plans to expand into new product or new markets.
"I have a strong belief that the university should be involved and participate with programs that help advance our community," said Chancellor Ruth J. Person. "While the University of Michigan-Flint is proud to be the recipient of this award, we will continue to seek ways to contribute our talents to the challenges faced by this community on a variety of levels."
Upon being selected for the award, SOM Dean Jack Helmuth said "Community One is a great example of how the School of Management can utilize our expertise to help the Flint area. We were able to show our students how to connect with local businesses and how those business can benefit by connecting with the university."
UM-Flint's Purchasing Director Greg Snyder noted, "One of the goals of a university education is to prepare students for the real world. Community One allowed our students to seek solutions to real problems facing local businesses today."
Award winners in other categories included GM, Toyota, IBM, Kelly Services, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Kellogg's, among others.
The accomplishments of Community One were showcased in a special video that highlighted the research of the students: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYovYDdXIwc