The Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce is a leading organization in this community with a long, rich history of supporting partnerships, collaboration, and bringing diverse groups together to foster an exceptional Saginaw.
We support and advocate equality for everyone, everywhere in Saginaw County which should be a place where all are welcomed and treated with dignity and respect. If we don’t all succeed, we leave people behind, and that is unacceptable.
As an organization, our stated policies and principles direct continued and tireless efforts to promote business members of all races, religions, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientation and age.
In response to those principles, the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce issued a very public statement on Social Media, at a Percolator Breakfast event and through a press release sent out to a database of over 3,000 subscribers denouncing the brutal killing of George Floyd, denouncing racism and bigotry, and committing support to efforts of diversity and inclusion.
We are cognizant of what is happening in Saginaw, the State of Michigan and across the country with regard to race relations. We take this very seriously.
For that reason, we want to share some of the initiatives and collaborations the Chamber has undertaken, both in the past and the present, to support diversity and inclusion.
- Founded the Bridge Center for Racial Harmony
- Actively partnered with Community Ventures to help reduce systemic unemployment in the City of Saginaw by addressing barriers to work like child care and transportation
- Founded the Business Education Partnership to help bridge the gap between students and employers through career ladders education, certificate letters, skilled trades’ information, and matching employers offering available, local, living-wage jobs with high school students through job fairs, mentorships and job shadowing programs
- Led efforts to pass the Career Complex Millage to enable more training of youth/adults in skilled trades
- Founded the Crime Prevention Council
- Working with WTLZ 107 and Alpha Media to promote success in minority-owned small businesses in Saginaw County
- Worked with Saginaw Future to award $200,000 in grants to minority and women owned businesses in Saginaw
- Participated in the NAACP Freedom Fund Dinners for years.
- Serve on the Steering Committee for the Annual SVSU MLK Dinner
- Serve on a Diversity and Inclusion Board of Directors with the Michigan Chamber of Commerce
- Led efforts on criminal justice reform legislation in Michigan
- Working with Saginaw Valley State University, Saginaw Community Foundation and Saginaw Future Inc. on a community effort to address racism
- Working with Dow and the Saginaw ISD in the potential formation of a Diversity & Inclusion Council
- Programmed a Diversity and Inclusion Day highlighting the need for more diversity in our community leaders into the original curriculum of Leadership Saginaw County, a program which began in 1986 and has graduated over 900 community leaders
- Working with Bridge the Gap to help fundraise monies for scholarships to train more officers that better reflect the make-up of the community
- Supported and advocated with STARS to pass millages for public transportation to work/shopping/medical appointments
- Support and sponsor Saginaw Promise which provides last dollar college scholarships to graduates of Saginaw Promise Zone Schools
Though there is more work to be done, the initiatives in the list above are offered to demonstrate the many fronts where the Saginaw County Chamber has tried to make meaningful progress toward diversity, inclusion and positive race relations.
It also serves as a promise that the Chamber organization will continue its historical efforts to foster an exceptional Saginaw County as ONE community made up of many diverse people.