Flint has a knack for showing up on the ubiquitous lists that rank some aspect of a city. They're always lists that most cities would like to avoid. Most Miserable. Most Depressed. Most Dangerous. Kurt "Bad News" Badenhausen spends a lot of his time at Forbes compiling these useless tallies. But they sure generate online hits, so they're not going away any time soon.
So even though I've questioned the need for these lists, it's still refreshing when the Vehicle City shows up on a list for something positive. Kiplinger, the influential business forecasting company, has selected Flint as one of 13 "Comeback Cities" in 2011.
The health care and life sciences industries are giving long-suffering Flint a shot in the arm. Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy relocated its headquarters from the suburbs to the city, using a former auto assembly site for its offices, while both the city’s public hospital, Hurley Medical Center, and McLaren Regional Medical Center are bulking up.
Meanwhile, Flint’s traditional employer, the auto industry, is no longer at idle. General Motors -- the community’s single largest employer -- plans to start a third shift at its assembly plant in Flint for a net increase of 750 jobs, phased in over the summer. Flint's employment fell nearly 12% during the downturn, and is forecast to rise about 2.6% this year.