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FLINT, Mich. (Feb. 9, 2016) – The United Way of Genesee County today announced a joint effort made by General Motors and the United Auto Workers (UAW) to donate $3 million to support the increased health and education needs for the children of Flint who have been impacted by lead-contaminated water.
Under a five-year commitment, the funding provided by GM and the UAW to United Way of Genesee County will address immediate, ongoing and growing needs of Flint children affected by lead.
“This crisis has impacted every Flint resident, most specifically children under the age of six who face a long road to recovery,” said Jamie Gaskin, CEO of the United Way of Genesee County. “We’re outlining a framework that will support these children with things like at-home care, nutritional assistance and early childhood and supplemental education so they can continue to learn and grow.”
Experts agree providing children with developmental and nutritional programs are the best ways to mitigate the long-term effects of lead in the body. While all children with lead poisoning need this support, specialized attention must be given to the youngest of age.
“GM’s support to this community is unwavering,” said Jeff Lamarche, Complex Director, GM Flint Manufacturing Operations. “Our efforts with the UAW and United Way will support a spectrum of care for the children of Flint and will fluctuate year-to-year as we determine the greatest needs moving forward.”
This initiative is a comprehensive effort and will include early literature programs, universal access to preschool, nutritional needs, school nursing, before-and after-school programming, increased special education capacity and increased social, emotional and behavioral health school counselors.
“It is important that we focus on the steps we can take for the children of Flint. We know that this crisis requires long-term commitment that focuses on those things that Flint families can do to mitigate their exposure to tainted water. Whether it is filters, medical care, educational resources or nutritional resources this partnership can have a lasting impact,” said Cindy Estrada, Vice President of the UAW GM Department.
Gerald Kariem, UAW Region 1D director, reinforced the UAW’s community commitment.
“Flint is home to hundreds of UAW members, their families and friends,” Kariem said. “Our unified, multi-year grant will strengthen this community as these families work to rebuild.”
As the needs of the Flint community continue to develop, the United Way remains committed to supporting families in need. For information about how to get involved or make a financial contribution to the United Way of Genesee County, visit www.unitedwaygenesee.org. If you are a City of Flint resident in need of assistance, please dial 2-1-1 or visit www.mi211.org.
About The United Way of Genesee County
Founded in 1922, United Way of Genesee County currently supports more than 43 programs with direct grants, helping more than 57,000 people in Genesee County. The agency’s investment model is based on Education, Health, Financial Stability and Basic Needs. In 2014, the total economic impact through direct and leveraged funds exceeded $11 million.
About General Motors Co.
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world’s largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.
About the UAW
The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) is one of the largest and most diverse unions in North America, with members in virtually every sector of the economy. UAW-represented workplaces range from multinational corporations, small manufacturers and state and local governments to colleges and universities, hospitals and private non-profit organizations. The UAW has more than 400,000 active members and more than 600,000 retired members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
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