Flint, city (1990 pop. 140,761), seat of Genesee co., SE Mich., on the Flint River; inc. 1855. Since 1902 it has been an automobile-manufacturing centers. The General Motors Corp. had its beginnings (1908) in Flint, where many major automobile makers (Chrysler, Chevrolet, Nash, Champion, Buick) also started. A fur-trading post (1819) here was succeeded by a settlement in which lumbering and then cart and carriage making were the major industries. In 1937, sitdown strikes by the United Automobile Workers (UAW) in Flint's General Motors plants spurred widespread labor organization. During the 1980s and 90s massive layoffs at General Motors large-car factories devastated Flint's economy. Attempts at economic diversification and revitalization have had limited success, and in 2002 municipal financial problems led the state to take control of the city government. Attempts to reduced costs by switching (2014–15) the city's water supply from Detroit water to the Flint River led to health problems, most notably lead contamination, when the water's corrosiveness was not controlled. Local institutions include a branch of the Univ. of Michigan, an art institute, and the Michigan school for the deaf.
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