The Andrews Labor Government is helping former automotive workers manufacture some of Victoria’s lifesaving fire and emergency response vehicles.
Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan and Member for St Albans Natalie Suleyman visited R A Bell and Company in Sunshine North to meet the workers bringing these vehicles to life.
R A Bell and Company received a $1 million grant from the Labor Government’s Local Industry Fund for Transition (LIFT) to create 51 new jobs, including 39 opportunities for ex-auto workers.
Among the company’s latest recruits is Peter Langdon – a former Ford worker with almost 40 years’ experience. He has traded the production line for a job building some of Australia’s most recognised emergency vehicles.
R A Bell and Company currently fits out vehicles for organisations including the Country Fire Authority, State Emergency Service, Victoria Police and Metropolitan Fire Brigade. It is also constructing a new manufacturing facility and investing in equipment to boost productivity.
The company is a leader in the design and manufacture of large drain cleaning, hydro-excavation vehicles and engineering services used in the water industry.
“R A Bell and Company is a vital part of the local economy,” said Suleyman.
“It’s a third-generation family business that now employs more than a hundred people, while also providing opportunities for ex-auto workers. It’s great to see the continued success of this proud local company in our community.”
The Government is standing by workers and communities affected by the closure of automotive manufacturing.
Grants of up to $2 million are available to businesses to create new jobs and expand their operations.
“From the production line of our major car manufacturers to building the next fleet of emergency vehicles – we’re creating exciting new pathways for auto workers,” said Noonan.
“These grants are helping companies innovate, invest and employ local people in communities hardest hit by the end of local vehicle manufacturing.”