Three Geelong businesses have been able to transform their operations, buy new equipment, employ extra staff and retain their current workforce thanks to $2.3 million from the Victorian State Government.
Minister for Industry Ben Carroll visited Flat Glass Industries Geelong last week, which, with the state government’s Local Industry Fund for Transition (LIFT), has successfully started the transition from automotive glass to supplying glass to homes and businesses.
Carroll said: “We said we’d support automotive supply chain companies and that’s exactly what we’ve done. We’re helping companies like Flat Glass Industries Geelong find new markets, transform its operations, keep its facility and save jobs.”
As part of the project, the company is revamping a dedicated automotive glass processing facility that otherwise would have closed and is converting it to a state-of-the-art architectural glass facility with new machinery.
With the support, Flat Glass Industries will also retain its 75 strong workforce and provide them with an opportunity to re-skill. The company is also creating an additional five jobs.
Founded in 1977, the company was the only Tier 1 automotive supplier of glass in Australia and provided products to Ford, Holden and Toyota.
Another Geelong-based business, Routleys Bakery, has also received funding under the LIFT program, so that it can renovate its facility, purchase new machinery, diversify its products and target new markets.
The company is expected to create 10 new roles, five of which are expected to be suitable for ex automotive workers.
Geelong Confectionery Company has also received a grant, which will allow them to acquire new machinery, upgrade existing equipment and diversify its current operations, creating four new jobs.
The state government has committed over $100 million in manufacturing support, which has created more than 3,000 jobs resulting in $939 million in private investment.