Council backs jobs strategy

Orange City Council has endorsed a new strategy aimed at creating jobs in the Orange region.

Orange Mayor John Davis said he was excited by the opportunities that were already being presented.

“The Council decided to engage a firm of specialist consultants in the wake of the announcement that the Electrolux factory would close, with the loss of more than 500 jobs.

“We chose consultants with expertise in putting investors in touch with investment opportunities, and the results of their work are already proving to be very positive.

“There is a still a lot of work to do but we are heading in the right direction.”
There are four key elements among the jobs creation strategy recommendations: identifying sectors in the local economy where there is opportunity to grow, identifying local businesses that have potential to grow and produce new jobs, targeting government grants, and developing a ‘Shop Local’ campaign.

Other elements of the strategy highlight the value of cooperation with all tiers of government, and exploring extra assistance for the current Electrolux jobs
transition process.

“On the large-scale we’re already talking with companies to explore potential new investment opportunities which the consultants’ research has already uncovered,” said Mayor Davis.

“It’s early days and some of these matters have to stay ‘commercial-in-confidence’ at this preliminary stage.

“At a local level there are a number of businesses now employing five to 10 people, which have a real potential to grow to the point where they can employ twenty to thirty people.

“It makes sense for the Council to provide these businesses with the expertise and guidance they need to move to their next stage.

“In terms of a ‘shop local’ campaign I’m sure there’s more to be gained by encouraging local residents to spend their money where it will benefit their neighbours and community by growing new jobs in the Orange region.”