Three Brimbank companies to hire retrenched Ford workers

Three Brimbank companies will offer almost 100 retrenched car assembly workers a new job.

Just two days before Ford factories in Broadmeadows and Geelong closed, the state government announced funding for five companies, including R A Bell & Company in Sunshine North, Cornell Fuel Injection & Turbo Service in Sunshine West and Flavorjen in Brooklyn, to help them expand and employ retrenched automotive sector workers laid off by Ford’s shutdown.

The largest sum of money went to R A Bell & Company, a 46-year-old business that recently built Brimbank SES’s new four-wheel-drive response truck. The automotive business is set to receive $1.05 million from the state government’s Local Industry Fund for Transition to help pay for a facility expansion and the hiring of 51 new staff members, 39 of whom will be retrenched automotive workers.

Cornell Fuel Injection & Turbo Service will receive $970,000 to create 35 jobs, including 26 for former Ford employees.

General manager Stuart Pascoe said the company had just moved to a new purpose- built premises six times bigger than their previous base to cater for growing demand.

He described Cornell’s speciality as anything to do with diesel engines, from ships and agricultural machinery to private vehicles and four-wheel-drives.

Flavorjen owner Paul Marra said the company would receive $402,500 from the state government to assist in the hiring of 32 retrenched car industry workers over the next 18 months.

“This is a great opportunity for people in this part of the city and a natural expansion for us,” he said.

The Brooklyn company manufactures natural food products, such as coffee extract and cheese powders.

State Industry and Employment Minister Wade Noonan said the funds were part of the state government’s plan to generate investment in areas hit hardest by the automotive industry’s closure in Victoria.

“Our assistance is giving companies like Flavorjen every opportunity to invest and create new jobs, which provide opportunities to transition former automotive workers,” he said.