Industry Beans receives $225,000 grant to hire ex-auto workers

Coffee Roaster Industry Beans has been awarded a Victorian government grant of $225,000, which will create 16 full time jobs for retrenched automotive workers.

Announced on 29 August, Industry Beans’ Trevor Simmons says the funds will be used to redevelop a 760-square-metre facility at Brunswick, invest in new machinery to boost output, increase export revenues, and establish a “revolutionary e-commerce platform”, allowing users to access and trade high quality coffee from around the globe.

“With the support of the Victorian State Government, we feel enabled to get on with taking specialty coffee to another level,” Trevor says.

The establishment of a unique specialty coffee roasting space and operation called YourCoffee will be dedicated to high quality coffee development into new markets and partnerships.

The new service, operating separately to Industry Beans, is due to open online in early 2017.

“It will continue to offer a boutique product dedicated to those at the very top of the specialty coffee market. Our ultimate goal has always been to bring the best specialty coffee alongside personal support and an engaging brand to customers and wholesale partners. This will enable us to continue to strive for perfection with Industry Beans and to engage new markets with YourCoffee,” Trevor says.

The grants come out of the Andrews Labor Government’s $33 million Local Industry Fund for Transition (LIFT) program, which is providing funds to businesses to generate new investment and create jobs for retrenched workers in Melbourne’s South-East, North, West and Geelong – the communities most impacted by the closure of the automotive manufacturing companies.

Ford announced in May 2013 that it will end production at its Geelong and Broadmeadows factories in October this year.

As such, the new jobs created at Industry Beans will provide opportunities to transition retrenched automotive workers as part of the Labor Government’s $46.5 million Towards Future Industries: Victoria’s Automotive Transition Plan.

“Investing in companies like Industry Beans will help support Victorian automotive workers and affected communities transition to new jobs, provide opportunities for their futures – and it’ll also help maintain Melbourne’s status as Australia’s number one city for coffee,” says Member for Brunswick Jane Garrett, who visited Industry Beans with the Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan to make the announcement.

While a lot of activity is happening in the back end at Industry Beans, Trevor says it’s important for the coffee community to know that this grant will assist the company in delivering an even higher quality product and service, with stronger ties to its sourcing partners, and the cafes and baristas that serve its coffee.

“When we started our first café seven years ago, one of our key goals was to enable long-term sustainable and rewarding careers for people interested in coffee and food. Fast forward seven years, and now with a fantastic roasting and café operation that employs 35 amazing people, and this new expansion into increased specialty capacity, we saw the potential to bring highly skilled workers from a manufacturing background into the specialty coffee processes,” Trevor says. “With (Co-Founder) Steven being a trained automotive engineer by trade, we have been able to realise the potential to bring the skill sets of manufacturing specialists into a modern coffee operation.”

As for details on its YourCoffee operation, Trevor says all will be revealed “closer to the opening date”.

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