Precision metal packaging manufacturer, Jamestrong celebrated 30 years in Taree with a staff and family event at its plant in the Kolodong Industrial Park on Thursday, March 4.
Around 200 people were there to enjoy the evening comprised of current and previous staff, and representatives from companies that Jamestrong supplies. Also in attendance were Member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie and MidCoast Council mayor David West.
The party was a real family affair, with 50 kids under the age of 10 enjoying a jumping castle, entertainment by a magician, face painting, and an ice cream van.
"it was a lovely night because of the fact that the kids were so involved," event guest John Fergusson said.
"The event really allowed the families to come along and get a tour of where there mum and dad work."
In a speech to guests at the event, Jamestrong CEO Alex Commins thanked the employees for their dedication to the business as well as major customers Unilever, PAX, Ensign and Moorebank who have been long and loyal supporters of the Taree operation.
"The Jamestrong business, originally known as Containers Packaging, has made a significant contribution to the local region," Mr Commins said.
"Since commissioning the plant in March 1991 the operation has processed 75,000 tons of aluminum, produced approximately 2.7 billion cans, paid $248 million in wages, spent $208 million in local expenses, spent $65 million on utilities and employed 489 people.
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Jamestrong currently employs 75 people and produces 100 million aerosol cans, including the cans containing Rexona deodorant, per year at its Taree site.
"In late 1987 Taree Council decided that attracting industry to the town was a priority. The loss of its young adult population to the big capital cities and high unemployment prompted the council to form the Manning Development Board.
"The Manning Development Board and Council were great visionaries as many companies did relocate from regions including Metropolitan Sydney to what they called 'Taree - The Civilised Escape'.
"Containers Packaging not only heard, but answered the call to relocate to Taree and made plans to head to Taree from Penrith in Sydney. Most importantly Taree offered a stable, reliable and loyal workforce.
Outside of Sydney and Newcastle, Taree became the third largest manufacturing centre in NSW.Alex Commins, Jamestrong CEO
"Several skilled tradesmen made the lifestyle change and moved along with some of the existing kit, and Containers Packaging set about training local tradespeople in the can making process. Rob Chapman being one of them, still with our business today.
"Outside of Sydney and Newcastle, Taree became the third largest manufacturing centre in NSW. And at its peak Taree boasted something in the order of seventeen engineering businesses, who would support the thriving hub of manufacturing activity.
"If there's any good that's come out of the pandemic, it is Australia realizing just how precious local supply of manufactured goods are.
"We are passionate about the preservation and growth of manufacturing in our great country and in great regional towns like Taree. We are hopeful that the Australian government can redouble its efforts to revive manufacturing and regenerate the vital contribution the sector makes to our GDP and way of life," Mr Commins said.
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