There is no denying that the past two years have been extremely tough for businesses on the Central Coast, manufacturers and agri-businesses being no exception. Local businesses have had to adapt their strategies and operations to deal with supply chain breakdowns, skills shortages, rising costs and other challenges stemming from catastrophic bushfires, floods and COVID-19.
To support local businesses to rebound from these significant challenges and help the local industry build resilience against future disruptions, Central Coast Industry Connect (CCIC) is proud to host the inaugural Central Coast Industry Festival and Expo. Jointly funded by the Commonwealth and New South Wales Governments under their Disaster Recovery funding arrangements, this major event will be the first of its kind for the region
The festival is an initiative of CCIC, a not-for-profit, member-based organisation that helps Central Coast manufacturers and agri-businesses unlock growth opportunities through relationship building and collaboration. They secured the funding to host the festival not only to help future-proof businesses, but also to raise awareness about the extraordinary innovation capabilities of local businesses in these sectors and generate interest from Sydney-based business owners to relocate or start a new business here.
Festival organiser Alex Blow said, “By showcasing the diverse range of innovative products made right here on our doorstep, the festival will support the growth of our local manufacturing and agricultural production sectors, which employ thousands of Central Coast locals and contribute around $3.36 billion a year to our economy.”
Most people, even many locals, are unaware just how big an employer the Central Coast manufacturing sector is. Therefore, another key objective of the festival is to highlight the significant employment opportunities available to current and future generations. An entire day will be dedicated to bringing industry, schools and universities together to showcase the variety of interesting career paths on offer within the food, beverages, agriculture and advanced manufacturing sectors.
Run over two weeks in August and September, the festival will deliver a comprehensive program of free events for attendees, including industry and community education sessions and a series of capability-building workshops for producers and suppliers. These events will culminate in a three-day Expo that will feature 50 of the Central Coast’s best local food, beverage, agriculture and advanced manufacturing exhibitors who will showcase their products and services. The Expo will welcome the broader community on day 3, offering consumers the chance to sample locally produced food and beverages and open their eyes to the volume and quality of brands manufactured on the Central Coast and the variety of employment opportunities available in these sectors.
CCIC Executive Director Frank Sammut said, “The Central Coast Industry Festival is an important event for the region. When I look at the future of manufacturing, I see the importance of being able to engage parents and students to educate them on the opportunities manufacturing presents, the level of technology employed and the variety of jobs available. For the sectors involved, the festival will provide the opportunity to learn about each other, cultivate new business opportunities and learn about best practice activities to build business strength and resilience.”
The Central Coast Industry Festival and Expo will be held at Mingara Recreation Club, Tumbi Umbi from August 22 to September 3. The Expo will run from Thursday, September 1 to Saturday, September 3. It will be open to the public on the final day. To learn more about the festival and expo or express interest in being an exhibitor, contact Alex Blow at email@example.com.