$750,000 State Government boost to GROW in G21 region

The G21 Region Opportunities for Work (GROW) project has received further endorsement from the State Government with an additional $750,000 in funding.

And what started as an ambitious idea to address place-based disadvantage in the G21 region, has been adopted by the State Government to be rolled out across Victoria.

Projects replicating the successful GROW in both Ballarat and Gippsland have been funded, with other centres to follow.

The State Government’s adoption of GROW in other Victorian communities highlights the success the project has garnered in just four years of operation.

The funding announcement will ensure GROW continues to benefit the G21 region, specifically those in disadvantaged areas.

The principle of GROW is to encourage enterprises to strategically buy and employ locally, and in doing so, specifically create opportunities for work for disadvantaged communities.

Some 82 businesses and other organisations have signed the GROW compact in the G21 region, committing to procure and employ locally wherever practical.

Earlier this month GROW announced outcomes based on expenditure data collected from 16 of the Compact signatory organisations, showing a $20.2 million increase in local procurement, leading to 179 jobs in the region broadly over a 12 month period. Specifically, there were 75 on-the-ground jobs in disadvantaged target communities.

Collectively, for every $1 million spent locally, about 8.84 new jobs can potentially be created. And there are obvious commercial benefits for those companies agreeing to procure locally wherever possible.

Give Where You Live Foundation committed $2 million as well as ongoing operational support and in-kind contributions over 10 years to establish GROW. G21 provided $30,000, plus an ongoing in-kind contribution. The State Government provided $1 million for the first five years, $100,000 to develop the GROW Strategic Plan and the further $750,000 announced today.