KDCCI, industry to grow local business capability

Alicia PereraPilbara News
Representatives of Grow Local Program supporters the KDCCI, Rio Tinto, Woodside and Chevron Gorgon Project with City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long, second from left, and Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel, fifth from left.
Camera IconRepresentatives of Grow Local Program supporters the KDCCI, Rio Tinto, Woodside and Chevron Gorgon Project with City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long, second from left, and Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel, fifth from left. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

A program to improve local businesses’ chances of winning contracts with the Pilbara’s biggest companies has grown after attracting support of several more major industry players.

Launched last Tuesday, Grow Local represents an expansion of the Capability Enhancement Program, with original partners the Karratha and Districts Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Rio Tinto joined by Woodside, the Chevron Gorgon Project and Toll and possibly more in the near future.

The expanded program includes further facilitated training for City of Karratha businesses to improve their ability to compete for major contracts and the creation of a full-time staff member within the KDCCI to advise businesses on a one-on-one basis.

KDCCI Grow Local program manager Navah Kerr said the program could help local businesses make the most of the Pilbara’s upcoming economic upswing.

“The continuation of the capability enhancement program with this added value service is going to take it to the next level, and I think the program has come at exactly the right time,” she said. “Having been working in business advisory, people are taking that plunge to start new businesses based on the fact they believe that Karratha is heading for the next phase, so it’s really exciting times.”

Rio Tinto general manager Dampier port and marine Tim McDougall said the new program would streamline the process of building local capability by pooling companies’ resources.

“I think this program actually helps local businesses to be more successful not just with us but with other industry as well,” he said.

“Rather than us having our own program and Woodside having theirs, having the KDCCI actually facilitate on behalf of all of us means everybody wins, and there are much better synergies that come out of it for the key industries within the area.”

A Woodside spokeswoman said the company was proud to support the program, through which it would aim to build local businesses’ capability and participation in Woodside growth projects and extended operations.

Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel said the program would build on State Government initiatives to promote WA jobs “by creating meaningful local employment to support our local economy”.

“It’s fantastic that we are all on the same page and recognise the importance of attracting and retaining local jobs,” he said.

The first workshop of the new program will be on October 29.

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