Cessnock wins national economic development award

Published on Nov 5, 2018

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Cessnock City Council’s Economic Development team have been recognised at a national level at the National Economic Development Awards 2018 held in Rockhampton.

Council’s Cessnock City Youth First Employment Project and National Toolkit took out the nation’s top prize for Economic Development Strategic Thinking. Council’s unique business platform Advance Cessnock City was also recognised as one of the nation’s top three programs in the category of Economic Development Initiatives over 15,000 residents.

Cessnock City Mayor, Councillor Bob Pynsent congratulated the team on their hard work and for their dedication to excellence.

“Congratulations to our Economic Development team. It’s wonderful to see their hard work recognised nationally. They continue to think innovatively and achieve outstanding results.”

“The Youth First Employment Project supported local young people to become job ready and saw the development of a toolkit. The toolkit has now been distributed to every Council across Australia to help unemployed youths nationally. Local government can be a leader within their community and an advocate for a major national issue.”

Youth unemployment in the Hunter Valley was at a crisis point at over 21 percent in 2015. The team responded by developing the Youth First Project and tested the model locally before developing the national toolkit. Youth unemployment in the region currently stands at 13.4 percent.

The Advance Cessnock City project has also been a huge success, offering an online platform and business engagement tool that is a one-stop-shop for local business and prospective businesses. It has enabled the team to be more responsive, better engaged with business and provided a platform to attract critical investment.

Council’s Acting Economic Development Manager, Rhiannon Stevens is proud of the work and results her team have delivered.

“It’s an honour to be recognised for our achievements, and I believe these accomplishments are due to how we work strategically to support our business community. We are proud of where we live and hope to facilitate outcomes to support our businesses to grow.”

The awards were held held on 18 October 2018 as part of the National Economic Development Conference.