Edgar out to make good for former J Smith & Son staff
FORTY-ONE former J Smith and Son workers are back at work four months after the collapse of the engineering company.
Edgar Brus, the former factory manager, has been donating his own time to try to get work for his old work colleagues.
He says it's good news but more still needs to be done.
"I still have about 15 to 19 I would like to find work for," Mr Brus said.
"A lot of the work is part-time but it is an income coming in.
"It's better than nothing."
Sixty-seven J Smith and Son employees lost their jobs on November 25 when the Gympie-based truck trailer manufacturer shut its doors due to poor economic conditions.
Since then Mr Brus has spent his time helping his work mates find jobs.
When asked why he wanted to help out former colleagues he said, "It's just my make-up."
"I worked on the floor with all of them and had a good relationship. I feel indebted to them for their support.
"This is my town and my heart's in the place."
Mr Brus, who is now employed at CPM Engineering, has been working with owner Jason McPherson to create opportunities in the factory which is looking at employing more workers in the future.
Last week Mr Brus and a busload of workers went on a trip to the Surat Basin gas fields to look at other job opportunities.
The trip was designed to give the men some insight into camp living at a remote area.
They were told of the pressures put on the family by living away from home.
The hard reality is that 70 % of relationships fail.
"It was really good," Mr Brus said.
"They pulled no punches."
Another positive for the men is there are some opportunities coming up for them to up-skill in poly-pipe welding.
Mr Brus thanked everyone who had taken on former J Smith and Son employees and made special mention of Nolan's, Skaf-Clad, Ag Solutions and Oz-Tac.
"They have been fantastic, really supportive."
He also thanked Gabrielle Keating from the Gympie office of the Australian Government Department of Employment, Gary Davison from Jobmatch and Donna Nielsen.