A Wendouree-based trucking manufacturer needs 70 new staff despite ending its biggest ever contract.
And it is a combination of skilled workers and new graduates who will be asked to fill the mostly welding and engineering positions available at MaxiTRANS.
Laid off car industry workers are also expected to be targeted in the recruiting drive which will look to fill orders from companies including Dickerson Bulkhaulage, Findlay Engineering and Nicholson Transport Services.
Initially there had been a fear that once the last of the 386 Coles trucks, as part of a $60 million deal, rolled off the production line, some of the 500 workers on the project at the Ballarat and Hallam plants could be laid off.
MaxiTRANS Managing director Dean Jenkins said the company was thrilled to be able to expand its workforce despite ending its Coles deal.
"We were expecting that - to be coming off the biggest order in Australian transport - we could be potentially losing staff,” Mr Jenkins said.
“But we are lucky enough at the moment to have an order book and future pipeline work which is much greater than expected.
“As we sit here today, we can take an extra 60 to 70 staff.”
Mr Jenkins said the company was on an active recruiting drive in and around Ballarat, while also approaching former staff of recently closed car manufacturers.
“We’ve got some representatives of Toyota here today actually and we’re working through that process,” Mr Jenkins said.
“Obviously there was a lot of people who were affected by the car industry closures.”
Coles head of commercial supply chain James Hankin said the trucks built in Ballarat would operate around the country.
“Today is a fantastic day for Coles and we now have our own trailers in Western Australia and New South Wales,” Mr Hankin said.
“This project has been brought in ahead of schedule and they look fantastic.”
He said the resulting trailers were a success story for regional manufacturing.
“The fact that MaxiTRANS has been able to hire over 100 additional workers (during the project) is a great advertisement for the region,” he said.
Applications for the new jobs can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org