Not-for-profit ETC is celebrating 30 years in business.
Not-for-profit ETC is celebrating 30 years in business. Matthew Deans

From one employee to over 300, ETC's rich local history

ETC was established in 1989 by a group of astute Coffs Harbour business people .

They were determined to do something about the region's high unemployment.

"We could see that something needed to be done to create employment, especially for the youth of Coffs Harbour," said founding member Steve Little.

ETC's first Chairman, Mike Blewitt says Coffs Harbour was always missing out on government funding for training the unemployed,.

That's why he and ETC's co-founders, including Cherie Treharne, John Bradshaw, Steve Little, Heather McKinnon and David Shorter, came together to discuss how they could generate new jobs, increase business skills and provide training with the assistance of government initiatives and funding.

In those early years, ETC sponsored a range of labour market, work experience and self-employment programs.

The company also coordinated coastal management and Landcare projects including contributions to the Jetty Foreshores walkway, Coffs Creek Boardwalk, the Bunker Cartoon Gallery, landscaping and fencing at Marshalls Sports Stadium and improvements to the Botanic Gardens.

ETC started with one employee in the Mudbrick Huts in Coffs Harbour's Duke Street .

Today, the company employs 300 staff across 35 offices located between Forster/Tuncurry and the Gold Coast.

"I don't think people know what a huge employer and just how big ETC is," Mike Blewitt said.

"I'm very proud of what ETC has achieved over the past 30 years."