Pathways Horowhenua is being revamped to cater for all Horowhenua people looking for work thanks to a $806,277 grant from the Provincial Growth Fund.
Established some years ago by Levin teenager Liam McLeavey to help young people find work, the organisation is setting up a one-stop-shop platform to connect local people of all ages with jobs in their own backyard.
Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development, announced the grant this week, saying it would enable the Horowhenua New Zealand Trust-backed project to connect people and employers.
Trust spokeswoman Sarah Ryan said the project plans to realise the potential of two of Horowhenua's biggest assets: its people and its organisations.
"It is a great win for Horowhenua and a result of a Provincial Growth Fund-backed feasibility study in 2019. It highlights the importance of training local people for local jobs, as well as the potential that the Government sees in Horowhenua.
"The project will respond to our needs now and allow us to plan for the future. We'll be building new and greater employment opportunities that reflect skill sets and aspirations, and supporting employers to find the talent they need to help realise their ambitions and potential."
Pathways Horowhenua will be renamed to recognise it isn't just for young people, Ryan said.
"We are supporting the whole community to develop skills and find fulfilling employment opportunities locally.
"Horowhenua is a growing and forever changing community and this is a chance for us to offer something new. Employment is essential for community wellbeing for so many reasons: keeping great people in Horowhenua, financially supporting our whānau and encouraging home ownership.
"This is only the beginning, and I can't wait to see this project grow and develop to meet the changing needs of our community.
"Local businesses and people are really struggling in this space and we need to respond to that, especially given the current challenges facing us all."