THE Australian Country Spinners celebrated its 90th year of production at Wangaratta’s Wool Mill at the weekend by announcing traineeships for school leavers.
About 300 residents turned out to celebrate the history of the mill, which has long been a part of the fabric of the community.
“Many Wangaratta families have relatives who have worked at the mill or know someone who has worked there since it was opened in the 1920s,” Australian Country Spinners chief executive Brenda McGahan said.
Ms McGahan said Australian Country Spinners was “an innovative manufacturer flying high in spite of a tough global environment”.
To celebrate the 90th year, up to four traineeships have been created for young school leavers.
“We feel it’s important to give back to the community and, with regional youth unemployment at record levels, we are putting our money where it counts,” she said.
Wangaratta mill manager Malcolm Andison said back in the 1960s the mill employed about 800 people.
Today there are 75 workers at the Wangaratta facility.
Australian Country Spinners is the owner of leading hand knitting brands including Patons, Cleckheaton, Shepherd and Panda, and distributes hand knitting yarn to more than one thousand retailers across Australia and New Zealand from the Wangaratta facility.
For knitting enthusiasts, the company will also celebrate the birthday milestone by releasing a new Superfine Merino wool yarn.