Unanderra's Park Engineering continues expansion

Martin, Kylie and Jarrod Van Elsland with their national Apprentice of the Year runner-up Zak Anderson. Picture: GREG ELLIS

Martin, Kylie and Jarrod Van Elsland with their national Apprentice of the Year runner-up Zak Anderson. Picture: GREG ELLIS

Family owned and run business Park Engineering is expanding by constantly investing in the best equipment and people.

The precision machining, manufacturing and light fabrication business at 21 Industrial Road, Unanderra, has steadily made a name for itself since Jarrod and Kylie Van Elsland, of J & K Custom CNC Pty Ltd, purchased the business in 2006, a year after establishing their own company in a tiny shed at the rear of a machine shop in Kemblawarra.

Park Engineering was located at Oak Flats when they acquired it, but since 2006 its CNC machine shop has steadily expanded at another location in Unanderra. The business now has a team of 13, including Mr Van Elsland's father Martin and his brother Shane.

"When he [Jarrod] did his apprenticeship he just had an eye for it. He wanted to run a business himself," Mrs Van Elsland said.

"He just bit the bullet and did it. We were having our first baby at the time and were in this tiny little shed out at Kemblawarra. They were tough times."

It did not take long for the Van Elslands to expand Park Engineering, and the work increased when they went on the consumables list for BlueScope Steel.

Now it is buying another business, Blue Heeler Mining, which manufactures for the mining industry.

It expects to take ownership on July 31.

Mrs Van Elsland said this meant they would expand their customer base.

"A lot of our work has been with BlueScope and very local, so we are just trying to branch out into the mines," she said.

"So Park Engineering will become the manufacturer of Blue Heeler products.

"That business has a product that actually goes underground, and that is what we are buying. And we can machine the product that they put underground."

The Park Engineering workforce would increase, she said.

That news comes hot on the heels of fourth-year machining apprentice Zak Anderson, 21, coming second at the Apprentice of the Year Awards run by the Manufacturing Engineering Institute of Australia.

Park Engineering always has at least two apprentices who get to use cutting-edge technology with the latest machinery.

Mr Anderson, of Kiama, is doing his apprenticeship through MEGT and attended TAFE in Wollongong.

Mr Van Elsland described Mr Anderson as having great drive and a passion for the trade.

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