Ongoing economic restructuring has produced many declining rust belt cities and regions. While governments and communities have acted to ease the impacts, most actions have not been effective. Politically the reaction to ongoing high levels of unemployment are now registering across the Western world and drive a reconsideration of what interventions might facilitate socially inclusive redevelopment. Geelong in Victoria, Australia is a regional city recently shaken by the closure of its car and aluminium industries but also one successfully transitioning to a service economy. However, a critical question is whether and how policy interventions and community actions have advanced the position of the displaced. This paper critically considers one successful intervention by the training and employment provider Northern Futures to thereby offer guidance to other regions in their quest for socially inclusive redevelopment.