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Employment Boom Strikes Port Of Long Beach

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(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

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As the economy continues to recover, demand for goods will increase, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The fact-finding agency expects employment numbers for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers to grow by 21 percent between now and the year 2020 in order to keep supply chains moving. This promising outlook fuels areas like the Port of Long Beach, an influential gateway that supports more than 30,000 jobs in the City of Long Beach alone.

Community Relations Manager John Pope (photo courtesy of John Pope)

Community Relations Manager John Pope (photo courtesy of John Pope)

“Cargo movement at the Port of Long Beach is up by about 14 percent so far in 2013, which translates to more work on the docks, in trucking, warehousing, logistics and more,” said John Pope, community relations manager at the Port of Long Beach. “In addition, the port is investing heavily in making its operations more environmentally friendly, which is generating both public and private investment in green technologies.”

Since the port is working passionately to move away from being a major source of air pollution in the greater Los Angeles region, employment opportunities for workers skilled at creating a healthier environment are advancing at full steam.

“We’re about two years into a 10-year capital improvement program that is investing more than four billion dollars to modernize and upgrade our facilities,” said Pope. “That activity is generating thousands of local construction jobs.”

In the wake of implementing the Clean Air Action Plan, jobs for green industry innovators have found a home at the port that boasts a combined import and export value at nearly $100 billion per year.

“We’ve worked hard to clean up every source of pollution here, such as ships, trucks, trains, cargo-handling equipment and harbor craft,” said Pope. “This has led to innovations such as the world’s first hybrid tugboat and the use of something called shore power, where ships plug into cleaner electricity at the dock instead of burning diesel fuel.”

As the Port of Long Beach continues to actualize branches of knowledge as they relate to life, society and the environment, the next five to seven years will serve as a favorable time for students interested in entering the goods movement industry.

“Learn as much as you can about the career track and what it takes to succeed,” said Pope. “From there, take advantage of the assistance the industry makes available, such as scholarships, internships, training programs and mentoring programs.”

Long Beach Polytechnic High School‘s graduating students planning to pursue careers in port-related industries are eligible for scholarships, as are international business students that attend Long Beach City College and California State University, Long Beach.

“Students training for jobs in the goods movement field can be confident that those jobs will still be there when they graduate,” said Pope.

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.

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