Ports Primer – 6.4 Case Studies: Job and Benefits
Ports can implement a number of programs and policies that spur investment in local entrepreneurs and the local workforce. These programs can be tailored to emphasize investments in near-port communities and/or communities experiencing high rates of poverty, unemployment and underemployment. Two successful examples of ports with these policies include the Port of Oakland and the Port of Los Angeles.
Port of Oakland: Social Responsibility Division 1,2
The Social Responsibility Division (SRD) at the Port of Oakland oversees port efforts to invest in near-port communities. Programs and policies include a commitment to invest in local businesses and the local workforce.
Some of these include: a small local business utilization policy, a disadvantaged business enterprise program, a Maritime and Aviation Project Labor Agreement (which includes a commitment to local hiring and local workforce development), and a living wage policy.
“Today, there are high expectations for business and government to collaborate and invest in society. Looking at one’s business through the community lens and investing time, money and energy in projects that benefit one’s neighbors help build trust and allies. A port’s active investment in the community results in long-term community support and goodwill that makes it possible for the port to succeed in business.”
—Port Spokeswoman Marilyn Sandifur
Port of Los Angeles: Project Labor Agreement3
The City of Los Angeles Harbor Department has entered into a five-year port-wide Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with local building and trade unions. The PLA seeks to address unemployment and underemployment in communities with concentrated poverty, particularly those that are near-port communities. The PLA includes the following considerations:
- “At least 30% of total work hours shall be performed by Local Residents residing within the targeted areas of the City using a two-tier approach. The first tier includes residents within approximately 10 miles of the Port, and the second tier includes residents of high unemployment zip codes throughout the remainder of the City of Los Angeles.
- At least 10% of the total work hours shall be performed by Disadvantaged Workers residing within Tier 1 or Tier 2 zip codes. The hours may be applied towards the 30% Local Residents targeted hiring percentage.”
The PLA also emphasizes opportunities for participation in apprenticeship programs and other workforce development programs.