The Port is projecting growth that will double in next 10 to 15 years, creating an additional 50,000 jobs.

In this period of economic downturn, the Port of Long Beach is a bright spot on the horizon. The Port is projecting growth that will double or triple in the next 15 years, generating more than $2 billion in expansion projects, and creating a significant need for professionals, trade aand vocational workers.

In an effort to prepare for the thousands of jobs that will come on line in the next decade and a half, the Port has launched a unique and ambitious outreach program that will impact students from kindergarten through college.

“There are thousands of jobs in international trade and goods movement that will be opening up in the next 10 years,” said Art Wong, assistant director of communications. “Our hope is that by exposing students to the careers that are available, they might set their sites on a future right here in Long Beach.”

There are hundreds of careers associated with the Port, Wong explained, careers as numerous and varied as export agent, customs broker, import analyst, freight forwarder, logistics specialist, architectural designer, international sales coordinator, transportation analyst and international banker.

The Port’s challenge is to make students aware of the jobs that are available and how careers in international trade and goods movement are relevant. The Port is accomplishing through numerous videos, lesson plans and partnerships.

Through relationships with the Long Beach Unified School District, Long Beach City College and California State University, Long Beach, thousands of students are learning about the port in economics, math and global logistic classes. More specifically they are learning about goods movement, international trade, tariffs, embargoes, branding, marketing, commodities, and supply chain management.

“Working with the schools is a wonderful way for students to learn about the Port and how it impacts them,” said Wong. “More importantly, it’s an opportunity for students to get a sense of the job opportunities that exist in their own back yard.”

The Port of Long Beach supports more than 30,000 jobs – one in eight – in Long Beach and more than 325,000 jobs in Southern California. When construction over the next 10 to 15 years is complete on the Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project and the Pier S projects, the Port projects an additional 50,000 jobs.

This spring more than 5,000 high school seniors were exposed to the Port in economics classes. Part of students’ exposure involved Julio’s New Ride, a seven-minute video that illustrates how annually $100 billion worth of electronics, machinery, food, cars and clothes arrive from countries around the world bound for stores, factories and companies in Long Beach and across the United States.

“What makes the video effective is that students get a sense of what is involved in shipping materials around the world to end up with the products they use daily – computers, furniture, tennis shoes, cars,” according to Wong.

Through programs like “Port Opportunities,” a partnership between Long Beach City College, the city of Long Beach’s Workforce Development Board and the Port, area college students were made aware of careers in global logistics and goods movement. A part of the “Port Opportunities” program focused on “Career Spotlights,” short 4-minute vignettes that highlights dozens of jobs associated with the Port.

“This is really just the beginning of our outreach to the schools in the area,” Wong explained. “There is a bright employment future for highly skilled and well-trained people here in Long Beach. Our purpose is to create opportunities to learn about the jobs that will be available and to help provide the sills and training needed to obtain those jobs.”