Friday, January 11, 2019

Hueneme Signs Groundbreaking Labor Agreement

By Karen Robes Meeks

For the first time in its 81-year history, the Port of Hueneme has signed a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) that prioritizes union hiring on projects greater than $250,000 for the next three years.

The Oxnard Harbor District Board of Commissioners inked the PLA in December.

“The port’s priority has always been to hire contractors and labor from our local community, the PLA formalizes this priority and ensures that our projects directly support our local workers and families,” said Oxnard Harbor District President Mary Anne Rooney. “We are eager to continue moving the Port forward as the leading provider of homegrown good-paying jobs, real ladders of economic opportunity, and strong environmental leadership for our community.”

The contract mandates that at least 30 percent of all construction labor hours go to those living in Oxnard and Port Hueneme first, before extending those opportunities to Ventura County residents and then those living in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.

The agreement also prioritizes work for veterans through the “Helmets to Hardhats” program.

“Although our cargo comes from all over the world, this agreement guarantees that we will continue to provide economic opportunity for our local workforce first and foremost,” denoted Oxnard Harbor District Board Secretary Jess Ramirez. “Our projects, and the millions of dollars the Port is planning on investing in our community, is now guaranteed to directly support our local families and workers who help us modernize our port.”

Seattle Hires New Diversity Director

By Karen Robes Meeks

Small Business Program and Policy Manager Mian Rice has been elevated to Director of Diversity in Contracting for the Port of Seattle.

"Mian Rice brings over 23 years of public and private sector experience to this position, having managed complex projects in limited time-frames while delivering results,” said Economic Development Division Director, Dave McFadden.

Rice, whose promotion is effective immediately, will be key in the port’s new effort to bolster spending on WMBE contracts by 15 percent and triple the use of women and minority business suppliers over the next five years.

“I look forward to improving opportunities for small and WMBE businesses, to promote diversity in Port contracts, and to provide economic equity across the region,” said Rice. “For me, this is the role my work experience has led me to, and it will be an honor to help others succeed.”

New Longview Commissioner

By Karen Robes Meeks

Allan Erickson is the newest member of the Port of Longview Board of Commissioners.

Erickson, who represents the Commission’s 3rd District, was chosen to fill the seat left vacant by former Commissioner Bob Bagaason, who resigned in September after serving since 2007.

“On behalf of the Board, I want to welcome Mr. Erickson to our team,” said Commission President Jeff Wilson. “We look forward to Allan’s participation in continuing the Port’s success.”

A University of Washington graduate with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Erickson worked in the printing industry for more than four decades before retiring and becoming involved in community organizations.

“I am honored to help guide port leadership as we build on the momentum of recent successes,” said Erickson. “One of my goals as commissioner is to work toward building more family-wage jobs for the citizens of the port district.”

Bellingham Native to Lead Port Commission

By Karen Robes Meeks

Bobby Briscoe will serve as president of the Port of Bellingham Board of Commissioners.

The Bellingham native was selected by his colleagues to lead the board in 2019, while Commissioner Ken Bell was chosen to be the Vice President and Michael Shepard the new Secretary.

A fourth-generation fisherman and longtime business owner, Briscoe operates commercial fishing vessels out of Squalicum Harbor and has worked in ports along the West Coast. He was previously the president of the Puget Sound Crab Fisherman Association. Briscoe represents District 3, which encompasses Northwest Whatcom County. His four-year term on the commission ends Dec. 31, 2019.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

New Ops Manager for Cook Inlet Tug & Barge

By Karen Robes Meeks

Foss Project Manager Amber Thomas has been tapped by Foss Maritime Co. independent subsidiary Cook Inlet Tug & Barge as interim Business Operations Manager for Anchorage, Alaska starting Jan. 2, the company announced Friday.

Thomas will oversee administrative and commercial operations, taking the reins on all shoreside matters in Anchorage and Seward.

The Alaskan native will serve in the temporary post while the company conducts its search for a new president. Former CITB president Ben Steven resigned from the top spot in December to work for the Alaska governor’s office.

Thomas brings a lot of relevant experience to the interim position. Before joining Foss in 2015, she was Operations Coordinator for ASRC Energy Services, where she worked with subsidiary US companies such as Petrochem and AES Continental, to troubleshoot and streamline operations. At Foss, she assisted in the Shell offshore drilling venture in the Chukchi Sea and helped manage the Puerto Rico Utility Equipment Projects and the Puerto Rico FEMA accommodations project.

Swantown Marina Recertifies as Clean Marina

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Olympia’s Swantown Marina and Boatyard was recently recertified as a Clean Marina and a Leadership Clean Boatyard by the Clean Marina Washington program.

Established in 2005, the program reviews a marina’s operations and set environmental qualification standards to earn the certification.

Swantown Marina, which first received the Clean Marina certification in 2007 and Leadership Clean Boatyard in 2012, earned a five-star Leadership Clean marina designation this year, the highest rating available.

Clean Boating Foundation Program Manager Adria Lau was “particularly impressed by the high level of environmental safety training that was occurring at Swantown,” which includes an annual half-day oil response drill alongside the Department of Ecology that takes place at the marina.

“I am proud of all the hard work the staff at the marina and boatyard performs on a daily basis to ensure our facilities and operations operate at the highest level of efficiency while also remaining environmentally sustainable,” said Port Harbor Director Bruce Marshall.

This certification comes as the port’s marine terminal became part of the Green Marine environmental certification program, which asks participating terminals to show annual improvement in greening operations.

Chula Vista Port Begins Bike Path Construction

By Karen Robes Meeks

Construction on the Sweetwater Bicycle Path and Promenade project (Sweetwater Pathway), a new multi-use bicycle and pedestrian path for the Chula Vista Bayfront, is expected to break ground this summer, thanks to the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners and the City of Chula Vista, who recently agreed to issue Coastal Development Permits for the project.

“This pathway is a key component of the future Sweetwater and Harbor Parks and is just one of the many public recreational amenities planned for the Chula Vista Bayfront, supporting the Port’s goals of creating a vibrant waterfront destination and a safe and healthy place for all to visit, work and play,” said Chairman Rafael Castellanos, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners.

About $4.8 million of the $5.63 million project will be paid for with an Urban Greening Grant awarded to the Port by the California Natural Resources Agency. The Port also added $794,000 through its Capital Improvement Program and the city of Chula Vista chipped in $33,000.

“We appreciate the $4.8 million grant from the California Natural Resources Agency to create this new pathway for bicyclists and pedestrians,” said Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas. “With additional funding provided from the Port and the City, the Chula Vista Bayfront will have another amazing amenity for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

“The Sweetwater Pathway will bring the public to areas of the Chula Vista Bayfront that have never before been accessible while also protecting the bayfront’s natural resources and environment,” said Commissioner Ann Moore, Chula Vista’s representative on the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners.

“I look forward to taking a casual stroll and observing the wildlife that visit or call the area home,” she added.

State of the Port of Los Angeles

By Karen Robes Meeks

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka will deliver the 2019 “State of the Port of Los Angeles” address on Jan. 24 at the World Cruise Center in San Pedro.

The event co-hosted by the port and the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association highlight the port’s successes, with Seroka discussing the seaport’s seven lines of business, environmental progress and community development initiatives.

“We are very excited to move into a larger venue for this end-to-end overview of the nation’s number one gateway of containerized trade,” said PMSA Executive Director John McLaurin. “Mr. Seroka is an exceptional leader and always eloquently reviews the breadth and depth of the Port of Los Angeles portfolio and business ecosystem inside a trade gateway that touches 1 in 9 jobs in the five-county region.”

The event will take place at 11:30 a.m. at the Port’s World Cruise Center, located at 100 Swinford Street, Berth 93, San Pedro, CA 90731.