The Port of Hueneme leads Ventura County’s economic growth with 15,834 total jobs in 2018, an increase from 13,633 in 2015. In their newest economic study, the Port shows substantial increases in job creation, economic activity, tax revenue generated for local cities, and total economic activity.
Oxnard Harbor District President Jess Herrera stated, “For over 83 years, the Port has been Ventura County’s legacy industry providing economic opportunity for our community. This new economic study once again confirms that our continued growth and success provides even greater benefits to our cities, in taxes, and our citizens in family sustaining job opportunities. The Port continues to be a growing and stable partner in our county’s prosperity.
Port cargos grew to 1.6 million tons in FY2018, a new all-time high for the Port which resulted in a record number of jobs being created for local residents. Since 2015, the Port has increased its economic impact from $1.5 billion to $1.7 billion annually. This includes local business revenues and re-spending by direct employees.
Bruce Stenslie, President & CEO of the Economic Development Collaborative stated, “Ventura County has been in a categorical economic slump since the Great Recession, with the county’s major industries showing a lack of job generation. Offsetting those overall losses, one positive point is export trade, with the Port a primary driver of jobs and growth in our local economy.”
The Port’s growth has also increased the tax revenues that will go directly to local municipalities and the state by 28% over the past 3 years, from $93 million to $119 million.
“The Port not only generates jobs, but we also generate tax revenues for the local cities through our customers that base their operations here,” said CEO & Port Director Kristin Decas. “These tax revenues go directly to supporting our local schools, firefighters, police officers, city streets, health and social services, and community events.” In addition to the economic benefits the Port brings to local residents, it also focuses its resources on improving the social fabric of the community through sponsorships and community events.
“As a special district, we have a responsibility to operate in the best interest of our residents which includes providing ladders of economic opportunity, and investing in the fabric of our community,” said Oxnard Harbor District Commissioner Mary Anne Rooney. “As a Commissioner, it is critical we invest some of the District’s resources with local non-profits and groups who are helping build a stronger community.”
The Port sponsored over 80 non-profits and community groups this past year, the most to date in the history of the Port. Investments were focused with groups that promote youth engagement, Veteran assistance, cultural empowerment, affordable housing, increasing accessibility to healthy food and internet access. These groups included Habitat for Humanity, the Ventura County Bookmobile, FOOD Share, MICOP, Boys and Girls Club, Latino Peace Officers Association, Reel Guppies, and Diversity Collective to name a few.
Since 2015, the Port’s customer base has grown, spurring much of the local economic opportunity and enabling the Port to invest in the local community. Dave Peterson, Port Manager for Subaru of America, Inc. explained their role in local job creation, “Since investing in the Port of Hueneme, we have been able to employ 40 full time employees plus additional port terminal personnel, shipping line workers, and ILWU labor. Depending on the demand, we also add an additional 20-40 part-time employees on top of the 40 full timers.” Port customers, like Subaru, have brought good-paying sustainable jobs to the local economy.
“Mission Produce has enjoyed working with the Port of Hueneme”, stated Ben Barnard VP Global Partnerships and Business Development Mission Produce, Inc. “Their dedication to continuous improvement and expansion efforts has helped us grow our Oxnard, California business significantly over the past few years. The improvements they have made allow a more seamless product flow on all our west coast imports into Hueneme and also allowed us to greatly expand our infrastructure in preparation for even more scheduled arrivals through the Port. This has been a great thing for the City of Oxnard and Ventura County alike as it has allowed our business, as well as others, to increase the workforce which will in return bring more revenue to the surrounding community.”