Putting local people to work and creating green jobs
The final step in the Port’s South Terminal Modernization came to fruition today. Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the Port’s cargo enhancement project was much more than a typical golden shovel event, it represented over 5 years of planning and execution to grow the Port’s capacity and provide over 500 new sustainable jobs.
“In accordance with the Port’s 2020 General Plan, this space will now provide a special concreate working area that will double the cargo handling area of the South Terminal and will provide an efficient, safe, and productive working area for our existing two harbor cranes and our newest addition, a $7 million hybrid electric crane being provided by Ports America,’ stated Oxnard Harbor District Board President Jess Herrera. “Our Port motto states, ‘There is only way, and that is forward’. Today, we have taken a step in that direction, into the future.”
The additional space will accommodate increased mobility for the mobile harbor cranes, and will work in concert with the Port’s deepening project. Deeping the harbor to 40 feet will allow vessels to load heavier with more cargo, the addition of the third crane will enable the ILWU to unload the extra cargo efficiently, and the modernization of the South Terminal will allow for more space for crane and container operations.
“Five years ago, our Board of Harbor Commissioners adopted a 2020 General Plan of which the modernization of this space on Port was prioritized. Today, we see this vision come to life,” said CEO & Port Director Kristin Decas. “The shipping industry has continued to evolve, transporting more fresh produce in containers; and as a result, on dock storage has become obsolete. Soon, the space will allow for optimal efficiency for handling of cargo, resulting in cleaner air.”
During the construction, the Port’s operations team, consultant Encompass Consultant Group, and contractor Viola Constructors, Inc. will be utilizing the best environmental practices for dust control, recycling the demo material, and storm water runoff protection.
In attendance at the groundbreaking, Port Hueneme City Councilmember Rich Rollins stated, “As a new councilman, I’ve come to appreciate the fine partnership that we have with the Port, they have been very good about working with our community. I look forward to this new project and the ability for them to expand in a very low impact manner, but still generate revenue and the economy that will help us all.”
“As a Councilman for Oxnard and a resident of Oxnard, I’m grateful that there is an opportunity for the City of Oxnard to work with the harbor, and fortunate that we are in a location where the is a harbor next to us that can bring in the business and can provide jobs,” stated City of Oxnard Councilmember Bert Perello.
The demolition of the 1B warehouse is under the Ports new Project Labor Agreement, ensuring that the construction projects directly support the local workforce. The project will be completed by November and will cost $2.2 million, an investment the Port is looking forward to generating more cargo and creating more jobs for the local community.
Tony Skinner, Tri Counties Building and Construction Trades Council stated, “This PLA is going to ensure local hire form the Port Hueneme and Oxnard community, as well as give us the chance to expand our apprenticeship to young men and women that are interested in the trades. We also have a helmets to hardhats clause in there so we can put as many veterans on this project as we can. I want to say thank you to Kristin and Commissioner Herrera.”