California Ports, Stakeholders Laud Goods Movement Funding in State Budget

Image via State of California.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on June 30 signed the state’s 2023 budget, which includes $2.3 billion in funding for projects that seek to improve the supply chain.

It includes $1.2 billion over two years for expanding rail yard expansions, building new bridges and upgrading to zero-emissions equipment; $110 million over three years for a workforce training facility in San Pedro Bay and $159.7 million to buy zero-emission trucks and put in charging and hydrogen refueling infrastructure

“We thank the governor and state Legislature for their foresight and responsiveness in including supply chain needs in the budget,” Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said. “These investments in a vital economic engine will enhance the efficiency and sustainability of cargo movement and help fund important port projects such as the Pier B On-Dock Rail Support Facility and the Supply Chain Information Highway.”

The Los Angeles and Long Beach seaports are teaming on the so-called Goods Movement Training Campus, which would be used to help workforce members develop new skills to address the changing needs of the logistics industry.

“Workforce development is an equally critical component of the goods movement sector,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said, adding that the POLA plans to donate land and invest millions into the facility.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union has long advocated for a training center and ILWU Local 13 President Ramon Ponce de Leon Jr., said the union is grateful to the state and the ports for “answering the call with this historic investment.”

“The members of our union have adapted to new technologies and have helped shape training programs since our inception in the 1930s,” he said. “With this important announcement, we look forward to training future generations to be productive employees on our working waterfront.”

Pacific Maritime Association President and CEO Jim McKenna said the center would give ILWU members the hands-on training needed for the longshore jobs of the future.

“The unprecedented supply chain challenges of the past two years have underscored the need to invest in new technology and training at our ports to keep goods moving reliably, efficiently, and safely,” he said.

By Karen Robes Meeks