Friday, May 29, 2015

Event promoted international trade, addressed challenges faced by businesses, and highlighted job opportunities for local residents.

The City of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board (WIB), the Community Development Department (CDD), and the Alameda Corridor Jobs Coalition (ACJC) hosted an international trade breakfast on Tuesday, December 9th at The Plaza at Cabrillo Marina to highlight the impact international trade has on the Los Angeles economy.  In addition to providing a forum for dialogue, the event placed an intense focus on airport and port expansion, which will result in job opportunities for local residents.

“International trade plays a phenomenal role in the stability of the Los Angeles economy,” said Gregory Burks, Director of CDD’s Business Services & Marketing Group.  “The summit allowed industry leaders, City officials, and community partners to discuss trade industry growth and develop strategies to put Angelinos to work.”

Although the international trade industry is the largest financial contributor and largest employer in the Los Angeles area, stakeholders stressed the urgency of upgrading infrastructure to safeguard the region’s status as a global leader.  Contemplated improvements include the construction of a truck tollway system and capacity expansions for existing rail-lines.

“The upgrade of the international trade infrastructure will have an incredible impact on employment trends,” said Benetta Johnson, Executive Director of ACJC.  “This project produces significant employment opportunities for women, minorities, and hard-to-employ Angelinos who possess the willingness and commitment to work.” 

The breakfast showcased Los Angeles as a modern, efficient, and important hub of international trade and drew attention to industry sectors that will experience a dramatic increase in employment opportunities.  These budding industries include transportation, logistics (freight/warehousing), import/export, and construction.  The event simultaneously highlighted the needs of trade-related businesses in hopes of addressing challenges that currently serve as barriers to growth.  By identifying businesses’ urgent needs, the summit sparked dialog that will produce solutions.  

“The trade industry provides limitless opportunities for Los Angeles businesses and residents alike,” said Greg Irish, Executive Director of the WIB.  “By upgrading our trade system, the improved infrastructure allows us to nurture existing partnerships and develop new relationships with global business leaders.” 

In hopes of employing Angelinos in positions resulting from trade expansion, the City of Los Angeles’ WorkSource Centers will play an integral role in project discussions.  Center representatives attended the breakfast and addressed the employment needs of trade-related businesses.

“WorkSource Centers are essential to the expansion project because they inform, prepare, and motivate residents to take part in this amazing opportunity,” said WIB President Charlie Woo.  “These centers will offer a wealth of information and will guide applicants through a seamless and efficient process.”

The trade breakfast provided a unique opportunity for government, community agencies, businesses, and local residents to continue a dialogue centered on workforce and economic development for the City of Los Angeles. 

For more information on the City of Los Angeles’ workforce development and business improvement efforts, please visit

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