TransPORTs Executive Director to Speak at AAPA Spring Conference

TransPORTs’ Executive Director Barbara R. Murray is a featured panelist at this year’s Association of American Port Authorities (AAPA) Spring Conference in Washington, D.C. She will be speaking on “The Future of Workforce,” a panel to be moderated by Noel Hacegaba, Port of Long Beach Chief Commercial Officer and Managing Director of Commercial Operations.

TransPORTs is one of only 8 U.S. Department of Labor national industry partners expanding apprenticeship with employers and workforce intermediaries nationwide. It is the only intermediary tasked with helping port authorities, port employers and their multimodal TDL tenants/business partners establish successful, sustainable apprenticeship programs.

“Apprenticeship is a proven, structured approach to strategic workforce development,” noted Murray. “Ports are a vital connection to all of our nation’s multimodal transportation networks that make up the backbone of our nation’s economy. We are grateful for the opportunity to share our work and deep expertise in helping port authorities and port employers create effective workforce development strategies.”

According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, while “ports are often overlooked in the broader infrastructure conversation, yet hundreds of ports across the country are responsible for $4.6 trillion in economic activity, or approximately 26 percent of the United States economy. Ports also create 23.1 million jobs and provide $321.1 billion in federal, state, and local taxes. With freight traffic expected to increase by 45 percent by 2045, ports will continue to be crucial linkages in our nation’s freight network, facilitating the movement of goods and driving economic growth.”

TransPORTs has been working closely with the Port of Houston Authority to both establish a formal Port of Houston apprenticeship program and provide technical assistance, program support and incentive funding to port business partners. TransPORTs held an Apprenticeship Accelerator with the Port of Houston Authority last June attended by port leaders from across the southeast including International Longshoreman’s Association South Atlantic & Gulf Cost District President Alan Robb. As a result of collaborative talks with Robb, who also serves as Assistant General Organizer for ILA and ILA leadership in Houston, TransPORTs has been working with ILA and port employers to create a new port crane operator occupation for new apprenticeship programs that can be replicated at ports across the U.S.

In addition TransPORTs has been working with national port terminal operators and tenants including Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) and Ports America on developing both skilled trade and supervisory/managerial occupations for new apprenticeship programs.

“Both operational and landlord ports can benefit from developing and/or promoting apprenticeship programs to educate and train employees,” noted Murray. “When operational ports create their own apprenticeship programs they are ‘growing their own’ next generation of leadership. When landlord ports encourage their tenants to stand up an apprenticeship program it can improve their workforce development process and reduce those related costs which in turn will benefit their overall productivity, and when they succeed their port succeeds.”

Watch TransPORTs’ newest video about how ports, port authorities and their multimodal TDL business partners. can benefit from apprenticeship.



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