Freight News, Sea

Los Angles Harbor Commissioners Approve Grant Recipient Agreements

[ October 23, 2015   //   ]

The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners has approved agreements between the Port of Los Angeles and its two largest Community Investment Grant Program recipients, International Trade Education Programs Inc. (ITEP) of Carson, CA. and the Los Angeles Maritime Institute (LAMI) of San Pedro.

The two recipients were among 32 organizations selected this past June to receive funding under the Port’s grant program. ITEP and LAMI received grants of $340,000 and $255,000 respectively.

“We’re thrilled to be able to financially support these local organizations, which are critical to fostering student interest and understanding of the maritime industry,” said Ambassador Vilma Martinez, president of the Los Angeles Harbor Commission. “Through this funding, we are helping expose local youth to the importance of our port and a variety of career paths that they might not have otherwise considered.”

“ITEP is focused on preparing students with the skills and knowledge needed for a career in global trade and logistics,” said Amy Grat, ITEP’s chief executive officer. “Without the Port of Los Angeles’ support, many local students would not have the opportunity to experience all that ITEP and its many academies have to offer.”

ITEP began as a pilot program in 1999 at Banning High School in Wilmington. Since then, ITEP has developed four model academies on the campus, including the International Trade Academy; Global Safety and Security Academy; Global Environmental Sciences Academy; and the Maritime Agriculture, Tourism, Cuisine and Hospitality Academy.  Eight additional academies are also running in San Pedro, Gardena, Barstow, Harbor City and Carson. In addition, each year ITEP places approximately 100 of its students in maritime industry-related internships, including placements at the Port of Los Angeles.

LAMI is a local non-profit organization and creator of the TopSail experiential education program for at-risk youth. In operation since 1992, the program consists of three to five one-day sails in and around San Pedro Bay, and an optional multi-day voyage to Catalina Island. The program promotes teamwork, teaches responsibility and encourages leadership and self-esteem through character-building experiences aboard the twin brigantines, Irving Johnson and Exy Johnson, the Official Tall Ships of Los Angeles. Youth also receive educational information about the Port and maritime industry, as well as the local coastal ecosystem. For some participants, TopSail voyages provide a first-ever introduction to the Port and its operations.

The Port’s non-taxpayer-funded Community Investment Grant Program focuses on initiatives that benefit the local community and help promote the Port’s goals related to international trade, the environment, sustainability, public safety and security. The Port also looks for programs that promote the LA Waterfront and surrounding coastal areas as vibrant visitor destinations, as well as ideas that highlight the area’s rich maritime history and traditions.

The Port awarded a total of $1 million in grants for fiscal year 2015/16. In approving the ITEP and LAMI agreements, Harbor Commissioners also authorized similar grant amounts for ITEP and LAMI for the fiscal 2016/17 grant cycle to assure program continuity.