SAN PEDRO, Calif. — January 22, 2007 — The Port of Los Angeles has hired 13 vocational workers as part of a new cooperative effort among the Port, City of Los Angeles Community Development Department, Harbor Worksource Center, and SEIU Local 347 to recruit and train individuals in the Harbor area for permanent vocational jobs at the Port.

The pilot program allows local candidates to gain entry-level City employment without taking a written test. The program was created to offer substantial career and employment opportunities for underserved groups in the Harbor area. Participants are entered into an 18-month training and work program that they are required to pass in order to gain permanent, entry-level civil service positions with the Port.

“This is a brand new training and job opportunity program for the Port,” said Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D., executive director of the Port of Los Angeles. “We have strived to provide in-roads for our local residents to obtain Port jobs and we are confident this pilot vocational worker program will be a success.”

The program includes a two-day basic training course in which participants learn skills such as how to dress for success, the importance of punctuality and attendance, and how to succeed at the Port.

Candidates are then enrolled in a training program for laborers in which they learn the specific job duties they will be expected to perform. After a successful completion of the training program, participants are divided into smaller groups and begin working in their respective areas. These employees may transition into a regular, entry-level civil service job as a maintenance laborer after the 18-month training and probationary period, with supervisor approval, and after completing and passing performance evaluations.

The City of Los Angeles’ Community Development Department offers a similar program called L.A. City Works. For more information about the L.A. City Works program, call 1-800-FOR-A-JOB or 311.

Celebrating its Centennial in 2007, the Port of Los Angeles is America's premier port.  As the leading seaport in the nation in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates 259,000 regional jobs and $8.4 billion in annual wages and tax revenues.  A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars.  At the Port of Los Angeles, high priority is placed on responsible and sustainable growth initiatives, combined with high security, environmental stewardship and community outreach.  For its industry leading environmental initiatives, the Port received two Environmental Protection Agency awards in 2006.  The Port of Los Angeles - A cleaner port.  A brighter future.