SAN PEDRO, Calif. — Nov. 14, 2013 — Trade Connect, the Port of Los Angeles’ signature export education outreach program, has earned the City of Los Angeles Quality & Productivity Award. The honor is the City’s highest award for superior public services and programs.

Dedicated to helping small and midsize companies compete and succeed in international trade, Trade Connect is a 2013 Quality & Productivity Award winner for its eight-part Export Workshop Series. The in-depth training explains the fundamentals of entering the global marketplace; international business cultures; pricing and contracts for selling goods overseas; financing and insurance; documentation and regulatory compliance; and logistics and the global supply chain.

“Trade Connect’s Export Workshop Series gives businesses the practical information they need to tap into growing consumer markets abroad,” said Gary Lee Moore, the Port’s Interim Executive Director. “By teaching businesses how to establish and expand their overseas markets, Trade Connect is helping to create jobs at home and promote economic prosperity in Southern California.”

Trade Connect programs support trade and commerce through the Port of Los Angeles by helping companies learn how to export made-in-America goods and services. Specializing in helping micro, small and midsize companies, Trade Connect programs have drawn more than 22,000 attendees since its inception in 2007.

The Port established Trade Connect to fill a void created by the absence of a single source for regional companies lacking export experience and looking to expand into international consumer markets. The innovative Export Workshop Series was added in 2013 in response to a demand for training in greater depth. In less than a year, Trade Connect has conducted 32 three-hour advanced sessions for more than 300 participants.

“Approximately 85 percent of California companies don’t export and 95 percent of the world’s consumers are overseas,” said the Port’s Director of Trade Development Jim MacLellan, who heads the Trade Connect program. “Through Trade Connect, the Port of Los Angeles is bridging that gap by offering a one-stop program that introduces companies to key subjects ranging from varied international business cultures to the legal dos and don’ts of exporting their goods.”

Trade Connect supports President Obama’s 2010 National Export Initiative, a key economic strategy aimed at strengthening the U.S. economy as it continues to recover from the recent recession. In May, Trade Connect earned the President’s E-Star Award, the nation’s highest honor for promoting export trade.

Other Trade Connect programs include targeted seminars on emerging markets and free trade agreements, product-specific programs, and trade shows. All programs feature public and private sector experts. Speakers include representatives from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Export Import Bank, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the District Export Council of Southern California, the Centers for International Trade Development, consular offices in California, the Los Angeles Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association, economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, banks, lawyers, ethnic chambers, businesses associations, academic institutions and other professionals with a shared interest in promoting international trade.

The Trade Connect team – MacLellan, Project Manager Jean Coronel and Trade Development Manager Norman Arikawa – received the City’s Quality & Productivity Award at a formal ceremony at Los Angeles City Hall. A total of 21 programs were recognized at the Nov. 7 event.

“We take pride in our mission to help local companies diversify their markets and grow good jobs in our own backyard,” MacLellan said. “The City’s acknowledgement of the benefits of this program will help us expand our outreach.”

The Port of Los Angeles is America’s premier port and has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy as well as the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves. As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates more than 830,000 regional jobs and $35 billion in annual wages and tax revenues. The Port of Los Angeles – A cleaner port. A brighter future.