TUESDAY | April 7, 2009




Coming up
at the Chamber

View all upcoming events on our Web calendar.

WED | April 8
Aviation Committee Meeting
more info

FRI | April 10
Health Care Committee Meeting
more info

TUE | April 14
Referral Network
Grow Your Business
more info

WED | April 15
Global Initiatives Committee Meeting
Featuring Abraham Lowenthal, University of Southern California
more info

THU | April 16
Jobs & Business Growth Committee Meeting
more info

THU | April 16
Education & Workforce Development Committee Meeting
more info

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit

350 S. Bixel St.
Los Angeles, CA 90017
213.580.7500 tel
213.580.7511 fax



In the midst of this difficult economy, there is a trio of good news to report from one of our region’s largest economic engines – the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Three important projects were in the news last week and promise to create thousands of jobs in the future.

Port traffic is down around the world as consumers purchase fewer goods, but the global downturn has hit our ports especially hard. As the "loading dock" for the United States, container traffic is down more than 20 percent compared to 2008. The impact is being felt throughout the supply chain from port operators to local warehouses to the transportation industry that moves goods to destinations throughout the nation. These job loses accentuate the importance of these three projects to our economy and our families.

The Middle Harbor project at the Port of Long Beach is a 10 year, $750 million project that will significantly expand port capacity. It will create 1,000 immediate jobs once the shovels go into the ground and will ultimately create up to 10,000 good-paying permanent jobs. This state-of-the-art "green-growth" project will follow strict environmental building standards and utilize new clean technology such as electrical power in place of fossil fuels. It will also take trucks off our roads through a new on-dock rail facility that will quickly and efficiently move goods from the port to regional distribution centers.

Up the road at the Port of Los Angeles, the Plains All American Pier 400 project is closer to construction. The $360 million terminal expansion will enable faster and cleaner off-loading of crude oil vital to our economy. It’s the first new facility of its kind at the port in nearly 30 years. The project will include major safety and environmental improvements and its construction will generate 4,800 full-time, one-year jobs. That’s an immediate stimulus with long-term benefits.

Finally, the Disney Wonder cruise ship will call the Port of Los Angeles home in less than two years. The move from Florida will generate 2,600 jobs, contribute $7 million dollars in state and local taxes and bring an estimated 250,000 visitors to Southern California. This is a huge benefit to our local economy that will be felt throughout the region.

This good news should just be the beginning for our local ports. There are additional projects in the pipeline that are critical to Southern California maintaining its edge as a major port in the Pacific Rim. The Chamber calls on our elected officials and other stakeholders to do everything possible to speed up the often lengthy-approval process for these three projects in order to lower our region’s extraordinarily high unemployment rate.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are among our greatest opportunities to create jobs and accelerate the recovery of our economy. Let's keep the good news coming and moving at a rapid pace.

And that's The Business Perspective.

Gary L. Toebben
President & CEO
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

The Business Perspective is a weekly opinion piece by Gary Toebben, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, produced with the input of Samuel Garrison, Vice President of Public Policy.
by Gary Toebben, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce


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Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, 350 S. Bixel St., Los Angeles, CA 90017
213.580.7500 | fax: 213.580.7511 | info@lachamber.com | www.lachamber.com

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