An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

Ports Primer – 6.4 Case Studies: Job and Benefits

Link to Home Page of Ports Primer for Communities   Link to Section 2, The Role of Ports   Link to Section 3, How Ports Work   Link to Section 4, Port-Community Relations   Link to Section 5.0, Land Use and Transportation   Link to Section 6, Local and Regional Economy   Link to Section 7, Environmental Impacts   Link to Section 8, Tools and Resources   Link to Section 9, Appendix   Link to Glossary for Ports Primer   Link to Endnotes for Ports Primer
On this page:

Ports can implement a number of programs and policies that spur investment in local entrepreneurs and the local workforce. These programs can be tailored to emphasize investments in near-port communities and/or communities experiencing high rates of poverty, unemployment and underemployment. Two successful examples of ports with these policies include the Port of Oakland and the Port of Los Angeles.

Port of Oakland: Social Responsibility Division 1,2

The Social Responsibility Division (SRD) at the Port of Oakland oversees port efforts to invest in near-port communities. Programs and policies include a commitment to invest in local businesses and the local workforce. Some of these include: a small local business utilization policy, a disadvantaged business enterprise program, a Maritime and Aviation Project Labor Agreement (which includes a commitment to local hiring and local workforce development), and a living wage policy.

For more information: Port of Oakland Exit

“Today, there are high expectations for business and government to collaborate and invest in society. Looking at one’s business through the community lens and investing time, money and energy in projects that benefit one’s neighbors help build trust and allies. A port’s active investment in the community results in long-term community support and goodwill that makes it possible for the port to succeed in business.”
—Port Spokeswoman Marilyn Sandifur

Top of Page

Port of Los Angeles: Project Labor Agreement3

A photo of a man standing in the foreground with a container ship in the background.The City of Los Angeles Harbor Department has entered into a ten-year port-wide Project Labor Agreement (PLA) with Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council. The PLA seeks to address unemployment and underemployment in communities with concentrated poverty, particularly those that are near-port communities. The PLA includes the following considerations:

  • “At least 30% of total work hours shall be performed by Local Residents residing within the targeted areas of the City using a two-tier approach. The first tier includes residents within approximately 10 miles of the Port, and the second tier includes residents of high unemployment zip codes throughout the remainder of the City of Los Angeles.
  • At least 10% of the total work hours shall be performed by Disadvantaged Workers residing within Tier 1 or Tier 2 zip codes. The hours may be applied towards the 30% Local Residents targeted hiring percentage.”

The PLA also emphasizes opportunities for participation in apprenticeship programs and other workforce development programs.

For more information: Port of Los Angeles Exit

Top of Page