Oakland students see powerful ports at work

For two days, ten students and two teachers from the International Trade, Transportation, and Logistics academy at Oakland’s McClymonds High School toured the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach as in ITEP’s “Powerful Ports” tour. The tour was more than a sightseeing excursion for students — it was an eye-opener.

Through its extensive industry network, ITEP brought together top maritime industries and powerful ports to show students the relevancy of academics have to high paying jobs. During the Study Tour to the Ports of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach, the Marine Exchange, APL Limited, CSU Long Beach, Matson Lines, and the Long Beach Aquarium, students learned more about the ports, their careers, their futures, and themselves.
Theresa Adams Lopez, Director of Public Relations for POLA, gave a Talk and Tour at the Port of Los Angeles where ITTL students explored the Angelina, the Port’s yacht reserved for visiting VIP’s. Students showed interest in vessel tracking at the Marine Exchange, where they quizzed Executive Director Dick McKenna and Marine Exchange personnel about naval regulations, vessel catastrophes, and the benefits of public-private partnerships.

Director of the CITT and CSULB, Marianne Venieris, explained the importance of trade skills in obtaining a job. “She told us that you don’t need a bunch of fancy degrees but that all kids should have an alternative in high school” remarked student Desirae Johnson.

The second day started with a tour of the Port of Long Beach led by Officer Steven Macias. Macias spoke about globalization in the maritime community and the value of knowing foreign languages. When student Easom Saed noted he spoke Arabic, Steven Macias immediately gave Easom his business card and asked him to call after he graduated, a powerful gesture that really grabbed the students attention.

Matson Lines Director of Sales & Marketing, Tom Good, explained the essentials of a successful job interview. “Mr. Good’s presentation was really important for me. I learned many things about the working world. Mr. Good inspired me to work hard and take things more seriously,” student Easom Saed said.

Desirae Johnson said it best: “What I took out of this trip was that if you want something, you have to give it your all. The way you present yourself to others and carry yourself can benefit you in more ways than you can imagine.”

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