Our blog has been a bit quiet during these past weeks – apologies to all our readers! December and January flew by, and February isn’t slowing down. The ITEP team likes to keep things exciting to say the least. We just completed our GPS Your Future event, the 2013 ITEP Board Retreat and now are prepping for our Annual Scholarship Dinner.
Below is a quick overview of the amazing field trip that wrapped up our 2012. We promise more recaps in the coming days.
WBCT Luncheon and Tour – December 2012
West Basin Container Terminal LLC (WBCT) was the destination and this time it was San Pedro High Earth Alert students (SPEA) who navigated their uncharted neighborhood. The event began with a luncheon filled with good old-fashioned barbecue, plenty of desserts and an amazing employee raffle.
SPEA students lunched with WBCT staff – clerks, managers, longshoremen, etc., and of course, Pirate Santa. All proceeds from the raffle directly benefitted ITEP’s SPEA academy – a cool $3,400. GO WBCT and SPEA!
Students then began their tour and entered the Marine Tower (the center of all cargo operations). The building houses the clerks, computers and live imaging of containers “on the go”.
SPEA students then stood directly underneath a 1600-ton crane capable of moving 30-35 containers an hour. Overall, WBCT processes 15-20,000 containers per week. A special shout-out to our tour guide, Russell “Rusty” Mahakian, Vessel Superintendent for WBCT. Rusty did a great job of getting our SPEA students dreaming and talking.
I want to go to school, study business and start my own company. I would love to work here (at the ports) too. I grew up with this. I love this place,” stated Hailey, 12th grade SPEA student.
The conversation continued as all students together with WBCT staff came together to hear Paxton Bowman, Terminal Manager, answer questions and share advice.
“The waterfront is uncharted territory for many. People don’t know what goes on at these terminals. There are various moving parts and it’s evolving… In the last 20 years, we’ve seen a larger presence of women… some of best drivers we have are females” stated Paxton, who talked about the unknown job opportunities at the ports and immediately caught the attention of our female students.
With conversations and interest at its peak, we couldn’t think of a better way to end a field trip or 2012, but then the goodie bags rolled out. Gift cards, smiles and swag filled the room and students left the terminal with new appreciation for the cranes and containers they see almost every day.
The tour was just one of the many ways WBCT and its parent company, Ports America, make a huge impact on Harbor Area youth. From the “aha!” moments on a field trip to the deeper dives into careers, Paxton and his team are there for ITEP students year-round as mentors, guest speakers and role models. Also, the $3400 donation from this employee raffle combined with corporate sponsorship from Ports America is a much-needed and valuable investment in our community and youth.
“Money is like manure. It’s useless unless you spread it around to help young things grow,” said Paxton.
Thank you, WBCT!