Filling these port positions will help drive down consumer costs and strengthen employment in the region
CHESTER, Del. and PHILADELPHIA COUNTIES, Pa., Aug. 6, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- A number of organizations and educational institutions have partnered to host a career fair for job seekers interested in becoming longshoremen—offloading and onboarding cargo delivered by ship via the Delaware River to the ports of Delaware, Southern New Jersey, and Southeastern Pennsylvania. The hiring event intends to fill an acute need for skilled labor in the maritime industry.
The career fair will take place on Wednesday, August 11 from 9 AM to 1 PM, at the Employment and Training Center, 3001 South Front Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148. On-the-spot interviews will be held. Interested applicants should bring a driver's license and social security card.
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Maritime workers are critically important to the Greater Philadelphia region. Retirements, the economic residual caused by COVID-19, and other factors have left the ports in dire need of skilled workers who are responsible for the loading and offloading of consumables such as automobiles, fruit and cocoa, and other goods that come into and ship from the port, powering our global economy. The shortage of skilled workers is not only contributing to a delay in the onboarding and offloading of goods, but it is also driving up consumer prices, as it decreases the amount of goods available for delivery to businesses, industries and consumers.
Depending on the cargo, starting salaries for new longshoremen range from $17 to $20 an hour. Longshoremen operate handling equipment, such as power winches, cranes, forklift trucks and yard tractors; drive automobiles on and off vessels or within the marine terminal; transfer cargo/intermodal containers from vessels to the dock area; climb ladders and gangways into vessel holds or climb ladders to access work on deck; fasten slings and lines to cargo; lash and secure cargo via hooks, wires, slings, or other lifting devices. Other skill areas include clerking, checking, coopering, car loading, terminal laborer, warehouse worker, and more.
The career fair is hosted by Delaware County Community College, the Philadelphia Marine Trade Association, Philadelphia Works, and the Collegiate Consortium for Workforce & Economic Development. The Port of Philadelphia is the fastest growing container port in North America, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. It generates 54,805 jobs and handles 6.5 million tons of cargo worth $30.5 billion, including containers, breakbulk, ro-ro and liquid bulk. Combined, the Ports of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Erie move more than 67 million tons of goods and provide an economic benefit of nearly $50 billion to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
"With the demand for skilled maritime workers at an all-time high, I hope career seekers take advantage of this great opportunity to learn a new skillset that will position them for success," said Patrick Eiding, president, Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO.
Laborers and freight/stock/material movers are high priority occupations in Pennsylvania because of the growing need for skilled labor in these career areas. According to the PA Department of Labor and Industry's Center for Workforce Information and Analysis, more than 13,000 workers will be needed in this industry by 2028.
Founded in 1967, Delaware County Community College serves more than 19,000 credit and non-credit students at its seven locations in Delaware and Chester Counties and through its online education and training programs. The College offers more than 50 associate degrees and 35 certificate programs.
With over 60 years of service to the Delaware River port community, the Philadelphia Marine Trade Association was incorporated in 1947; its purpose, to promote the interest of the ports of Delaware, Southern New Jersey, and Southeastern Pennsylvania. Now, the Ports of the Delaware River Marine Trade Association (PMTA) represents all the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) employers operating at Delaware River facilities.
The Collegiate Consortium for Workforce & Economic Development is a non-profit organization that is a partnership of Drexel University and five area community colleges: Community College of Philadelphia, Delaware County Community College, Bucks County Community College, Montgomery County Community College, as well as Camden County College in New Jersey. CCWED provides business and industry with a comprehensive, coordinated approach to developing a highly skilled workforce for the region.
Philadelphia Works, Inc., the city's workforce development board, is a non-profit, quasi-public organization serving employers and connecting career seekers to employment and training opportunities. We invest public resources in a variety of workforce solutions that drive economic growth, influence the public workforce policies, and optimize funding and resources to build a skilled and thriving workforce.