Workforce Development

Workforce Development

The Port’s Future Role as a Workforce Intermediary

As the Port commits to renewing and building a better and cleaner energy port with new infrastructure that will enhance operations at its seaport and airport, it is a prime opportunity for the Port to reimagine its role as a workforce intermediary.

In this capacity, the Port’s ultimate role is to work with key stakeholders to create career pathways to key Port multi-sector industries in maritime, aviation, and commercial real estate (i.e. warehousing/logistics, (i.e. green tech, Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics). The goal is to identify and develop workforce development strategies whereby the Port of Oakland serves as a regional workforce intermediary that links new and incumbent workers to aviation, maritime, and transportation, distribution, and logistics career pathways.

The Port of Oakland’s Workforce Development Intermediary Initiative leverages the roles, expertise and resources of the Port, employers, labor, community-based organizations, training and education institutions and other stakeholders to effectively meet the workforce needs of Port industry (employers and labor) with workers (new and incumbent).

Amy Tharpe, Director of Social Responsibility

Amy Tharpe

Director of Social Responsibility

Not sure who to contact or have a general question? Use our contact form to route your request

Port of Oakland Key Workforce Elements

Maritime and Aviation Project Labor Agreement

The Maritime and Aviation Project Labor Agreement (MAPLA) is a signature accomplishment of the Port of Oakland in conferring workforce development benefits to the local communities most directly impacted by Port activities. MAPLA promotes local hiring and creates a pipeline into stable, good-quality jobs. Since the year 2000, this agreement requires Port contractors working on projects over $150,000 to pay into the Social Justice Trust Fund (currently $0.30 per work hour).

The Port strengthened language in MAPLA during its reauthorization in 2016 where the building trades unions committed to increase recruitment from the Port’s Local Impact Area (LIA) into the “list trades” and included goals for disadvantaged workers (Table 1). 

Table 1 MAPLA Outcomes 2020 - 2023

Local Impact Area Local Hire GoalAchieved Goal
LIA* Residents50%28.93%
LIA/LBA** Residents50%59.16%
LIA Apprentices50%53.98%
Disadvantaged Workers25%44.83%
New Hire Apprentices1011
*The Local Impact Area includes the Cities of Oakland, Alameda, San Leandro, and Emeryville, which are the communities most likely to experience benefits and adverse effects of Port operations
**The Local Business Area consists of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties

Social Justice Trust Fund

The Social Justice Trust Fund (SJTF) is supported through MAPLA-required fees from Port contractors and used to fund local workforce development programs. The Joint Administrative and Social Justice Trust Committee is responsible for awarding these funds to local programs with over $800,000 awarded to community-based training programs since 2000.

Strategic Workforce Development Partners

  • Alameda County Workforce Development Board – ACWDB is a 27-member employer-led body responsible for overseeing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) title I program.
  • Arches H2 – ARCHES H2 Hub was created to facilitate California’s transition to renewable, clean hydrogen (H2) energy while ensuring environmental and energy justice and equity, quality of life for its citizens and communities, and good green high-road careers for its workers.
  • Airport Council International North America Workforce Development Working Group – This group (ACI-NA) aims to support the airport’s business and operation by providing a skilled and qualified labor force.
  • Black Cultural Zone – Conceived in 2014, the BCZ addresses the disparate impact that decades of disinvestment in East Oakland and more recent displacement of Black People and Black Businesses from their legacy communities here in Oakland by centering Black Arts and Culture within a community development framework.
  • Building & Construction Trades Council of Alameda County – The Port works with BTCA, which includes 28 affiliated unions representing workers in various construction trades.
  • Cal Maritime – Cal Maritime is connected to the Port through the WOJRC.
  • Cypress Mandela Training Center, Inc. – Cypress is an organization that provides pre-apprenticeship building and construction trades training through a 16-week green construction and workforce development model.
  • Lao Family Foundation – Lao Family Community Development, Inc. (LFCD) assists diverse refugee, immigrant, limited English, and low-income U.S.-born community members in achieving long-term financial and social self-sufficiency.
  • Oakland Workforce Development Board – The Oakland WDB oversees the federally-funded employment and training program and services in Oakland.
  • Machinists Institute – A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the MI was created by the International Association of Machinists (O) District 751 in 2018 to fill a vital role for union members, employers, community partners/members and other critical stakeholders in the aerospace, manufacturing, and automotive/transportation machinist industries.
  • Rubicon Programs, Inc. – An organization that provides pathways for our participants to develop the economic mobility to move out of poverty.
  • Rising Sun Center for Opportunity – A 501(c)3 nonprofit, this organization is located in West Oakland and serves low-income communities and individuals overcoming significant barriers to employment.
  • San Leandro Education Foundation – This organization was created in 2008 to help provide equitable education opportunities to all San Leandro public school students.
  • San Francisco Workforce Development Board – OEWD leverages WIOA, local General Funds, and other funding to provide a diverse portfolio of services in the San Francisco Workforce Development System.
  • Solano County Workforce Development Board – The WDB oversees federally-funded workforce services through the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA) on behalf of Solano County.
  • Swords to Plowshares – This group’s mission is to heal wounds of war; restore dignity, hope, and self-sufficiency, and prevent/end homelessness and poverty among all veterans in need.
  • UNITE HERE – This organization is a union of over 15,000 hospitality workers in San Francisco, San Mateo County, and the East and North Bay.
  • Unity Council – This organization is a community development corporation and developer/operator of waterfront properties.
  • West Oakland Job Resource Center – The West Oakland Job Resource Center (WOJRC) is a leading non-profit intermediary workforce organization located in Oakland, California, and adjacent to the Port of Oakland.
  • Workforce Development Board Contra Costa County – A 25-member Board representing leaders from business, economic development, education, labor, community-based organizations, and public agencies to align resources for the local workforce.

Workforce Development Policies

  • Living Wage Policy (PDF) – This policy created an hourly wage level adopted by some local governments that sets wages at a higher level than the local, Federal, and/or state minimum wage to ensure fair pay.
  • Labor Pool Policy (PDF) – The Labor Pool Policy provides priority hiring for concession workers who are laid off in seniority order by classification. 
  • Labor Peace Policy (PDF) – In 2017, the Port adopted a labor peace policy that requires all concessionaires to enter into signed “labor peace agreements” with labor organizations that represent or are seeking to represent employees in the concession industry.
  • Fair Chance Hiring – This policy requires that airport concessionaires may not inquire into or independently research a job applicant’s history of criminal convictions, nor may the employer include questions about prior criminal convictions on written or online applications.
  • First Source Hiring – This policy requires airport concessionaires to make good faith efforts to hire residents of the Port’s Local Impact Area and those who face barriers to employment.
  • Prevailing Wage – The Port complies with Davis-Bacon requirements on prevailing wage rules for its contractors.

Workforce Development Plans

  • Workforce Development Plan – This plan creates jobs for economically distressed areas such as the priority populations surrounding the Port, addresses environmental health, safety, and justice concerns, has bid preferences for local, small, and disadvantaged businesses, and uses Fair Chance Hiring.
  • Seaport Air Quality 2020 and Beyond Plan (PDF)This plan establishes the planning and policy framework as well as the implementation plan to transition to a zero-emissions seaport.
  • Workforce Development Intermediary Initiative – This proposed plan leverages the roles, expertise, and resources of the Port, employers, labor, community-based organizations, training, education institutions, and other stakeholders to effectively meet the workforce needs of Port industry (employers and labor) with workers (new and incumbent).

Workforce, Labor Plan, Jobs Creation: Creating Good-Paying Jobs

The Port monitors, enforces, and ensures restitution for prevailing wage for all applicable Port projects, as identified by the Port, as part of the Port’s Contract Compliance office. The Port, through a series of monitoring and tracking activities, ensures labor compliance of prevailing wage is achieved as part of the Port’s labor Compliance Program. These activities include:

  1. Worksite Monitoring: Worksite posting of prevailing wage determinations and posters as required by the Department of Industrial Relations and the Department of Labor at each of the job sites for each Project.
  2. Monitoring Certified Payroll Reports: Contractors are required to submit certified payroll reports in accordance with the local, state, or federal payroll record reporting for all subject projects.
  3. Timely Certified Payroll Report Submissions: Ensure that contractors submit certified payroll reports in accordance with the local, state, or federal payroll record reporting requirement for projects.
  4. Audit of Certified Payroll Reports: Regular review of potential violations flagged by the electronic certified payroll reporting system for validity, resolve valid violations, and ensure that supporting documentation is uploaded by the contractor into the electronic certified payroll reporting system.
  5. Dispute Resolution: Contract Compliance staff facilitate and try to resolve disputes that arise between any contractor, its worker(s), and/or the Port regarding wage discrepancies.
  6. Site Visits and Employee Interviews: Site visits are conducted for each Project monthly pursuant to Labor Code § 16432(d).

Partnership with Unions

Port employees are represented by one of four (4) unions:

  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local 1245​
  • International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, (IFPTE) Local 21
  • Service Employees International Union, ​(SEIU) Local 1021
  • Western Council of Engineers (WCE)

Additional union partnerships include the Port’s Maritime and Aviation Project Labor Agreement (MAPLA), the Port administers a Joint Administrative and Social Justice Committee Trust Committee (JASTC) which serves as the governance structure for MAPLA. JASTC is comprised of seven members of the building and construction trades and seven members made up of Port staff, contractors, and community-based organization representatives.

Worker Rights and Safety

The Port itself adheres to the requirements and principles of workplace rights under the National Labor Relations Act, Davis-Bacon Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and OSHA. Furthermore, the Port requires its contractors to also adhere to these policies as a part of its contracting terms and conditions.

Creating Local Jobs and Building Economic Opportunities for the Region: The Port of Oakland’s Economic Impact