Caption: Port Houston Executive Director Roger Guenther
Port Houston’s maritime education program has gained momentum in recent years, providing professional opportunities for students in local school districts.
Port Houston continued its popular Port University course for small businesses April 10 with presentations from various departments about how to do business with the port. Port University, a four-week training course, is an outreach program designed to educate small businesses about procurement opportunities. The workshops are presented in collaboration with the University of Houston Small Business Development Center.
More than 50 small business representatives attended the class. They learned about: port procurement opportunities, port facilities, the small business program, contracting language, bonding, insurance requirements and the port’s BuySpeed Procurement System. Since its inception in 2003, more than 800 small business owners have graduated from Port University.
In addition to the course, attendees are given information about other upcoming port small business events and opportunities. “Port University is the best thing that the port offers,” said Ryan Lockridge, Lockridge Packaging. “It makes you think and learn about the organization when pursuing contracts. It has been more than helpful.”
Port Houston invests in maritime education to help build and support the future workforce. More than 450 students and approximately 30 exhibitors attended the 2019 Maritime and Logistics Youth Expo held at the San Jacinto College Maritime Technology and Training Center April 26.
Port Houston team members spent April 13 volunteering at Marsh Mania, a popular environmental project, located at Virginia Point near Galveston. Port Houston team members joined dozens of local organizations and other community members for the nationally-recognized wetlands restoration project, where they planted stems of cordgrass to create new marsh habitat.
“Thanks to all our volunteers and their families for coming out to support this important cause,” said Garret Berg, community relations manager. “Coastal wetlands play an essential role in the overall health of Galveston Bay, and we appreciate all the individuals and organizations that participated.”
In its 21 years, Marsh Mania has involved more than 8,000 community volunteers in the restoration of roughly 209 acres of vital estuarine marsh habitat at 92 sites around Galveston Bay.
Port Houston welcomed a group of Gabonese officials and a representative of Houston-based energy company, VAALCO Energy Group, for a discussion on the port’s infrastructure, growth and investments April 17. Notably in attendance was the deputy director of the Prime Minister of Gabon’s Cabinet.
Chief Legal Officer Erik Eriksson and Chief Information Technology Officer Charles Thompson provided welcome remarks; and Senior Trade Development Manager Will Whitehouse delivered a commercial presentation.
Group discussion covered maritime trade and development along the Houston Ship Channel including energy, containers and project cargoes. Port Houston staff also provided the guests with information on port’s background and history, public facilities and the Houston Ship Channel’s economic impact.
The delegation’s purpose for visiting Port Houston was to discuss trade, investment and development opportunities.
The Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority approved the purchase of Motorola equipment at its March public meeting, including radios, batteries, chargers and related hardware under the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s cooperative purchase program.