Port Newark — one of the largest and most active in the country, and yet one of the most underutilized by the city for jobs. The city and BCDC are planning to change that by building a career center to help get Newarkers the skills they need or boundaries removed to get a job in the Port.
OpportunityNewark, an 18 month project led by Harvard business professor Michael Porter, founder and chairman of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, and funded by the Newark Alliance, identified the port area as one of the city’s greatest competitive advantages.
Port related jobs such as transportation, logistics and distribution are expected to gain 1,025 jobs per year through 2012. They are also jobs — 75 percent — that are accessible to people with low skills but provide good wages. According to the report, 60 percent of the jobs paid at least $25,000 and 25 percent paid more than $50,000.
But Newark residents, whose median income of $34,452 in 2007 falls at a little less than half the state average, are not able to access those jobs for a variety of reasons, including lack of information, training and prior criminal convictions.
Booker said the city’s Port Career and Business Development Center will help bridge those gaps.