Port Director Says Project Will Meet Jobs GoalsBy Evelina Burnett | Published 20 Aug 2013 06:00am |
The Port of Gulfport is putting together the final design plans for a $570 million federally funded post-Katrina restoration project. But community groups want to make sure the jobs the project creates will go to those affected by Katrina.
Port of Gulfport director Jonathan Daniels says the port is now fine-tuning the final design of the project, which includes an additional 84-acre infill to expand the west terminal. They expect final construction documents by the end of the year.
Last year, the port moved more than two million tons of cargo. Daniels says he’s determined to increase that, which he says will help lead to the 1200 new jobs the port has said will be created by the project.
Earlier this year, the port revised down the current number of jobs it reports. It says that, based on the number of hours worked, there are actually about 103 union jobs at the port, less than a third of what was initially reported. Daniels says they should also get credit for trucking jobs they argue are port-related.
But Howard Page of the Steps Coalition, which has been following the port project closely, says the intent of the post-Katrina restoration money was to create local jobs.
Port director Daniels says the port has three years from the time the project is completed to create the required jobs. He estimates the restoration activities will be done in 2016.
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