Los Angeles plans to do its part in marking National Manufacturing Day on Friday – and what else to expect from the largest center of manufacturing in the country.

The day of events is part of a nationwide effort to educate current and future labor forces and the general public about new technologies in the field and what the sector looks like today.

L.A.-area community colleges and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office will be hosting events while local manufacturers will open their doors for tours.

Events will include Los Angeles Trade Tech College partnering with Torrance-based California Manufacturing Technology Consultants and the Mayor’s Office to host a Manufacturing Day expo and career fair on its campus for the college’s students and area high schoolers. So far, 750 high school students have signed up to attend along with 40 manufacturers for the career expo, organizers said.

Manufacturing accounts for about 350,000 jobs throughout Los Angeles County, according to the state Employment Development Department, with enterprises making durable goods such as furniture or tools and nondurable goods such as apparel and food.

The event is open to any high school student and is free for manufacturers to sign up via CMTC.

“We’re putting this on to show that manufacturing isn’t that old, polluting, dirty field anymore, but an industry that has evolved with new technology, new ways of making things and one that seeks a skilled labor force with good pay,” said Steve Brand, communications manager at CMTC.

The Mayor’s Office also will host Maker Walk LA, a self-guided tour of manufacturing businesses in downtown’s Arts District. Stops include a workshop on manufacturing leather goods at La La Land Production & Design, a tour of software company Oblong Industries Inc.’s development facility and a visit to shoemaker Comunity as well as tastings at a distillery, brewery and coffee roaster.

Other companies opening its doors to the public include South Gate’s Armstrong Flooring Inc. and Pico Rivera-based Bay Cities, a maker of retail packaging and displays.

Visit MFGDay.com or CMTC.com for a list of events.

Port Plan Blowback

Port supply chain stakeholders are pushing back against some of the proposed updates for the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach’s Clean Air Action Plan, which are expected to be approved Nov. 2.

The ports have worked together since 2006 to address the region’s air pollution, drastically cutting diesel pollutants by more than 80 percent. The clean air plan lays out strategies that seek to address the challenge of reducing harmful emissions from port-related sources including ships, trucks, cargo equipment, locomotives and harbor craft.

It comes after more than a year of feedback and several rounds of drafts, but many trucking companies, terminal operators and other businesses are still concerned about a lack of clarity on the technology and costs associated with meeting the ports’ and state’s air emission standards.

The update would create a goal of having only zero-emission vehicles by 2035 and zero-emission cargo equipment by 2030, which port officials said will cost $7 billion to $14 billion.

The ports say they will need state and federal funding to accomplish their goals, but that they will pick up some of the expense. Costs are also expected to be passed on to supply chain stakeholders including terminal operators and freight owners.

“The push for 100 percent electrification of all terminal equipment is aggressive,” said Michele Grubbs, vice president of Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, a trade organization that represents terminal and vessel owners. “What’s concerning is that the technology for this isn’t fully fleshed out. The ports are hoping to figure this out along the way, but we need something more concrete when the cost is so massive.”

BizFed Institute, which says it represents 160 business organizations whose membership includes 325,000 employers in the county, echoed the concerns in a letter sent to port officials.

Craning Heights

Construction on the Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement, a joint effort by the Port of Long Beach and Caltrans, is using two of the tallest cranes in the nation, port officials said.

The two cranes, measuring 585 feet tall, are helping build towers 16 and 17, the two concrete columns that will support the cable-stayed design of the new bridge.

Taller tower cranes have been used to build skyscrapers, and some reach more than 1,300‑plus feet. However, Long Beach hosts the tallest tower cranes in the United States when it comes to building bridges, dams, highways, roadways and other infrastructure, officials said.

Construction on the $1.3 billion, 515-foot bridge, which is 100 feet higher than the old one to accommodate larger shipping vessels, is expected to be completed between late 2017 and mid-2018.

Staff reporter Shwanika Narayan can be reached at snarayan@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 556-8351.

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