The Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority met in virtual session Tuesday for its regular monthly meeting. Port Chairman Ric Campo opened his remarks by declaring that events surrounding the pandemic and social injustice were a “wake up call,” and committed Port Houston to “double its efforts,” both internally and more broadly, to strive towards economic equality and social justice.
Chairman Campo commended Executive Director Roger Guenther for his letter to employees assuring them of Port Houston’s commitment to moving forward on its objectives of diversity and inclusion. He also acknowledged Port Houston’s strategic plan, launched earlier this year, both for putting People in place first and for supporting those objectives. He commended the Port Houston’s Police Department for its stellar record as “a silent partner” effectively handling port business.
“Striving towards social justice and economic equality is a journey,” Chairman Campo said. “Equality of life starts with economic equality, social justice, diversity, and inclusion, and that’s what Port Houston is all about.”
Chairman Campo provided an update on Port Houston’s Disparity Study scheduled for completion in September. Chairman Campo remarked that the study’s primary purpose is to help identify means to enhance minority and women-owned contracting opportunities with Port Houston. Griffin and Strong, P.C. is conducting the independent analysis.
Chairman Campo also announced that Port Houston’s new Community Grants Program, launched June 22. With an approved budget of $250,000, the program is focused on investing resources into meaningful projects and programs to “enhance the local communities and create greater value for the Houston region.” He encouraged organizations to provide letters of interest and apply for the program.
Finally, Chairman Campo was pleased to highlight recent funding awarded to Port Houston to support its continued growth, adding that the Department of Transportation’s recent INFRA Grant of nearly $80 million might be the largest award of its kind provided to a port. He noted that its magnitude speaks to the understanding of the importance of the Port of Houston and its impact on the nation, supporting exports and domestic manufacturing.
The latest award, along with three rounds of state funding for port access projects through the Texas Department of Transportation, all support Port Houston’s mission to “move the world and drive economic prosperity.”
During the meeting, the Port Commission also approved approximately $30 million in funds towards construction, channel maintenance improvements, and other continued investment in growth.
The next Port Commission meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 30.
Source: Port Houston