POLA ‘Trade Connect’ Website Offers Online Training
Trade Connect, the Port of Los Angeles’ award-winning export education outreach program, formally debuted its new website, LATradeConnect.org, at today’s Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners Meeting.
“Trade Connect plays a vital role in strengthening our nation’s economy by helping U.S. companies grow their business in the global marketplace,” said Ambassador Vilma Martinez, President of the Los Angeles Harbor Commission. “Our new website puts Trade Connect’s treasure-trove of information and services at everyone’s fingertips.”
Established in 2007, Trade Connect is a one-stop resource for small and midsize U.S. businesses looking to learn the nuts and bolts of exporting their made-in-America goods and services. The program offers a wide variety of beginning, intermediate and advanced export workshops, as well as regional trade forums focused on import/export opportunities with key international markets.
Visitors to the website will find detailed information about Trade Connect curriculum, services, data and industry partners in a user-friendly format. The video content includes a summary of Trade Connect’s 101 introductory export course and its entire 301 Export University advanced training series. The latter is a package of seminars — each approximately 30 minutes in length — on topics such as how to develop an export business plan, international logistics, documentation requirements, Internet export marketing, legal and regulatory compliance, and cultural business practices. The 301 training series is free, and viewers need only register online to access it.
“These videos help us meet the demand for our training programs that has exceeded expectations,” said the Port’s Director of Trade Development Jim MacLellan, who heads Trade Connect. “They also accommodate the schedules of many who can’t attend in person because they are busy running the very businesses they wish to grow.”
For those who can attend in person, the new website has a calendar of upcoming programs. The next event, June 25th, is the Export University Session: “Logistics and Shipping Documents.” July 9th is the “Export Plan & Panel” during which companies pitch their export business plans to a panel of experts.
Current international trade statistics, information on existing and pending free trade agreements, the Los Angeles Regional Export Plan and the International Trade Compliance Institute’s extensive database are also available on the new website. It also links visitors to the Inland SoCal Link iHub, a multiagency partnership established to promote manufacturing and logistics innovation and job creation in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties and encourage foreign investment to further economic development in the Inland Empire trade corridor that connects the Port to the rest of the nation.
Trade Connect partners with other agencies, institutions and professional associations to offer most of its programs at little or no cost. Speakers include government, international trade, legal and financial experts, and successful Trade Connect graduates and entrepreneurs. To date, Trade Connect workshops and seminars have drawn more than 32,500 attendees.
In 2013, the program received the President’s “E Star” Award for Export Service, the nation’s highest honor for promoting American export trade. That same year, Trade Connect earned the City of Los Angeles Quality & Productivity Award, the City’s highest honor for superior public services and programs.
In 2014, Trade Connect earned separate awards for program excellence and advancing international trade from NASBITE International (National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators).