The Port of Galveston directly employs almost 100, but it generates thousands of jobs through its cargo, cruise, shipping and construction activities. As port business continues to grow, so will these jobs. Wage earners further boost the local economy by spending their wages to pay rent, buy homes, dine out, shop in stores and buy services.

Here’s one example of the jobs growth we’re seeing. In 2018, labor union hours totaled 567,422, the equivalent of 273 full-time jobs. In 2019, hours rose to 623,218, equal to about 300 full-time jobs. With a steady flow of wind cargo and an increase in cruise ships in 2020, we expect to see these hours continue to increase.

Rodger Rees is the director and CEO of the Port of Galveston.

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(2) comments

Charlotte O'rourke

There is no doubt the port has been on an upswing over the last 20 years and the community has profited, but this administration hasn’t cut operating expenses. Expenses have increased. One of the things happening is that the port negotiated a contract with revenues coming early as well as an increase in lay dockage, and are holding onto to those funds that make the bottom line look better ($11.3 million) instead of spending those funds where and when needed to expand and keep business.

Was it all so the direct port employees can receive large raises and bonuses? Rightly or wrongly, that question sticks in my mind.

What was the port director’s and each employee’s bonus?

To me this bonus system violates the city charter’s intent of a prohibition against having a financial interest in decision making. I’m all for good jobs with benefits, but raises and bonuses should be based on something other than a percentage of net income because that can be manipulated to the city’s detriment.

There was absolutely no reason to lose jobs that could have been saved by spending revenues for land acquisition to be recouped later through revenues. It is called transition planning.

When promising everything there is no controversy.

The controversy comes when you don’t deliver. And you didn’t deliver moving customers.

I’m against anyone getting raises and bonuses when others are losing their jobs. Keep up the good things that are happening at the port and dump the questionable practices. Rate the infrastructure projects in public and define how each will be paid for.

Just my opinion.

Miceal O'Laochdha

"567,422, the equivalent of 273 full-time jobs. In 2019, hours rose to 623,218, equal to about 300 full-time jobs"

This direct calculation of hours worked to "equivalent jobs" in order to emphasize the number of persons/households benefiting from these jobs appears deliberately misleading. Since many manhours on the waterfront are overtime hours worked by individuals who have already put in a standard 40 hour week; total number of hours does not translate directly to total number of jobs. This, in turn, renders all the other job statistics in this article questionable.

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