State of the Port Address Presented to Oxnard Chamber of Commerce

By OHD Board President Jess Herrera


Suggesting that the business community should be “mad as hell’ at the stagnant economic growth in the county, Oxnard Harbor District Board President Jess Herrera addressed the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce members on Thursday with a path forward for economic prosperity.  Throughout his speech, Herrera referenced the challenging business climate that he believes has kept Ventura County’s economic growth flat for the last two years, despite economic prosperity elsewhere.

Herrera is encouraging government and business to collaborate more so that Ventura County can grow and thrive, stressing that economic growth is dependent upon business and government working together.  “The road to economic well-being has to go through Main Street,” said Herrera, referencing the statistic that 30% of exports from the U.S. are from small business enterprise.


OHD Board President Jess Herrera presents on the economic opportunity provided by the Port
To its credit, The Port of Hueneme infused $1.7 billion into the economic last year, up from $1.5 billion in 2015.  Imports at The Port for autos, fruit and vegetables and fertilizer are all up in 2019. 

Auto imports show a 13% increase in 2019 over 2018, while fruit and vegetable exports show a whopping 70% increase at The Port.

“The Port of Hueneme depends upon a political will to grow. Our communities need more jobs,” added Herrera. Currently, the City of Oxnard has a 16% poverty rate.

Herrera has been elected to the Oxnard Harbor District Board of Commissioners seven times, and is currently serving as Board President.  During his tenure, he has played a role in expanding the Port’s infrastructure that has resulted in the creation of hundreds of jobs that benefit the local economy.

Nancy Lindholm, President and CEO of the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce took the stage after Herrera stating, “Thank you President Herrera, and we are with you!”

The Port of Hueneme is California’s fourth largest port and the only deep-water harbor between Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area and is the U.S. Port of Entry for California’s central coast region.  


Attendees pose with their “Ocean of Opportunity” shirts after the State of the Port address


Nancy Lindholm, President and CEO of the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce sharing her support of the Port’s job creation and growing together with the Port


The Port of Hueneme is one of the most productive and efficient commercial trade gateways for niche cargo on the West Coast. The Port is governed by five locally elected Port Commissioners. The Port moves $9.5 billion in goods each year and consistently ranks among the top ten U.S. ports for automobiles and fresh produce. Port operations support the community by bringing $1.7 billion in economic activity and creating 15,834 trade-related jobs. Trade through the Port of Hueneme generates more than $119 million in direct and related state and local taxes, which fund vital community services. In 2017, the Port of Hueneme became the first port in California to become Green Marine certified and was voted the Greenest Port in the U.S. at the Green Shipping Summit.  


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