Long Beach Regional Economic Forum Highlights Growth
In a newsletter, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia shared highlights from the Long Beach Regional Economic Forum held on Thursday, April 18, at California State University Long Beach. Among the highlighted data were the city’s unemployment rate of 4.2% – a “historic low” as well as household and per capita increases of 10% and 17%, respectively. The release also noted “record cargo volumes at the Port of Long Beach,” $590 million in downtown retail sales in 2018, and a citywide increase in taxable sales of 14.3%. “You can see Long Beach is booming,” Garcia said. “Together we will continue to make sure our economy is not only strong, but fair.”

Long Beach To Host First-Ever Olympic Skateboarding Qualifier
The United States’ first official Olympic qualifying event for men’s and women’s skateboarding is being held as part of the Dew Tour at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center from June 13-16. The sport makes its Olympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo games. Produced in partnership with World Skate, Mountain Dew and the Adventure Sports Network Group, the Dew Tour skateboard competition is slated to draw “more than 300 of the world’s top male and female skateboarders” to compete for the chance to join their nations’ Olympic teams, according to statement from Dew Tour organizers. “This is truly a historic time for skateboarding as we embark on the first-ever Olympics, and to have Dew Tour leading the qualifying charge is an honor,” Adam Cozens, vice president and general manager of Dew Tour, stated.

Port Drivers Awarded $1.28 Million In Wage Theft Decision
The California Labor Commissioner (CLC) has ordered K&R Transportation, which provides drayage transportation from the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, to pay port truck drivers more than $1.28 million in uncompensated wages. The decision followed claims filed on behalf of 10 port drivers in 2017, alleging that the drivers were not independent contractors but employees and were owed payment. The CLC determined the drivers were owed an average of $128,562.90 each. According to a press release from Justice for Port Truck Drivers, a trucker advocacy group, K&R has until April 25 to pay the drivers or appeal the CLC’s judgement.

SCAQMD Named Grantee For Port Zero-Emission Project
The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has been named the grantee for Volvo’s zero-emission battery-electric truck and equipment program. Over the next three years, the Volvo Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions (LIGHTS) project “will deploy 23 battery-electric heavy-duty trucks (class 8), 29 battery-electric forklifts and yard tractors, 58 public and fleet access electric vehicle chargers, and 1,860,462 kWh of annual solar energy generation” inside the San Pedro Bay ports, according to SCAQMD. With a total cost of $90.7 million, the LIGHTS project is being spearheaded by Volvo Group North America and SCAQMD, and intends to show the commercial viability of the ports’ joint plan to transition to zero-emission equipment and trucks by 2035.

Signal Hill Anticipates Over 1,500 Guests At Spring Festival
The City of Signal Hill expects between 1,500 to 2,000 guests at its annual Spring Fest on April 20. Held at Signal Park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., activities include a petting zoo, carnival games, an egg hunt, photos with the Spring Fest Bunny and more. Wristbands are required for all children’s activities and can be purchased for $3 at Signal Hill’s city hall, public library and youth center through April 19. For further information, contact the city’s community services department at 562/989-7330.