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CITT Town Hall Set for Feb. 7

Michael Jackson, deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will deliver the keynote address at the ninth annual CITT State of the Trade and Transportation Industry Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 7, from 6-8:30 p.m. in the Carpenter Performing Arts Center at CSULB.

Titled “Port Security: Guarding America’s Front Door,” the meeting is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. The event is hosted and sponsored by the Center for International Trade and Transportation (CITT) at CSULB. Other sponsors include CSULB’s University College and Extension Services and the METRANS Transportation Center.

As the deputy secretary, Jackson serves as Homeland Security’s chief operating officer with responsibility of managing the day-to-day operations of the department. Previously, Jackson served as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“The purpose of this year’s event is to discuss port and cargo security more than five years after Sept. 11,” said Marianne Venieris, CITT executive director. “We will assess the progress of government agencies and industry in keeping the supply chain secure while continuing to move ever-increasing volumes of cargo.”

As in previous years, the evening will include a video presentation. This year’s video will highlight measures implemented in the past five years that have increased security in and around the San Pedro port complex as well as throughout the supply chain. These measures include both technology and policies adopted by government and industry.

Additionally, a white paper will be issued to complement the video and set the stage for the Town Hall.

“The white paper will outline the changing roles and responsibilities of different governmental agencies with regard to security as well as the industry practices put into place,” said Tom O’Brien, director of research at CITT and author of the white paper. “The document will also identify gaps in our knowledge about port and supply chain security, suggesting areas for further study.”

The Town Hall Meeting is expected to draw more than 1,000 people based on attendance of the previous events. It will feature a panel of experts moderated by Richard Hollingsworth, president and CEO of Gateway Cities Partnership, Inc. The panel participants represent U.S. Coast Guard, U.S Customs and Border Protection, Transportation Security Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and private industry. They will offer the most up-to-date information possible on a rapidly changing topic, making this a unique opportunity for audience members to ask questions and gain valuable knowledge.

The event is for individuals involved with and affected by trade and transportation, including representatives of longshoremen, truckers, ocean carriers, marine terminals, freighter forwarders, custom brokers, intermodal marketing companies, distribution centers, shippers, community leaders, government agencies and elected officials, as well as the general public.

For more information, call the CITT office at 562/296-1170.