Hamilton has been a port city for more than 100 years; shipping and associated industries are part of the fabric of the community and its history. “We’re not just operating a port,” says HPA President & CEO Bruce Wood, We’re maintaining a legacy.”
Alongside its drive for business innovation, HPA strives to be a principled community partner and responsible steward of the port environment. HPA has developed a comprehensive community outreach strategy focused on wellbeing, education and the environment.
EDUCATION & JOBS
The Port seeks to reach children and youth in the Hamilton community, supporting opportunities for better education that will in turn lead to improved outcomes in employment, health and wellbeing. “Here in Hamilton, there is a significant youth population living in poverty,” explains HPA’s Community Relations lead, Sharon Clark. “Many leave school early and have difficulties finding employment, and so the cycle continues.” HPA works to help break this cycle by partnering with outstanding community agencies that work one-on-one with Hamilton children and youth.
Port tenant City Kidz provides mentorship and a safe learning environment for kids of all ages, primarily drawn from the city’s low-income neighbourhoods. HPA has been a sustaining partner of City Kidz’s work, providing more than $500,000 in subsidized rents and a $30,000 contribution toward outfitting the organization’s new youth studio.
Liberty For Youth, working with at-risk youth between the ages of 12 and 25, uses an innovative and intensive mentoring model that strives for permanent behavioural change by building inner character, and developing life and leadership skills. HPA has supported Liberty For Youth with a $15,000 donation, and a number of HPA staff members are directly involved, donating their time and technical expertise, fundraising and leadership.
As part of its commitment to environmental sustainability, HPA undertakes several initiatives in the community. Each year, one Port Partner is recognized as an environmental leader through the HPA environmental excellence award. The recipient of the 2015 award was McAsphalt Industries. HPA also organizes the Port of Hamilton Team Up to Clean Up, an annual community clean-up on and around port property. In April 2015, 80 port tenant employees participated, and together the partners collected 149 bags of garbage and 49 bags of recycling.
Most recently, HPA announced a leadership donation of $30,000 to the redevelopment of the famous Rock Garden at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton/Burlington. The RBG is the largest botanical garden in Canada and is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy nature.
HPA has also established a partnership with Hamilton’s new bicycle-sharing program, SoBi, providing warehousing space for the organization, and offering HPA staff free access to the bicycles. “We think this partnership is a great fit for us,” said Sharon Clark. “We are of course supporters of efficient transportation in its many forms. It is also a great opportunity for staff to be active during the day; and it encourages all of us to reduce our collective carbon footprint.”
In 2015, HPA is celebrating Hamilton’s participation in the Pan Am Games. HPA Chairman Mr. Melvin Hawkrigg has been selected as a community torchbearer for the city of Hamilton, and HPA will be sponsoring a number of Pan Am events.
“Hamilton Pan Am Initiatives is pleased to have the Hamilton Port Authority as a partner in celebrating the Pan Am Games in our beautiful city,” said Coralee Secore, Manager of Pan Am Initiatives.
Through these initiatives and others, HPA is continuing its role as a community leader investing in the future of Hamilton, and supporting residents of all ages who call this proud port city home.