Joint Planning Advisory Council
A planning partnership for the Arizona Sun Corridor

Joint Planning Advisory Council

The Joint Planning Advisory Council (JPAC) was formed in 2009 with the shared vision to jointly coordinate planning efforts for the greater good of the participating regions and the State of Arizona. It is the intent of the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG), the Pima Association of Governments (PAG), the Central Arizona Governments (CAG) and the Sun Corridor Metropolitan Planning Organization (SCMPO) to coordinate their respective planning activities and cooperatively work together to foster a successful and economically viable Sun Corridor in the state of Arizona.

These Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) recognize that they collectively comprise 81.4 percent of the population of the State of Arizona based upon the July 1, 2016 official population estimate developed by the Arizona Department of Administration and 85 percent of the fiscal year 2016 sales tax collections.

JPAC was established to identify mutually agreed upon goals and interests, provide guidance on possible technical assistance and joint planning activities, and enhance the communication and cooperation among the policymakers in these regions.

JPAC Resolution

Resolution of planning coordination with the Maricopa Association of Governemnts, Pima Association of Governments, and Central Arizona Association of Governments.

Past Meetings

Sun Corriodor Edge 2017

The Sun Corridor Export Recognition Program was launched by the Joint Planning Advisory Council (JPAC), led by elected officials and business leaders in the Sun Corridor. Seventeen businesses from throughout Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties submitted applications to share their success stories in exporting. All applications from businesses that applied for the program were evaluated by an independent panel of experts on their individual levels of achievement.

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Business Pannel Questions

In a competitive context, what differentiates Arizona as a region from which to export? Does the region have or need a brand statement?

Arizona faces an uphill challenge with regard to products but is a great location to export services.

Everything manufactured in the state needs to go up to 7,000 feet on a truck to reach the rest of the country (other than California) or leave by air freight, so smaller items work better.

Arizona has an emerging healthcare industry and profile. Arizona could develop a brand statement and brand essence around healthcare tourism and healthy lifestyle.

Services, such as memory storage in IT, are easier to deliver as an export because transportation is not a limitation.

How has the export import bank support affected your business?

We have not used EXIM as yet. In many countries, importers of oral care products are smaller firms who need assistance with insurance or terms during the time of transport from the USA to their docks.

How is the new administration affecting your exports?

Yes, indirectly. We sell premium products, and the devaluation of the Peso as a result of Trump policies has made it economically unfeasible to export to Mexico at this time.

How do we get all of you and the communities to put more of these messages out for parents helping their kids select careers?

School programs, such as those of the Arizona Economic Education Council, need support to stress business skills and help students select careers that have an international focus.

How would a wall at the border affect your export business in Mexico?

Our potential for selling into Mexico has already been hobbled by the Trump policies on NAFTA, immigration and the border wall without them actually doing anything much. The damage has already occurred for us long before any wall construction has begun.

Questions for Gene Seroka

After the holiday disruption caused by the labor strike two years ago, is there now a long-term plan for consistent delivery through the Los Angeles Port?

While protracted Longshore labor contract negotiations (but not a strike) were a contributing factor to the cargo congestion issues that west coast ports endured during the second half of 2014 and first half of 2015, there were a number of other factors that collectively impaired the supply chain during that period. Another factor was a chassis shortage and dislocation of chassis assets, an issue that grew over a period of two years following the container lines’ divestiture of their chassis pools. Another factor was the first wave of “big ship” deployments in the trans-Pacific trade. Vessels in the 13,000-TEU range and larger caused unprecedented surges in cargo when they first called at our terminals -- so much so that it was evident to all stakeholder that traditional vessel discharge and cargo handling methods needed to be re-assessed and modified. To this day, our gateway handles more container moves per ship call than any port in the world.

To resolve these issues, we organized an Interoperable Chassis Pool , or “pool of pools” to share and coordinate the assets between our three largest chassis providers. The LA and Long Beach ports also created an extensive Supply Chain Optimization (SCO) initiative that brought together representatives from every link in the cargo conveyance process. Since then, dozens of SCO meetings have been convened to discuss congestion choke points and process improvements aimed at increasing cargo volumes and velocity through the port. These discussions would not have been possible without the Federal Maritime Commission’s approval of an amendment to the two ports’ Cooperative Working Agreement, which allowed the two ports to jointly convene stakeholder forums to discuss and pursue projects and programs that address congestion issues and transportation infrastructure needs and air pollution reduction. Specific areas of focus include terminal productivity, chassis availability (and usage), and reducing truck turn times.

Our ability to handle cargo surges from big ships and be more nimble to now-routine carrier alliance shifts in ship calls from one terminal to another can be attributed to unprecedented cooperation and collaboration between labor, terminal managers, trucking companies and the railroads. They have re-vamped their processes to manage a rapidly changing environment. Future plans to improve cargo conveyance through our port include a focus on how we can use technology to digitize cargo documentation so that cargo owners and their service providers can access information about inbound (or outbound) cargo more than a week before that cargo arrives at our port. A digital data portal like the one we are testing with GE Transportation will lead to a more predictable supply chain that allows for more planning and better asset management – which, in turn, will improve cargo flow and efficiency.

What public policy pieces should be a priority in order to advance global economic development?

Since international trade is one of the two pillars of our regional economy in Southern California, both the mutual prosperity and economic development of regional economy and our trading partners abroad depends on the growth of trade. Therefore, our public policy priorities should include: Advocacy for rules-based trade agreements to provide:

  • Transparent customs rules to reduce indirect barriers to our Made in America and Made in California products
  • Reduction of duties in overseas markets to zero
  • incorporation of environmental and labor standards to create a level playing field for U.S. products (and to prevent “a race to the bottom”)

We should advocate for trade agreements that will encourage long-term sustainable economic development at the bottom of the pyramid for our economy and the economies of our trading partners. Thoughtful agreements can assist with foundational economic development by facilitating international e-commerce between micro enterprises and small businesses.

How can the NAFTA negotiations and potential outcomes affect the Port of LA and the region in general? How does the region perceive its role, along with the ports in these negotiations?

We don’t receive a lot of seaborne imports from Mexico. However, since Mexico is the largest trading partner for our SoCal region, as it could also be for the Arizona region, any development with a negative impact on NAFTA would have negative consequences for our regional economy, in general.

The [San Pedro Bay] ports are not necessarily consulted by the Federal Government in trade negotiations as the ports come under the constitutional jurisdiction of the State of California. However, since the economic interests of the ports and the State are aligned, we trust that our elected representatives express their views known through the appropriate channels.

The border areas of the States of Baja California (Norte) and Sonora are increasingly strong manufacturing centers. As these centers are largely supplied from Southern California, including goods shipped from Asia through San Pedro Bay, together we are a powerful economic ecosystem with effective logistics chains. This ecosystem has helped our region become more globally competitive and has thereby enabled selective near-shoring. The imposition of taxes or impediments to the border efficiency of this region would negatively impact our competitiveness, our economy and our ports.

How do we better inform the public so parents better understand these opportunities for their children’s future work?

For starters, take advantage of regional economic data to help illustrate where new job clusters in your economy are emerging, especially for young people. In Los Angeles, for example, the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation publishes an annual regional Economic Forecast & Industry Outlook that includes shifts in the economy and job market, as well as the job outlook for young adults. If data like that exists for the Sun Corridor region, you could leverage it to promote warehouse and logistics jobs. There may also be similar patterns to what we are seeing in Southern California with regard to the retailers closing their stores and shifting their focus toward ecommerce operations with high-paying jobs.

Our educational and workforce development outreach at the Port of Los Angeles is multi-faceted and mainly focused on interaction directly, or indirectly, with school counselors and faculty, and providing internship and student worker job opportunities. For example, since 1999, our port and a growing number of industry stakeholders have funded the non-profit International Trade Education Program (ITEP) , which now has more 5,000 students enrolled through 15 public high schools across three school districts in Southern California. These students are enrolled in one of ITEP's seven trade academies. Each academy is focused on a specific career field in maritime and international trade. This program has exposed thousands of students to the variety of jobs and careers they can pursue in and around the San Pedro Bay ports, and we consider it a channel for development of our future port and logistics workforce.

The most ideal timing to reach students is beginning in the 9th and 10th-grade levels, providing them with several years to explore job opportunities in the local logistics sector.

What is the anticipated impact of the widening of the Panama Canal on the Port of Long Beach and the I-10 corridor?

As east-bound trade volume from Asia grows over time, so too will Panama Canal volumes, attracting less-valuable, less time-sensitive cargo away from US west coast ports. However, the primary cargo through the LA Trade Gateway is typically higher-value, seasonal, and time-sensitive retail inventory or just-in-time cargo to feed US manufacturing (auto parts, for example). We don't compete with the Panama Canal in the movement of these types of cargoes. Factors that could impact this dynamic however, include rail rates from San Pedro Bay to US “heartland” markets.

Event Photos

January 8, 2016 JPAC Meeting

Materials and photos from the January 8, 2016 JPAC meeting.

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February 24, 2015 JPAC Meeting

Materials and photos from the February 24, 2015 JPAC meeting.

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December 11, 2013 JPAC Meeting

Materials and photos from the December 11, 2013 JPAC meeting.

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October 30, 2012 JPAC Meeting

Materials and photos from the October 30, 2012 JPAC meeting.

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February 27, 2012 JPAC Meeting

Materials and photos from the February 27, 2012 JPAC meeting.

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Nogales Port of Entry Trip, December 12, 2011

Materials and photos from the Nogales Port of Entry trip on December 12, 2011.

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July 19, 2011 JPAC Meeting

Materials and photos from the July 19, 2011 JPAC meeting.

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August 26, 2010 – League of Arizona Cities and Towns Annual Conference – Arizona COG Directors Association Leadership Meeting.

Materials and photos from League of Arizona Cities and Towns Annual Conference and the Arizona COG Directors Association Leadership meeting.

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June 28, 2010 JPAC Meeting

Materials and photos from the June 28, 2010 JPAC meeting.

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April 20, 2010 JPAC Meeting

Materials and photos from the April 20, 2010 JPAC meeting.

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March 9, 2010 JPAC Meeting

Materials and photos from the March 9, 2010 JPAC meeting.

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Presentations