EXP is the opportunity engine

Our Vision

We believe every student should have equal access to education, experiences and career opportunities that will help them reach their full potential.

Our Mission

EXP prepares students for a better life. Our programs help young people gain experience, unlock doors and build the confidence they need to succeed in school, career and life.

Our Goals

EXP brings industry and schools together to build tomorrow’s workforce and provide career opportunities to students from underserved communities in Southern California.

Our Annual Impact - Stats for 2018-2019


6,400+ High School Students Served


224 Students Mentored by 43 Industry Volunteers


153 High School Students Received Paid Internships


97% Graduation Rate for EXP Interns


89% of EXP Grads Enroll in College


87% of EXP Grads Interested in High-growth Fields

Our Story

Established in 1999 as International Trade Education Programs (ITEP) and rebranded in 2018, EXP represents the organization’s legacy of strength in bringing industry and schools together to prepare young people for a better life.

A 501(c)3 organization, EXP was established by maritime industry leaders and founded by a former Port of Los Angeles Harbor Commissioner to bridge the gap between the port industry's need for a skilled workforce and the local high school's struggle to graduate students.

EXP has grown from one academy, the International Trade Academy at Phineas Banning High School in Wilmington, to 19 pathways at 10 schools in 4 school districts in the 2019-2020 school year. We also now serve schools beyond our original radius of the Port of Los Angeles harbor area and engage industry sectors beyond maritime and international trade. 

With our tagline “The opportunity engine,” the EXP brand builds on all ITEP has done, captures the organization’s entrepreneurial drive, honors its enduring legacy in the Port of Los Angeles, and remains true to its core goal: to help young people gain experience, unlock doors and build the confidence they need to succeed in school, career and life.


Meet our CEO

Named as CEO in August 2010, Amy L. Grat is responsible for ensuring ongoing sustainability of EXP and effective implementation of its mission, which is delivered through the EXP team and nearly 400 volunteers from industry, education and the public sector.

Previously, Amy served as Vice President of Investor Relations for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), where she was responsible for driving revenue and cultivating the organization’s relationships with Southern California’s business community. Amy has also held positions in higher education including, Associate Director of International Executive Programs at USC’s International Business Education and Research (IBEAR) Program.  She has also served in program management roles at University of Pennsylvania’s Office of International Programs and the International Visitors Council of Philadelphia.

Amy is active in local industry and civic organizations, serving on the Boards of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce (President, 2018-2019), the Los Angeles Air Cargo Association, the Harbor Association of Industry and Commerce (Membership Chair 2018), and the Los Angeles Transportation Club (First Vice President 2018).  

Amy holds an MBA from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, an MA in International Affairs from The George Washington University, and a BA in English from San Diego State University.

2019-2020 Board of Directors

Theresa Adams Lopez | Port of Los Angeles~

Paxton Bowman | Republic Services

Ann Burckle | Real Property Collaborative

Robert Devine | Marathon Petroleum Corporation – Los Angeles Refinery

Jamie Gutierrez | Los Angeles World Airports

Victor Ibarra | Office of Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson

Ashley Impellitteri | Keesal, Young & Logan

Natalie Irwin | Valero

Andrea Lanouette | Avalon Risk Management

Jay Marks | The Jay Marks Group

Alan McCorkle | Yusen Terminals

Rebecca Ore | United States Coast Guard – Sector LA/LB~

James Preusch, Treasurer* | Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority

Ronald Roberts, Jr. | Griffith Company 

Cameron Smith | Yusen Logistics

Jackie Sutton | Ports America

Tara Voss, Chair* | Peacock Piper Tong + Voss LLP

Brent Williams | City National Bank

Tony Williamson, Secretary* | TTSI

Patrick Wilson* | Fast Lane Transportation

*Executive Committee