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Big Picture San Diego Blog

April 24, 2018

 

San Diego is among 15 cities being considered for the Army Futures Command, a new major command for the United States Army that will incubate emerging technology and innovations. San Diego Regional EDC will be submitting a joint response with the City of San Diego to the Army’s request for additional information on the City. 

 “San Diego easily checks all the boxes for the Army Futures Command. We have a community that embraces its innovation economy, an unparalleled workforce, and top-tier universities,” said Mark Cafferty, president & CEO of San Diego Regional EDC. “But beyond that, San Diego has a long history of collaborating with the military to spur innovation and protect national security.” 

The new Army Futures Command will employ both a military and civilian workforce, creating nearly 500 jobs. 

The City of San Diego was informed of its candidacy in a letter sent to Mayor Kevin Faulconer on April 17, 2018.

Your city appears to have a combination of talent, commercial, and academic innovation, and quality of life that we are looking for in locating the command,” said Under Secretary of the United States Army Ryan D. McCarthy in a letter. The document also states that the Army favors locations with a growing technical workforce and is looking for a concentration of occupations including engineers (biomedical, chemical, computer, electrical), as well as software developers.

SAN DIEGO'S COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

In early 2018, Robert Half staffing company named San Diego the number one city for tech job growth in the first half of 2018. Additionally, STEM jobs are 34 percent more concentrated in San Diego than the U.S. average, based on a San Diego Regional EDC analysis of EMSI data.

According to the San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC), the San Diego region is currently home to the largest concentration of military in the world. The military generates one out of every five jobs in the San Diego region. While the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard have a significant presence in the region, the Army Futures Command would establish a new military branch in San Diego.

San Diego is also the headquarters of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), which is responsible for supplying the U.S. Navy with innovative technologies. According to a separate SDMAC study, SPAWAR pumped $1.77 billion into the regional economy in 2014 alone.

 “Like San Diego, many cities in the running offer a strong quality of life and skilled workforce. However, San Diego’s legacy of military innovation sets us apart,” said Jesse Gipe, senior manager of economic development at San Diego Regional EDC who handles the organization’s military portfolio. “If the Army views a long history of collaboration with military personnel, a focus on commercializing military technologies and a highly-skilled workforce with security clearances as an asset, then San Diego has a competitive chance of becoming the new Army Futures Command headquarters.”

The other cities being considered include Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Raleigh, San Francisco and Seattle.

EDC and the City of San Diego will send in the requested information by the May 10, 2018 deadline. 

 

 

April 20, 2018

Each month the California Employment Development Department (EDD) releases industry data for the prior month. This edition of San Diego’s Economic Pulse covers March 2018 data, including unemployment, new business establishments, and job postings.

Highlights include:

  • The region’s unemployment rate was 3.2 percent in March, down 0.3 percentage points from February’s revised rate of 3.5, and 1.0 percentage point lower than a year ago.
  • Every jurisdiction saw a decrease in the unemployment rate from the month prior.
  • The labor force contracted slightly, shedding 8,700 workers during the month. The labor force is now up 1,800 compared to a year ago.
  • The largest job increases in March came from education and health services, up 1,200 jobs. Retail saw the largest decline during the month, losing 1,000 jobs.

Get the details in the full Economic Pulse here.


 

 

April 18, 2018

EDC's San Diego: Life. Changing. campaign is all about telling San Diego’s authentic story. Besides our impressive new technologies and literally life-changing scientific breakthroughs, there’s nothing more innately San Diego than our delicious craft beer.
 
EDC has partnered with Ballast Point to create a special Made in San Diego craft brew, exclusively available in San Diego County. Just like our campaign, this beer is made for San Diego, by San Diego.
 
Ballast Point has been an integral part of the San Diego community for more than 20 years. It was founded here in 1996 as a home brew shop, and with the support of its community, Ballast Point has grown into the global craft beer giant that it is today. As a way to give back to its hometown that has given it so much, Ballast Point will donate a portion of every case sold to a new fund created by EDC’s foundation, to support local entrepreneurs that share the same dream of growing their business right here in San Diego.
 
The Made in San Diego beer features the same level of innovation, quality, and flavor that embody San Diego and Ballast Point. With packaging that pays homage to the vibrant cities and neighborhoods across the San Diego region, it's an easy-drinking Kolsch that features toasted bread aroma and flavor from Munich malt and a soft bitterness from Cascade and Mosaic hops. The beer cans also feature the San Diego: Life. Changing. brand mark, as a proud partner of our campaign.
 
Made in San Diego beer will be available on draft throughout San Diego County later this month, with six-pack 12 oz. cans rolling out region-wide at the end of May.

Raise a glass with us, and visit MadeinSD.com to learn more about this #SDlifechanging partnership.

 

 

 

 

April 16, 2018

This op-ed was first published in the San Diego Business Journal, authored by EDC's Dr. Nikia Clarke, Brown Law Group's founder and owner and incoming EDC Board Chair Janice Brown, and Brookings Institution's Amy Liu. 

San Diego is poised to become an unstoppable force in the global economy. The region is home to 34 percent more STEM workers than the national average, ranks third in the U.S. for patent intensity and has the sixth highest rate of income mobility.
 
While the rise of the innovation economy has created wealth and opportunity, it has also left many residents behind. This is leading to wide economic inequalities that, if left unaddressed, will cause San Diego to lose employees and companies to other regions.
 
San Diego Regional EDC and the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program have collaborated over several years to make San Diego a prosperous global city. Last year, San Diego joined Brookings in a learning lab focused on inclusive economic growth. Here is what we learned:
 
According to the Center on Policy Initiatives, more than one million residents cannot afford to live in San Diego. Driven by wage increases in the innovation economy and constraints on the supply of housing, the region now has the fourth highest cost of living in the country.
 
San Diegans are spending an increasingly greater proportion of incomes on housing. These pressures are already impacting some of San Diego’s largest employers, as prospective talent opts for competing regions with lower costs of living.
 
In San Diego, more than 98 percent of the region’s employers are small businesses (less than 100 employees), which have less capital available to pay competitive wages. Employees of small businesses typically earn up to 20 percent lower wages than their peers at larger corporations. Because of this dynamic, the region’s small businesses struggle to compete with larger companies for skilled talent.
 
And this all comes at a time when workforce demographics are rapidly changing. Brookings research has shown that 59 percent of millennials and 67 percent of post-millennials in San Diego are racial and ethnic minorities. By 2030, Hispanics will become San Diego’s largest demographic group, and yet 85 percent currently do not hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.
 
Achievement Gap
 
Unless all San Diegans are willing to invest in closing this minority achievement gap, we will continue to constrain the region’s ability to compete in the global market. Employers cannot simply rely on the in-migration of workers. The real opportunity lies within our local talent pool. 
 
With the compounded impact of a high cost of living, low educational attainment in our fastest growing population and a small business-centric economy that struggles to pay competitive wages, San Diego has a problem that cannot be ignored. They point to an economic imperative for change. We must recognize that the roots of exclusion are economic, and must be systematically addressed by employers and policymakers, not left to philanthropy.
 
Calls to Action
 
Over the next year, a regional Steering Committee will be releasing research and recommendations to address these challenges that together create a platform for inclusive growth.
 
If leaders do not take measures to promote economic inclusion, San Diego will find itself unable to compete in a global economy that is increasingly unforgiving to businesses and regions that cannot adapt. If San Diego tackles these challenges head-on, it will position itself as a national leader among metro areas in building an innovative economy that works for all.
 
San Diego has evolved from border town, to military hub, to tech and innovation powerhouse. With the will, leadership and a healthy dose of experimentation and collaboration, San Diego can build an economy that reaches and includes all of its residents and employers.
 
Janice Brown is president of Brown Law Group. Nikia Clarke is executive director of World Trade Center San Diego. Amy Liu is director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution.

 

 

 

April 11, 2018

The California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC) is an income tax credit program available to both small and large businesses with plans to expand in or relocate to the state of California. Negotiated by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), the California Competes Tax Credit program has awarded more than $600 million in credits to California companies since the program’s inception in 2014. In the FY 2017-18 round alone, the state will grant more than $230 million.

Each year, the state grants a series of awards over three rounds: November, April, and June. In the April round of FY 2017-18 program, the state awarded 63 companies a total of $72 million in tax credits based on commitments to add more than 6,500 jobs and invest more than $490 million by 2021. San Diego received 16.27 percent of the total credits, just behind the LA metro that received 22 percent of credits.

Based on the recent announcement, 15 San Diego companies were awarded more than $11.7 million in tax credits. Compared to other metros across California, San Diego fared well across all measures. Of all metros, San Diego received the highest number of small business awards, with more than 40 percent of small business recipients hailing from San Diego. These small businesses were awarded more than $1.7 million in tax credits for commitments to create 71 jobs and invest $4.5 million.

San Diego large businesses – defined as more than $2 million in annual revenue – were awarded more than $10 million in credits. San Diego ranks second in the large business category, with 16 percent of total credits awarded to local large businesses. San Diego also earned the second place ranking in the amount of job creation among all metros, with almost 700 new jobs coming to the region over the next five years.

In this CCTC round, San Diego recipients will invest more than $67.5 million into the community and pay nearly $138 million in wages over the next five years. Since inception, more than 125 San Diego companies have been awarded more than $75 million in credits, committing to the creation of more than 8,500 jobs and $1.4 billion in investments.

Of the 15 company recipients, EDC consulted six winners throughout the application process. Among those that received EDC support, top awardees include Bank of the Internet ($5M credit), Planck Aerosystems ($600K credit), and Fuse Integration ($500K credit).

For more information regarding the California Competes Tax Credit program, please contact Jesse Gipe.

 

 

April 11, 2018

With and through our investors, EDC maximizes San Diego’s economic competitiveness. Here's our Q1 in review:

Regional Support
In order to grow jobs, EDC dispatched the following company support tactics and events throughout Q1:
 
San Diego: Life. Changing.
EDC's global identity efforts serve to elevate the region as a top destination for talent and investment. In Q1, EDC told authentic stories about the people and companies that call San Diego home. Here's how:
 
Research
Understanding our economy begins with strong data. EDC develops economic reports to help business and civic leaders make informed decisions specific to growth and inclusion across the region. EDC released the following economic reports:
 
WTC San Diego
As part of EDC, World Trade Center San Diego works to cultivate a pipeline of export-ready firms, maximize FDI opportunities, and grow the region's global connectivity. Q1 outcomes included:

See EDC's full Q1 Report here.

April 4, 2018

Each year, EDC honors an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in addressing challenges and making significant contributions to improving our region. We are honored to announce Dr. Mary Walshok as the 2018 Honoree of the Herb Klein Civic Leadership Award

The Herb Klein Civic Leadership Award is presented by:

Dr. Mary Walshok is an author, educator, researcher, and Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Programs and Dean of Extension at the University of California San Diego. She is a thought leader on the topic of workforce development and its role in fueling regional economic prosperity. Dr. Walshok is the co-author of “Invention & Reinvention: The Evolution of San Diego’s Innovation Economy,” a book published by Stanford University Press that analyzes San Diego’s ever-changing sociological, political, and economic trends. In addition, she is the author of five other books and more than 100 articles and reports on regional innovation, the role of research institutions in regional economies and workforce development. Her work has led to a number of international engagements and awards in Sweden, the UK, Asia, and Latin America. 

Dr. Walshok oversees a $45 million, 200-employee division  in San Diego that annually serves more than 80,000 enrollees through innovative local and online programs, as well as provides access to a vast array of intellectual resources through the award-winning UCSD-TV and nationwide through UCTV, which reaches more than 6 million households and millions more around the globe via web. The Division also serves more than 3,000 foreign students annually.
 
Dr. Walshok was a co-founder of the internationally recognized CONNECT in 1984 on whose board she still serves and of the San Diego Dialogue in the 1990s, a program focused on opportunities in the San Diego-Tijuana region. She has chaired the Francis Parker School and The San Diego and International Community Foundation Boards and continues to sit on the boards of the La Jolla Playhouse, the Girard Foundation, and the Foundation for U.S./Mexico Science and Technology. 
 
Please join us at SeaWorld on May 31 to celebrate Dr. Mary Walshok and more. Register here.
 
 
March 29, 2018

By Jesse Gipe, senior economic development manager

Across San Diego in the coming months, you may see a drone mapping a fire in real time, delivering a snack from your favorite fast food chain to your doorstep, dropping off a package in your neighbor’s front yard, transforming regional fireworks shows into digital storytelling platforms, or delivering medical samples to a lab reducing patient wait time in local ERs. This is all because of unique regional collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

In 2010, EDC, in partnership with SDMAC and other institutions, assessed our regional defense industry to better understand what facets of our defense ecosystem were most resilient to decline even as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan drew down. Drones were identified as one of the major technology areas in which the region had unique expertise and would continue to be acquired by the Department of Defense. Subsequently, EDC has worked on a variety of initiatives to support the development of this evolving industry.

By 2022, the FAA estimates that 451,800 commercial drones – up from just over 100,000 in 2017 – will be flying across our skies performing a wide variety of unique tasks that will change our day to day lives. This growth is being driven by companies already solving problems like critical infrastructure inspection, incident response, and real-time fire management. In addition to very serious use cases, drones are now transforming Olympic Opening Ceremonies, delivering medical supplies to those in need, and acting as valuable sensor nodes for smart city infrastructure. With so many exciting use cases, you may wonder why we don’t see more drones flown by companies as opposed to your 14-year-old neighbor across the street.

The reality is that the U.S. airspace is a complex web of overlapping operations that remains one of the statistically safest things you can do. The FAA, who has the responsibility of adjusting rules to allow drones in the national airspace, is laser-focused on safety. With this, the FAA is also very conscious of the opportunity that drones present for all types of industry and use cases.

To expedite industry demand, the FAA and Department of Transportation launched a new program in November 2017 called the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integrated Pilot Program (IPP). This project asked local and state governments to submit a detailed application in partnership with industry outlining how they could partner to demonstrate a variety of technologies critical for flying safely in and around people in more urban and suburban environments.

The City of San Diego offices of homeland security and economic development, supported by EDC, put together a competitive application in response to IPP. The application was supported by academic, government, and nonprofit partners including the Port of San Diego, City of Chula Vista, UC San Diego Health, Governors Military Council, Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, Palomar Community College, Coleman University, and AUVSI. Just as importantly, the application included corporate support from Qualcomm, AT&T, UBER, Intel, GE, Matternet, AirMap, CAPE, and others.  These companies each have tremendous technical experience in the underlying fields essential to the development of the drone industry and have proposed a series of truly Life. Changing. use cases.

With the application submitted, San Diego alongside the other 149 applicants from across the country are waiting to hear from the FAA. Stay tuned to find who will be among the final 10 selected to move forward with IPP in May 2018.

 

March 27, 2018

"Why Economic Inclusion is Crucial To San Diego," was originally published on GlobeSt.com. Reporter Carrie Rossenfeld interviewed Cynthia Curiel of Northrop Grumman.

It’s vital that San Diego employers act to close the minority-achievement gap, equip small businesses to compete and address the affordability crisis, Northrop Grumman’s Cynthia Curiel tells GlobeSt.com.
 
San Diego Regional EDC recently launched a data-driven initiative to drive economic growth and inclusion in the region. Catalyzed by San Diego’s participation in the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program learning lab in 2017, EDC released research that highlights the region’s economic pain points and necessity for an employer-led approach to tackling inclusivity issues. Simultaneously, the organization held a program called “Future of Growth: the economic case for inclusion,” with keynote remarks by Amy Liu, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program.
 
“Despite record-low unemployment and a renowned innovation ecosystem, San Diego has an inclusion problem that cannot be ignored,” said Mark Cafferty, president and CEO of San Diego Regional EDC, in a prepared statement. “Small businesses cannot compete with larger corporations, while one million people cannot afford to live here. This initiative is a call to action for San Diego’s employers – we must come together to bridge the gaps in our economy.”
 
Convened by EDC, a steering committee of local employers will work to create an actionable platform to achieve three goals: close the minority achievement gap; equip small businesses to compete; and address the affordability crisis. The committee consists of nearly 40 local employers including Northrop Grumman, Solar Turbines, Sempra, Thermo Fisher Scientific, San Diego Padres and more.
 
We spoke with Curiel about why economic inclusion is so vital for our region, what some of the best practices for inclusion are and advice she would give to other companies about inclusivity.
 
GlobeSt.com: Why is economic inclusion imperative for growth internally and across the region?
 
Curiel: Our nation is facing record-low unemployment rates. At face value, this is good news—it means people are working and the economy is producing, but it also means that employers and regions are facing intense competition for skilled talent. While it is important to ramp up talent-attraction efforts, we also must look to incubate a local talent pool. However, when looking at our current economic realities, this is a difficult feat for San Diego to accomplish. For starters, San Diego is an expensive place to live, with the fourth-highest cost of living in the nation.
 
Secondly, small businesses are the backbone of San Diego’s economy. More than 98% of our businesses are small businesses (under 100 workers). On average, small businesses pay 20% lower wages than their peers, making it more difficult to compete for talent. Lastly, although there may be an abundance of jobs in the innovation economy, there is a shortage of skilled workers to occupy them. Hispanics are the largest and fastest-growing demographic population in San Diego, yet are statistically the least prepared for high-skilled, high-wage careers, with only 15% holding at least a bachelor’s degree.
 
The compounded impact of a high cost of living, small businesses that cannot afford to pay competitive wages and low educational achievement in our fastest-growing population have created a problem that if ignored, will undermine San Diego’s regional competitiveness. While the answer is not easy or straightforward, it’s vital that San Diego employers act to close the minority achievement gap, equip small businesses to compete and address the affordability crisis.
 
GlobeSt.com: What are some best practices for inclusion in this sense?
 
Curiel: Simply put, the face of our workforce needs to reflect the face of our nation. At Northrop Grumman, we believe that fostering diversity and inclusion in our workforce and workplace is pivotal to promoting innovation and increasing productivity and profitability.
 
We offer a wide range of programs and activities turning our leadership focus on diversity and inclusion into tangible reality for our people from programs that cover education, employee-resource groups and work/life balance assistance, to name just a few.
 
We believe that a diverse workforce is a stronger and higher-performing workforce that results in more-engaged employees, which drives greater creativity and innovation into our business, resulting in more-impactful outcomes for our customers.
 
We want our employees to be comfortable bringing their authentic selves to work every day, which ultimately makes our company stronger, more resilient and more unified when faced with challenges in a rapidly changing and competitive world where we need everybody pulling together.
 
We also hire and mentor our nation’s wounded warriors through Operation Impact. By investing in underrepresented groups, we are not only enabling individuals to reach their full potential, we’re also leveraging untapped resources full of unique experiences, ideas, knowledge and skills to make our company, our culture and our products better.
 
We also know that in order to grow and diversify the talent pipeline, we need to inspire STEM- curious minds at an early age and that’s where our work starts. We partner with school districts and non-profit organizations in a deliberate effort to reach K-12 students from underrepresented communities throughout San Diego County. Some of our strategies include bringing kids on campus for hands-on STEM activities and high school internships, sending our engineers into the community to talk about their careers and providing direct financial support to public schools and non-profit organizations with engineering and technology-based programs.
 
Through the Northrop Grumman Foundation, we are able to expand our reach as we work to connect youth to STEM careers and provide professional development resources for their teachers. Each year we send students and educators from local school districts to Space Camp in Huntsville, AL. Through the Foundation’s Fab School Lab program, Harriet Tubman Charter and the Del Dios Academy of Arts & Science both received $100,000 grants to build state-of-the-art science labs at their schools. For the past few summers, we have hosted local middle-school teachers with a focus on science and technology at our sites in San Diego for a two-week externship where they develop lesson plans based on “real world” applications of STEM principles. In addition, to extend our pipeline of talent through college, graduation and into the workforce, we have robust programs in place where we build direct relationships with some of the most talented engineering students in the country. We are focused on a number of target colleges, including those right here in San Diego, such as San Diego State University and University of California San Diego. This ensures that we are harnessing the strength of our local talent; we are hopeful that by engaging with students at a younger age, they will be inspired and excited by the broad range of opportunities that Northrop Grumman and other local companies offer once they enter the workforce.
 
GlobeSt.com: What advice would you give to other companies that are looking to be more inclusive?
 
Curiel: An investment in your community is an investment in your company. It’s no secret that San Diego is home to some of the brightest minds in the world, especially given the life-changing technology and life-sciences developments taking place. But just think of how many more brilliant minds there would be in our local talent pool if employers embraced diversity and provided the same resources and opportunities to San Diegans in disadvantaged parts of our region. Creating training programs and educational opportunities in these communities is just one way to promote inclusion, develop local talent and create lifetime advocates for your company. So, take a look around. Your next top engineer or scientist could be waiting for you to give them the tools to help them get there.
 
GlobeSt.com: What else should our readers know about the EDC’s recent inclusive- growth event?
 
Curiel: We must recognize that the issue of inclusion is, in fact, an economic imperative and must be systematically addressed by employers and policy makers—not simply left to philanthropy. As San Diego employers, it is our job to embrace the different pathways and experiences of this diverse workforce and use it to our advantage. The Inclusive Growth event included a keynote from the Brookings Institute’s Amy Liu, San Diego Regional EDC’s Nikia Clarke and various members of this initiative’s steering Committee, of which I am very proud to be a part. Over the next year, we will be releasing research and recommendations that together create a platform for inclusive economic growth.
 
It’s not just about creating more jobs; it’s about creating a trajectory of higher growth that comes from increasing the productivity of our local workforce. This won’t happen overnight, but I believe that together we will overcome these challenges head-on and create a better San Diego in which all can thrive. And we will be a better San Diego because of it. Follow along at #inclusiveSD and sandiegobusiness.org/inclusivegrowth.
March 23, 2018

Each month the California Employment Development Department (EDD) releases industry data for the prior month. This edition of San Diego’s Economic Pulse covers February 2018 data, including unemployment, new business establishments, and job postings.
 
Highlights include:
  • The region’s unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in February, down 0.1 percentage points from last month, and 0.7 percentage points lower than a year ago.
  • Most jurisdictions saw an increase in the unemployment rate from the month prior. However, five did see a small decrease, while one remained unchanged. 
  • The labor force grew again after two months of consecutive declines, adding 11,700 workers during the month. The labor force is now up 28,300 compared to a year ago.
  • Year-over-year, wholesale trade growth outpaced all other key sectors, up 9.4 percent.
 
Read the full Economic Pulse here.