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Inside EDC

February 26, 2013

Mayor Bob Filner was the SD Press Club's first Newsmaker of 2013; Mark Cafferty will be its second. Join the San Diego business and journalism community for a breakfast this Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7:30 a.m. Mark will provide new EDC updates including the recent successes the organization has had generating and maintaining jobs throughout the region. He also will tell you how he really feels about attempts to lure businesses from California to Texas, and you'll get the latest update on efforts in Washington to curtail across-the-board budget cuts (known as Sequestration) scheduled to take effect Friday. You won't want to miss it.

Everyone is welcome! Please find more details and RSVP here

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February 13, 2013

As a provocative speaker and evangelist for building innovation economies, Rules of the Rainforest author Greg Horowitt asks questions, lots of questions. Horowitt was back with the EDC board recently and came with a list of questions that demand to be asked and answered if we aspire to take the regional economy to the next level of prosperity and raise awareness of San Diego as a global player. Here is the first question:

  • Who are your leaders and what are their characteristics and effectiveness?

It’s a good group to ask about leadership. Depending on what you read, you might look around to find the “San Diego 20,” as a Voice of San Diego article quoted someone calling them. If you’re a fan of Jim Clifton’s book “The Coming Jobs War,” you might see San Diego’s “tribal leaders.” Representatives of San Diego’s trade associations and the venerable CONNECT in attendance personify what economic competitiveness guru Michael Porter calls the “informal networks” that make San Diego’s innovation economy work.

Assuming that – by any definition – many of the region’s leaders were present, how can we describe their characteristics and effectiveness? As a long-time observer of San Diego’s civic organizations and institutions, I offer these primary traits of San Diego’s leaders:

They are open – here’s how Hank Nordhoff put it in a recent UT San Diego article: … "there’s an informality and unpretentiousness about San Diego. People will welcome you to these various boards, and you can have an impact almost immediately…” Nordhoff is the former CEO of Gen-Probe (now Hologic Gen-Probe) and current executive chairman of Banyan Biomarkers. He is also a past chairman of EDC. But at one time he was a new guy in town and he clearly never forgot the warm welcome.

They get along – In the last year, EDC, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and CONNECT, along with other partner trade organizations, convened a coalition of senior business leaders from their boards of directors and key contributors to focus on the global competitiveness of the region. They also defined their terms so that everyone is speaking in the same language about the economy.  The groups agreed on four fundamental pillars of our economy—Military, Innovation, Tourism, and Local. Just having a common vocabulary has made communicating the strengths of our region more effective.

They are curious – Why else would they ask Greg Horowitt to come back a second time? They want to understand what’s working and they really want to understand what’s not. Being curious means looking at barriers and judging how high to jump, not how fast you can stop. Being curious gives you the confidence to engage in self-reflection without the baggage of doubt.

Posted by Andrea Moser. How would you describe San Diego’s civic leadership? We’re open to feedback. Tweet us @SDRegionalEDC and let us know.

January 2, 2013

 

A message from our President & CEO:

With 2013 already under way, and some elements of the fiscal cliff addressed and/or postponed through last minute actions in Washington D.C., we wanted to take a moment to share what we still foresee as significant challenges for San Diego’s economy in the months ahead.

While both chambers of Congress did eventually approve a deal to fend off certain elements of the fiscal cliff, their plan postpones decisions about sequestration; the $110 billion in spending cuts that would deeply affect the military and many other sectors of the economy that receive funding from the federal government. As we have been noting over the past year with our colleagues at the San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC), here in San Diego this could most notably impact our military/defense sectors as well as the research that is the backbone of our technology industries.

According to today’s Washington Post, “The legislation, which President Obama supports but had not signed as of Tuesday night, would delay across-the-board budget reductions known as sequestration for two months, setting up likely fights in Congress over the federal debt ceiling over the same period. The fiscal-cliff deal would offset half the cost of a delayed sequestration with cuts to discretionary spending split evenly across defense and non-defense programs. The other half would come by way of new revenue raised.” 

Even when a deal is reached regarding sequestration we will still see significant reductions in funding that will have big implications for our region. These reductions could have far reaching impacts to workforce, infrastructure, and research.  In the days ahead we will continue to provide you with the best and most up-to-date analysis we can on what all this will mean for our economy. In the meantime, we wanted to remind you all of the layoff support and aversion services that EDC, Manpower, San Diego Workforce Partnership and all of the sub-regional EDCs (North, South and East) can provide to companies that are faced with staffing reductions.  All of these services are free to the business community and are available year-round.

For any companies you may know of that are currently filing WARN notices, informing staff of possible layoffs and/or in the midst of downsizing, please forward them to our website to learn more about the Rapid Response services available to them.

In all ways we look forward to a strong and productive 2013 for our region. Together, by being informed and prepared, we can stand strong in minimizing the impact of sequestration to our economy and in developing new plans for job creation, industry growth and economic prosperity.

December 12, 2012

We are excited to share San Diego Regional EDC’s new website and approach to positioning the region within the global economy as a magnet for investment, talent and innovation.
 
Based on your feedback, we focused on the “big picture,” highlighting the unparalleled beauty and assets of our bi-national mega-region and its key economic drivers – Innovation, Military and Tourism.
 
If you’re reading this post, you’ve already found the website (and the Big Picture San Diego”  blog)! I invite you to look around for  more information about the region, key industries and San Diego Regional EDC services and programs. Please feel free to use these new resources as a tool to promote your company and San Diego’s unique business ecosystem.
 
As always, we appreciate your continued support and look forward to working with you in the coming year as we work to maximize the region’s economic prosperity and global competitiveness.
 
Mark Cafferty
President & CEO
 
 
December 1, 2012

The goal of Big Picture San Diego is to expand the understanding of economic development and highlight the innovative ways in which the San Diego community is coming together to build a stronger region for the benefit of all of its residents.

There’s a lot being written and discussed about the future of the San Diego region. Big Picture San Diego is an attempt to synthesize information about what’s going on in the region with commentary on how current events and policies affect San Diego’s ability to grow and prosper. Here’s a broad definition of economic development from Business Exchange, a Bloomberg blog:

“Economic development is the development of wealth in countries or regions for the wellbeing of their citizens. From a policy perspective, economic development is any effort that seeks to improve the economic wellbeing and quality of life for a community by creating and/or retaining jobs and supporting (or growing) incomes.”

At EDC, we feel that the true definition of economic development is reflected in our mission: To maximize our region’s economic prosperity and global competitiveness. We believe that this is best accomplished through thoughtful collaboration and open communication. As we build the blog, the hope is to offer good working examples of economic development and start a new conversation about how San Diego can best use its unique assets to grow jobs and the economy.

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November 30, 2012

There was little suspense about the topics when U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein spoke to a group of business and community leaders recently. Both the Senator and her audience are well aware of the pressing federal issues facing California and the rest of the country. Feinstein came prepared with exhibits to illustrate the changes in spending and revenues between 2001 and 2012 and projected federal outlays for 2012. From 2001 to 2012, defense and war spending increased 64 percent, while tax revenues declined 13 percent. Mandated federal outlays in 2012 (entitlements and interest on the national debt) account for 64 percent of federal expenditures.

These figures would be sobering facts in any situation, but the looming threat of sequestration makes the current budget woes seem to pale in comparison. Feinstein has been working with Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics to develop a compromise approach that would enact half the cuts (approximately $109 billion) and reduce the projected impact on GDP from three percent to one percent of GDP. She compared the current plan to using a hard cleaver that would throw the U.S. back into recession. Feinstein is advocating for a more targeted approach that she likened to using a scalpel rather than a meat ax.

As part of the Senator’s visit to San Diego, she also met in a small group with leaders from the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, CONNECT, San Diego Regional EDC and other local organizations. The briefing included an update on the progress of the Cali Baja Bi-National Mega-Region initiative, initially funded with an Economic Development Administration grant. Feinstein must have been impressed because she said she would like to come back to see more of the mega-region, including a first-ever official visit to Mexico.

Senator Feinstein recognized San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, saying he had accomplished much in his time in office. She also had high praise for the sponsoring groups – EDC, the Chamber and CONNECT – saying that the fact that these groups work together for the region is one of the reasons San Diego has been so successful. Her closing comment was that she rated the San Diego business community AAA+++…