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The Big Picture San Diego Blog


Talent Q1 2017

March 1, 2017
Authored by Nathan Loveland, economic development intern, PLNU student and U.S. Coast Guard veteran
 
Because San Diego is home to the largest federal military workforce in the country, it is critical that we routinely make efforts to assist service members taking the leap of faith to transition into civilian life. That’s why in February, EDC partnered with University of San Diego’s Graduate School of Business to host the military transition event, Link2 Defense. The event served to connect transitioning military members to local defense contractors and shed light on the job opportunities available across San Diego. 
 
Representatives from local companies General Dynamics NASSCO, ESET, ViaSat, Qualcomm, Sentek, Northrop Grumman and Cubic shared information on company-specific programming for veterans, while some – veterans themselves – shared insight about their transition into civilian careers. Moderated by USD School of Business Executive Director Stath Karras and zero8hundred CEO Sean Mahoney, the back-to-back panel discussions addressed topics including resume building, job hunting and converting military specific jobs/skills into civilian equivalent work.
 
As an economics student at PLNU, an intern for EDC and a U.S. Coast Guard veteran, I attended Link2 Defense to continue to hone in on my skills as I further my education and pursue a civilian career. 
 
The event was top notch. Representatives from USD gave valuable insight on how maximize VA education benefits in multiple ways. In addition to the panel sessions, the event included small group breakout sessions covering topics like resume building hosted by Manpower, techniques for job hunting and salary negotiation. I attended the salary negotiations seminar and look forward to using these tactics in my future job hunt – Look out, future employer. 
 
After attending Link2, I feel extremely confident in my decision to transition from the military to purse my education and career in the San Diego region. I feel the opportunities provided to San Diego’s veterans are superior in comparison to other cities I’ve lived. 
 
February 9, 2017

If you build it, they will come…”  This mantra was true of the Field of Dreams, and now of San Diego’s burgeoning tech ecosystem.

Together with 35 of San Diego's best and biggest tech companies, Innovate78 representatives joined the San Diego Venture Group's Tacos + Tech in Silicon Valley last week. The event – appropriately held at the Computer History Museum – played host to more than 700 curious Bay Area engineers and programmers, and served to showcase the high-tech jobs and opportunities available across San Diego.

With a special focus on attracting Bay Area engineers, North County companies like ViaSat, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Verve, as well as other San Diego companies like Illumina, Dexcom, ResMed, Qualcomm, Human Longevity, Cubic, Hired and LoanHero set up shop at the job fair-like event. Company recruiters spoke to San Diego as the alternative to Northern California’s congested traffic, high cost of living, hyper-competitive workforce culture and other issues plaguing the region.

As a proud sponsor, the EDC-led economic development initiative Innovate78 represented North County at a booth, with leaders from the five cities along the 78 Corridor – Carlsbad, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos and Vista – at the helm. Conversations with attendees ranged from North County housing costs to the growing tech sector, to the many breweries that make up the ‘Hops Highway’ – one of the primary booths highlighting the region's lifestyle.

While many attendees admitted connection to San Diego through family, school or dream vacations, it seemed as though the region’s tech ecosystem – which employs nearly 69,000 people – has flown under the radar. Tacos + Tech provided a platform for some of San Diego County’s top employers and innovators to attract Bay Area talent through simply sharing San Diego's reality: a broad diversity of career opportunity mixed with a top-tier quality of life (and, of course, tacos and beer). For decades, San Diego has built this ecosystem, and now…the talent will most certainly come.

Tacos + Tech comes on the heels of SDVG's Beachhead launch, a coworking space for San Diego entrepreneurs working out of Silicon Valley.