Advancing San Diego

Advancing San Diego is a collaborative effort to better prepare San Diegans for quality jobs via locally-serving education institutions and expand access to diverse, qualified talent for San Diego companies.

Advancing San Diego is helping the region meet its inclusive growth goals by strengthening relationships between local industry and education systems. Better alignment between these systems will mean that the region can collectively prepare San Diegans for high-demand jobs, and local employers – many of which are small companies – can establish or expand recruitment relationships with locally-serving institutions.

Advancing San Diego is funded by
JPMorgan Chase

Program wins to date


companies across 6 industry working groups to identify job skills requirements


programs across the region named Verified Programs of Talent


of the 130 interns placed are priority students*


of the 95 intern host companies are WMVD-owned**

*Priority students = first generation, community college, HS students in low income area
**WMVD = woman-, person of color-, veteran-, or disabled-owned

How we do it:

  • Gather job skills requirements through employer working groups
  • Share insights with education partners and publicly recognize programs as industry-approved Verified Programs of talent (formerly called ‘Preferred Providers’)
  • Build a network of locally-serving Verified Programs and connect companies to students of those programs, including fully-subsidized internships for small companies

Why we do it:

San Diego’s innovation economy has experienced tremendous growth over the last decade, yet many San Diegans have not benefited from that growth. Advancements in technology are rapidly changing the way we work, and going forward the innovation economy will rely on a diverse pool of qualified, local talent to remain competitive. This requires a concerted effort by economic and workforce development, industry, and education partners who all play a role in ensuring our local population is trained for, and has access to, quality job opportunities.

get involved:


Companies rely on local talent

Education Providers

Institutions train future talent

Small Companies

Startups have highest need for talent

Employers consistently site access to talent as a key challenge facing their business and play an important role in strengthening the local talent pipeline. Through Advancing San Diego, employers can share insight about how skills are changing in their field, help identify Verified Programs of talent, and learn more about and connect with San Diego’s local education system and the diverse student body it serves. Learn more and get involved


Check out our network of Verified Programs

Our network of employer-vetted training programs are a great pace to begin your recruiting journey.


San Diego is proud to be home to five universities, nine community colleges, and a variety of non-traditional training and certificate programs who train hundreds of thousands of students across the region. Advancing San Diego supports the region’s education system by gathering industry insight and strengthening connections to employers. Learn more and get involved

Ninety-eight percent of companies in San Diego have less than 100 employees, and those companies employ 60 percent of our local workforce. Often times, smaller companies face barriers (like time and resources) in connecting with and hiring local talent. Through Advancing San Diego, we will provide up to 100 San Diego-based companies with paid interns in the fields of software, engineering, and business, among others. Learn more and get involved

Of the interns placed so far:

  • Ninety-one percent are first generation, community college, or high school students in low income areas;
  • Twenty-seven percent of students are Black, Latinx, or Native American; and
  • At least five have been hired on full-time.

The catalyst:

In 2019, San Diego was selected as one of five cities to receive a $3 million investment as part of JPMorgan Chase’s AdvancingCities Challenge, an initiative to drive inclusive growth and create greater economic opportunity across the U.S. Advancing San Diego, led by EDC, is a collaboration between San Diego Workforce Partnership, San Diego Imperial County Community College Association, the City of San Diego, and United Way of San Diego.

For specific opportunities to get involved, submit this form or contact:

Taylor Dunne
Taylor Dunne

Sr. Manager, Talent Initiatives

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