Skip to Content
The Big Picture San Diego Blog

May 2015

May 29, 2015

Earlier this week, the Brookings Institution published The 10 Lessons from Global Trade and Investment Planning in U.S. Metro Areas.

As one of the pilot cities in the development of a trade and investment plan, San Diego has learned a lot about itself in its ability to better compete globally. Below are the lessons learned:


(1) The primary benefit of global trade and investment is increased competitiveness, not quick jobs.

There is a reason the goal of the Go Global initiative is to maximize San Diego’s global competitiveness and prosperity through increased global engagement: increasing exports and attracting foreign investment (FDI) take time. Once a company decides to go global and export, it takes the firm 18 months on average to finally get its product abroad. 


(2) The most important firms are the ones you already have.

When more than 98 percent of the national job growth comes from startups and business expansions, it’s hard to ignore San Diego’s most important assets – its own companies.  When Takeda Pharmaceuticals, one of the oldest and largest companies in Japan, decided to condense its West Coast operations, it chose San Diego – closing the San Francisco office and moving those jobs into the region. 



(3) FDI and exports are closely linked.

Innovation-based industries that export San Diego’s leading products and services are also the drivers of FDI into the region. Reinforcing this relationship, FDI in these industries has catalyzed international exports as parent companies open new markets for San Diego establishments.  Aerospace products, pharmaceuticals, communications equipment, and semiconductors – all of which are strong exporting industries and large sources of FDI. 


(4) Leading with real specializations opens doors for firms.

Case in point: Go Global San Diego Strategy 4, Tactic 5: Reinforce research institutions leading innovation. Leading with San Diego’s premier research institutions will enable the spillover effects these institutions create – starting new companies and growing jobs. Hybritech, San Diego’s first biotech company, was co-founded by two professors from UC San Diego. Since then, UC San Diego’s faculty, staff, and students have founded more than 640 companies. 

“Our location is key for collaboration and talent recruitment with institutions like UCSD and Scripps. These assets make San Diego an attractive place for foreign firms to establish U.S. beachheads.” – San Diego pharmaceutical company                                                


(5) The middle market offers outsized opportunities.

EDC’s MetroConnect prize, funded by JPMorgan Chase, will assist small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in their ability to go global. SMEs represent more than 99 percent of businesses in the region and are responsible for much of the innovation and job creation activity that propels our economy. The success of these firms is critical to the region’s future, and increasing their global reach is crucial to that success.


(6) Mergers and acquisitions are the dominant form of FDI.

Of the FDI that came to San Diego between 1991 and 2011, 60 percent did so through M&A activity. This represents more than 72,600 jobs that transferred from domestic to foreign ownership. Post-acquisition, some of these companies continue to grow. Althea Technologies, acquired by Japanese food and chemical company Ajinomoto, has had access to new markets and new capital previously unseen by the company, growing by more than 20 percent since its acquisition.


(7) Global engagement must be a demonstrated priority.

Focus on high impact trade missions. Implement a global identity campaign. Build a proactive protocol network of civic and business organizations. Retain and attract international flight routes to key markets.

One thing these tactics have in common is that organizations throughout San Diego must have a mindset and culture that is global in nature. Having one organization carry the weight of interacting with global players is a lot of work. Having a network of organizations that work together in attracting new flights, execute trade missions, and implement a global identity ensures San Diego can reap the benefits of global connectivity. 


(8) Global commerce is driven by relationships and networks.

San Diego is one of the most active binational cross-border regions in the world. Global trends are making Mexico, and Baja California in particular, an increasingly favorable location for manufacturing. Their proximity to San Diego gives our region a clear competitive advantage.


(9) Metro areas are unsure of how to harness emerging forms of global capital.

When it comes to global patent intensity, San Diego ranks third, yet when compared to U.S. cities, it ranks a distant eighth in terms of the amount of venture capital activity in the region. Because of this, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, research institutions, and a whole host of other entities are increasingly looking to alternative sources of capital – EB-5, limited partners, sovereign wealth funds, corporate partnerships. Finding ways to leverage these resources can help bridge these capital gaps. 


(10) Competing on a global scale requires that metros intensify efforts on other critical economic issues.

“Workforce and infrastructure have consistently surfaced as the two issues that are increasingly threatening the competitiveness of companies and regions.” Feeding talent to companies and releasing the bottleneck from inefficient infrastructure can improve economic competitiveness and help grow the economy. Hence why the Link2 series, activating alumni networks, and modernizing key infrastructure assets are all key tactics of the Go Global San Diego initiative.


May 22, 2015


Download a printable version

“San Diego’s unemployment rate is the lowest in nearly eight years as tens of thousands of San Diegans are finding jobs thanks to steady economic growth. We are seeing fewer unemployment claims as thousands return to the labor force.”

Phil Blair, President and CEO
Manpower San Diego

Highlights image

This post is part of an ongoing monthly series dedicated to the California Employment Development Department (EDD) monthly employment release and is brought to you by Manpower. Click images to enlarge in a new tab/window.

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) released statewide county employment data today for the April 2015 period. This month’s data shows that unemployment continued to fall in April, as the economy continued to grow at a steady rate.

The unemployment rate fell below 5 percent for the first time since December 2007 and it is the lowest it has been since June 2007. At 4.8 percent, the rate is 1.3 points lower than the previous year and 0.3 points lower than the previous month. The U.S. and California average rates also fell substantially to 5.1 percent and 6.1 percent respectively.


Unemployment fell so sharply from March to April because the labor force fell by 3,200 and unemployment claims fell by 4,900. While it is concerning that the labor force fell over the monthly period, it isn’t uncommon for the period due to seasonal forces. More importantly, the labor force increased by 17,400 and unemployment claims decreased by 18,900 from April 2014 to April 2015.

When looking at monthly or seasonal employment, San Diego County employers added 4,900 jobs from March to April. Goods-producers like construction and manufacturing experienced slight seasonal decline, while tourism and health care accounted for nearly all of the seasonal growth.

From a year-to-year or non-seasonal perspective, NFE_04_15 the region’s economy continued to grow around 3.0 percent, adding 38,300 jobs from April 2014 to April 2015. The year-to-year growth rate has been consistently above the 2014 annual average of 2.2 percent. So far in 2015, that annual average is at 3.1 through April.

The private sector economy accounted for 93.6 percent of the year-to-year job growth and grew by 3.4 percent. This rate also outpaced the U.S. growth rate, which was 2.6 percent over that same period. This job growth continued to be fueled by key sectors. Construction grew by 5.3 percent and added 3,300 jobs, despite a mild seasonal decline. One of the region’s key manufacturing sectors ship and boat building grew by 18.6 percent and added 1,100 jobs. However, manufacturing growth continued to grow at a slow pace of 1.8 percent, which remains a concern given the importance of the industry to the region’s economy.

Innovation service sectors have continued to show high job growth through 2015. The professional, scientific and technical services (PST) sector grew by 6.39 percent year-to-year, PST_04_15and accounted for approximately one-fifth of the annual job growth. This sector represents many of our innovation employers. More specifically, scientific research and development services, a subsector of PST that represents many cleantech and life science companies, grew by 5.26 percent since last March.

The region’s tourism continued to show high year-to-year growth as well. The leisure and hospitality industry added 6,500 jobs over that period, which is about 3.72 percent growth. Food service and drinking places accounted for 6,500 of those jobs. Health care services experienced high seasonal and non-seasonal growth. Education & Health services added 400 jobs from March to April and 5,900 jobs since the previous year.


The April labor market report continued to show positive indicators about the health of our regional economy. The unemployment rate fell below five percent for the first time since 2007. There remains concern about the slow return of the labor force from year-to-year since the recession, but unemployment claims are consistently falling and firms are steadily adding jobs. Growth remains concentrated in our traded economy sectors and in middle-wage industries like health care and construction. It will be interesting to see if this steady growth encourages greater labor force participation in the coming months.

Note: Our Economic Indicators Dashboard will show how our unemployment rate compares to other US metros and the US total rate when that information is released in the coming weeks.


May 22, 2015

This past week, EDC traveled across the Pacific - by way of our direct JAL flight -  to release the National Geographic documentary in one of San Diego’s largest international trade and investment cities: Tokyo.

Tokyo based companies employ more than 6,300 people in San Diego, ranking as the largest source of foreign employment. When looking at advanced industries, these companies primarily invest in audio and video equipment manufacturing, semiconductor manufacturing, and medical equipment and supplies manufacturing. According to the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), companies that fall into these industries reported they will record a surplus in business profit in 2014 – a positive sign for San Diegans employed by these very same companies and our economy.

As part of the trade missions, EDC met with Japanese companies and organizations which have San Diego ties in order to strengthen relationships and learn more about specific challenges they face.

Day 1

EDC, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, San Diego Tourism Authority, and Supervisor Ron Roberts met with Japan Airlines. The Airport gave an impressive update to JAL, stating that the flight has been very successful since the launch. The Airport, along with the other delegates, impressed upon JAL that the direct flight between San Diego – Tokyo is among the most important for the region, continuing to strengthen the business ties and drive investment into the respective regions.

JAL team along with the Airport, Supervisor Ron Roberts, EDC, and SDTA

EDC met with the U.S.-Japan Embassy following the JAL meeting. This meeting served as an important connection for San Diego, as many of the Embassy staff in Japan focus on industries important to the region – aerospace, life sciences, cybersecurity and defense. Having Embassy staff understand the strengths and assets of San Diego help to build a bigger and better portfolio for staff, especially when they are meeting with companies important to the region.

Day 1 concluded with a dinner at the American Club in Tokyo. JPMorgan Chase sent their commercial industry representative, Mr. Satoshi Yamamoto, who gave an overview of the Tokyo economy and companies that are and will be important to San Diego.

Day 2
Day 2 began with a 2 hour ride to Takeda Pharmaceuticals in Kanagawa. As one of the largest pharmaceuticals companies in the world, and the largest in Japan with more than 3 million employees worldwide, Takeda is one of San Diego’s most important companies. After consolidating the San Francisco office into San Diego, more than half of all research and development now occurs in San Diego.

Following the morning’s meeting with Takeda, EDC participated in a lunch with Al Pisano, Dean of UC San Diego’s Jacobs Schools of Engineering, and UC San Diego alumni located in Tokyo. The lunch proved to showcase the many interesting and important people UC San Diego brings through its campus – with alumni working on robotics to running their own business in Tokyo.

After lunch it was off to San Diego’s iconic example of how an acquisition can be extremely beneficial to the success and profitability of a company; Ajinomoto. Ajinomoto acquired Althea Technologies in 2013. Since then, Althea has proved a successful venture for Ajinomoto – forging a strong pathway for the company’s expansion into the healthcare sector.

Ajinomoto’s Dr. Osamu Kurahashi and Masahiko Oshimura with EDC’s Mark Cafferty and Lauree Sahba

Good thing regenerative medicine is becoming a focus in Japan, because San Diego has plenty of resources to go around. Whiz Partners, a private equity firm located in Tokyo, helped bring insight into what funds in Japan are focusing on and what companies in the near future will look for.

Mark Cafferty presenting on San Diego’s economy to Tokyo business leaders
Mark Cafferty presenting on San Diego’s economy to Tokyo business leaders

The evening’s activities began with the Jacobs School of Engineering seminar. Dean Pisano gave a presentation about some of the incredible research being undertaken at the university – from microchip processors that are small enough to be a patch to monitor a premature baby’s vitals to technology around a smart grid, analyzing data to improve and streamline energy use on campus.

The premiere hosted more than 140 Japanese business leaders – including executives from Toray to Toshiba to JAL to Panasonic.

UCSD alumni attending the premiere

Overflow room for Nat Geo Premiere

Day 3
The final day of the trip EDC met with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). JETRO acts as the commercial service office for the country of Japan. They annually dispatch companies to the west coast from the gaming, tech, and life science industry. JETRO has an amazing incubator for foreign businesses. Any foreign business who wishes to do business in Japan, JETRO has a one-stop shop where business can lease space in an office which houses a representative from every branch of government in order to expedite the formation of their business.

Special thanks to all of the support from the delegates who traveled to Japan to strengthen San Diego’s connections to Tokyo and Japan – SeaWorld, Qualcomm, San Diego Tourism Authority, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, Port of San Diego, County Supervisor Ron Roberts, and UC San Diego. We look forward to hosting more missions to the Land of the Rising Sun.

Lastly, what would a trade mission to Japan be without a trip to a ballgame?



May 21, 2015

It's no coincidence that a region such as San Diego, with some of the best weather in the country, is also one of the most fit regions in the country.

San Diego ranked third in the 'fittest cities' category in the American Fitness Index released Tuesday. The index is released by the American College of Sports Medicine and the Anthem Foundation.

Since 2009, the region has increased its ranking on this list considerably; in 2012, San Diego found itself on the 12th spot in the annual ranking. Improvements in areas such as "per capita farmers markets" and "percent of residents with asthma" have led to 2015's number three ranking.

An active region doesn't just impact the health of its citizens, but also, the health of its economy. San Diego's weather, innovative sprit and fit lifestyle have spawned a strong sports & active lifestyle industry - the second largest in the US according to a study EDC and partners released in October 2013.

For report methodology, click here...

For a breakdown of San Diego indicators, click here...

May 19, 2015

Point Loma Nazarene LogoSan Diego Regional EDC’s Annual Dinner will be held on June 4, 2015 at Sea World San Diego. Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) is once again serving as the underwriter for this year’s 50th Anniversary celebration.

We sat down with PLNU president, and EDC board member, Dr. Bob Brower to learn more about PLNU and what’s in store for the future - as they work together with the region’s other universities, to help develop San Diego’s next generation of leaders.

1) Tell us about PLNU.

Founded in Pasadena, California in 1902, PLNU moved to Point Loma in 1973 with 1,000 students. Since coming to San Diego, PLNU has experienced unprecedented institutional growth and development alongside the rapidly growing San Diego region. Today we serve over 3,600 students at our residential campus in Point Loma, in regional centers across Southern California and online.

As a liberal arts institution, PLNU is known for being forward-thinking. At PLNU, academics, faith, and community are all vital. Students benefit from this balanced approach to education and leave PLNU prepared to think, act, and contribute to San Diego and the world.  During our four decades in San Diego we have become an institution known for excellence in academic preparation, wholeness in personal development, and faithfulness to mission.

2) Ensuring San Diego has a steady stream of talented university grads is essential to our regional competitiveness strategy. What are some of the advantages to having your university located in San Diego?

It is the accessible and collaborative character of our region that provides an unparalleled advantage to our students and compels PLNU to remain invested in San Diego.

Dr. Brower on why PLNU thrives in SD

Our students benefit from a region that is invested in developing talent to compete on the world stage - while maintaining a distinctly regional focus. Furthermore, the collaborative relationships that exist among San Diego’s robust and diverse higher education and business communities further affirms our respective institutions’ commitment to educational quality for the benefit of our students and the future of San Diego.

Through faculty leadership and community support, our students and alumni actively contribute to regional dialogue and potential solutions on a variety of issues. PLNU’s Fermanian Business and Economic Institute is actively informing local economic policy in the areas of housing affordability, military economic impact and homelessness. The Center for Justice and Reconciliation at PLNU serves as a regional convener of local law enforcement, nonprofit agencies and policy makers in the continued campaign against human trafficking in San Diego. Our Institute for Politics and Public Service, through the Malin Burnham Center for Civic Engagement, is engaged in the study and practice of civil discourse together with the promotion of the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes. School of Nursing faculty and students are invested in the community of City Heights through PLNU’s Health Promotion Center, providing health education, screening and access to care.

3) What do you anticipate for PLNU in the next 5 years?

Steven Mintz, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education, explained more than two years ago that “higher education is now in a revolution of change.” American colleges and universities are experiencing the most rapid and dramatic changes in history – PLNU is no exception.

Preparing students as effective leaders in a rapidly changing world is not a new calling for PLNU; it is the foundation of our history and work. For generations, PLNU has developed students deep in conviction and life skills who were academically well prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities of their day.

In effort to support this development, PLNU will celebrate the completion of our new science complex this summer. With nearly 40 percent of PLNU’s undergraduate students majoring in one of the STEM-related disciplines, this much-needed facility reflects the quality of our faculty and students, further strengthening the undergraduate research programs which offer students the ability to conduct faculty mentored research. This hallmark of the undergraduate science experience at PLNU produces graduates ready for future doctoral research and equipped to serve in San Diego’s life science and high tech clusters – but it is not unique to the STEM disciplines.  As in the past, we will continue to develop critical and ethical thinkers equipped to meet San Diego’s workforce needs in the STEM, humanities and business fields.

PLNU remains focused on strengthening and expanding our distinctive learning community and enhancing our ability to respond proactively to the dynamic environment of higher education and the San Diego region. We continue to develop strategies and programs for degree access beyond the traditional, residential campus. Whether through new hybrid and online programs in advanced studies or adult degree completion, or baccalaureate partnerships with the region’s community colleges, we strive to serve new populations of students, thus allowing PLNU to further meet the workforce development needs in our region and prepare effective leaders who impact San Diego and the world.

4) What do you anticipate for the San Diego region?

As a region, San Diego is not immune to change. Building upon a unique culture of creativity and collaboration, San Diego has - and will continue to - distinguish itself as a leader in innovation, defense, healthcare, and tourism sectors. This necessitates the training and development of human capital in a variety of ways to better meet San Diego’s current and future workforce needs.

May 18, 2015


We all have to start our career somewhere. And that ‘somewhere,’ whether it’s running the local paper route or dipping cones at the local ice cream shop, has a strong impact on the rest of our careers. While these first jobs may not uncover one’s lifelong passion, they often do translate into invaluable skills you carry with you for the rest of your career.

That’s one reason why CONNECT2Careers (C2C), a youth summer employment initiative administered by the San Diego Workforce Partnership (SDWP), has launched the #MyFirstJobSD video campaign. To raise awareness for the need to increase youth employment in San Diego, C2C asked a number of prominent San Diegans to reminisce about their first job—what it was, what it taught them and what advice they would give their younger selves. The result is a series of short, inspiring #MyFirstJobSD videos. Featured San Diegans include Mayor Kevin Faulconer, NBC 7 anchor Marianne Kushi, San Diego Regional Chamber CEO Jerry Sanders, and State Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins. New videos will continue to be released through June.

“The #MyFirstJobSD campaign is meant to remind us what our first job meant to us and encourage the opening of doors to our future workforce,” says Peter Callstrom, CEO of SDWP. “Summer employment through C2C is a great way to gain experience and for employers to invest in the up-and-coming talent pool.”

C2C encourages San Diegans to use social media to spread the word about the #MyFirstJobSD campaign, share your first job story using the hashtag, ask others what their first job was, and keep the conversation going. 

May 13, 2015

Duane Roth Renaissance Award

San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation is pleased to announce the 2015 recipient of the Duane Roth Renaissance Award. This award celebrates the memory of a beloved community leader who tirelessly championed our innovation eco-system and reframed how we view our region’s economic diversity.   This award is presented to an organization for creating outstanding inventions, innovations or breakthroughs that have changed and improved the world around us. 

We are honored to announce ViaSat. as the 2015 Honoree of the Duane Roth Renaissance Award.

ViaSat specializes in engineering creative ways to connect people to communications applications that improve their productivity, quality of life – and even safety – when terrestrial networks are not practical, cost effective, or able to provide high-quality service. ViaSat is one of our region’s premier companies headquartered in Carlsbad employing more than 3,300 employees. In addition to providing the world’s highest capacity satellite, ViaSat is very involved in the community giving their time, talent and treasure to numerous non-profits in our community. ViaSat is a leader both in their technology and community service.

Please join us on June 4, 2015 as we celebrate ViaSat Inc. and their incredible achievements in connecting the world with better communications technology!

Register Today!

The 2015 Duane Roth Renaissance Award is generously sponsored by


May 8, 2015

Recently, EDC released its March Manpower Monthly Employment Report. Since then, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released March employment data on all U.S. metros, which allows us to analyze some key indicators across geographies. Click on images to enlarge in a new window/tab.


  • At 5.1 percent, San Diego’s unemployment rate ranked 11th among the 25 most populous U.S. metros.
  • From March 2014 to March 2015, San Diego's unemployment rate fell by -2.0 percentage points, which ranked 3rd.
  • San Diego's total employment grew by 3.1 percent from March 2014 to March 2015, which ranked 10th.
  • San Diego's employment in professional, scientific and technical services (PST) grew by 7.2 percentwhich ranked 3rd.
  • Manufacturing in San Diego grew by 1.5 percent from the previous year, the 9th highest growth rate.

[Unmployment Chart]

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released employment data for the March 2015 period for all U.S. metro areas. At 5.1 percent, San Diego County’s unemployment rate fell by 2.0 points from this time last year. This was the 3rd largest drop in the nation, among the 25 most populous U.S. metros. That fall brought San Diego's rank to 11th among major U.S. metros and placed it below the U.S. overall rate of 5.6 percent.  

[Employment Chart]

When looking at employment growth, San Diego was above the national average. From March 2014 to March 2015, the region's employment grew by 3.1 percent, which ranked 10th among the 25 most populous U.S. metros. The U.S. average growth rate was at only 2.3 percent. San Diego has consistently outpaced U.S. employment growth this year and has been among the top 10 competitive metros in the nation.

[PST Chart]

San Diego's innovation economy is largely driving the region's growth. The region is outpacing nearly all other major metros in professional, scientific and technical services (PST) growth. PST is a sector of the economy very heavily associated with the region's innovation clusters. Much of the companies and employment in clusters like biotechnology, biomedical products, cleantech and information technology fall within the PST sector. Employment in the region's PST sector grew by 7.2 percent since last March, the 3rd most out of any metro studied here. This figure was roughly double the U.S. average and only behind California peers San Francisco and Riverside, which is a positive sign for the state and region's key traded clusters.

[MFG Chart]

San Diego's manufacturing sector growth has slowed in recent months. Manufacturing is another key industry for growth in the region, not only because manufacturing jobs are accessible and pay well, but also because certain manufacturing subsectors are critical to the region's innovation clusters. From March 2014 to March 2015, manufacturing employment grew by only 1.5 percent. San Diego's manufacturing employment growth was just below the U.S. rate of 1.6 percent. The region recorded the 9th highest growth rate among major U.S. metros. Clearly, manufacturing has slowed in most major metros across the U.S. outside of Detroit, Denver and Portland, so this is not a sign unique to San Diego. However, it will remain important to track manufacturing in the coming months to see if growth accelerates.

While overall employment growth and growth in our manufacturing sector weren't comparatively stellar, the region's economy is still generally tracking well above the U.S. average and many of its peers. Unemployment is lower than average and experienced one of the largest annual drops in the nation. Meanwhile, our PST industry continues to be among the fastest growing in the nation.

EDC will be releasing the Manpower Employment Report with April 2015 data for San Diego on Friday, May 15thThank you to Manpower-SD for their ongoing support of EDC's employment trends research.

May 7, 2015

Ebsta Offices in London

App integrator Ebsta knows a thing or two about building relationships; it’s what they do. Much like its CRM technologies enable businesses to take a holistic, multi-faceted look at their customer base,  Ebsta has made a concerted decision to choose San Diego over other regions such as Silicon Valley for a myriad of reasons. Headquartered in London, Ebsta commands a presence of more than 30,000 users and over 7,000 companies drive Salesforce adoption with its products, including Amazon, Evernote, and Lenovo.

While in London this past week, members from the San Diego delegation visited with Ebsta, and many other companies with strong San Diego ties, in order to learn about how San Diego can support its international success. The demand for its product is growing fast, and as Ebsta looks to add to its 15 person team, they have made it clear that they are looking to do so stateside – potentially running the entire commercial business out of San Diego.

So why did Ebsta choose San Diego to expand its operations in the first place? The answer involves more than just sunshine. “Smart startups are always ahead of the curve. San Diego is where it’s going to happen next,” said Bernhard Peters, vice president of sales, who moved from London to start the San Diego office. “Not only is the talent pool here immense, but we felt that in San Diego, we would be more than just a number.”

Beyond the region’s depth of talent resources, British Airways’ direct flight to London has allowed Ebsta to seamlessly run operations on two separate continents.  Additionally, while many companies would view the time difference as an operational red flag, particularly for a small company, Peters doesn’t quite see it that way.

England based companies jobsThe SMEs that thrive are the ones that adopt a global mindset. Not only do our two locations allow us to increase our operational hours, but they give us increased market entry points and access to potential capital,said Peters.

Ebsta’s investment in San Diego provides a prevailing example of how foreign direct investment (FDI) can benefit cities and regions. These companies invest more in innovation, making them a magnet for capital. While FDI is responsible for 5 percent of employment in the San Diego region, it accounts for nearly 19 percent  of corporate R&D and 15 percent of capital investment.  

As the second largest investors in San Diego, London plays a key role in our region’s long-term economic strategy.  London-based companies and investments are responsible for more than 5,900 jobs in our region. Along with Ebsta, some other London-based companies with operations in San Diego include BAE Systems, Cobham, GlaxoSmithKline and Mirum.

Despite the pressure on new tech startups to invest in legacy tech hubs, Ebsta knows the proof is in the pudding; San Diego offers an innovative, vibrant atmosphere that few other places can match.

It’s safe to say, our investment in San Diego is paying off.

May 7, 2015

Herb Klein Civic Leadership Award

San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation is pleased to announce Gary and Mary West as the 2015 Honorees of the Herb Klein Civic Leadership Award. EDC honors individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in addressing challenges and making significant contributions to improving San Diego.

2015 Honorees Gary and Mary West

Gary and Mary West are two of the most generous philanthropists and entrepreneurs in our region. The Wests have called San Diego their home since 2006 and have created and funded some of the most innovative charitable causes in our community. Gary and Mary’s greatest passions are improving care for our nation’s seniors and transforming healthcare delivery for all Americans, and they have committed tremendous resources to those causes locally.

In 2006, they established the Gary and Mary West Foundation, the second largest private foundation in San Diego. Through their philanthropy, the Wests have had a positive impact on disadvantaged seniors through organizations like Serving Seniors and their flagship Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center, which is now hailed as an international model for successful aging. The new facility brings more than 20 non-profit organizations under one roof to provide critical social services to nearly 600 seniors a day in Downtown San Diego. Gary and Mary also actively support organizations such as Meals-on-Wheels Greater San Diego, Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Canine Companions for Independence, the Challenge Center, the San Diego Public Library Foundation, Paws’itive Teams, Access to Independence and the San Diego Police Foundation.

Their dedication to lowering the cost of healthcare led to the 2009 formation of what is now known as the West Health Institute. It’s an independent, nonprofit medical research organization pioneering new and smarter technologies, policies and practices to make high-quality healthcare more affordable.  Knowing technology alone could not address the spending crisis in healthcare, they launched the non-partisan, Washington, D.C.-based West Health Policy Center in 2012 to help shape federal policy and regulations.

Gary and Mary’s most recent effort to reimagine healthcare delivery resulted in the Foundation launching the Center for Medical Interoperability, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving communications in our nation’s hospitals and healthcare systems for better safety, quality and affordability.

Throughout their careers, Gary and Mary have been dedicated to providing good jobs so that others may live the American Dream, and we are incredibly fortunate they have chosen to bring their entrepreneurial spirit and generous philanthropy to our region.

Please join us on June 4, 2015 as we celebrate Gary and Mary West and their extraordinary contributions to San Diego.

The 2015 Herb Klein Civic Leadership award is generously sponsored by: