San Diego’s Good News of the Week – January 21, 2022

Every week, ‘Good News of the Week’ features a curation of positive headlines from San Diego, delivered straight to your inbox. A blend of aggregated stories from San Diego’s most trusted news sources and original EDC-created content, GNOTW provides a comprehensive recap of the region’s best stories from the past week.

Get Good News of the Week in your inbox every Friday. → Sign up

For the week of January 21, 2022, here’s what we’re reading:

…and here are some opportunities we’re watching:

San Diego Biz Hub: Free digital services for small businesses

GoSite and EDC are still accepting applications for the San Diego Business Hub, which offers small, service-based businesses the full suite of GoSite products at no cost. SDbizhub.com is seeking applications from minority-, women-, veteran- and other historically economically under-resourced small business owners throughout San Diego County.

Apply Now


Additional resources:

Be in the know – sign up below to receive future editions of GNOTW.

Want to submit your event or news update to our weekly newsletter? Contact us for more information.

Candela Delucchi
Candela Delucchi

Coordinator, Marketing

San Diego’s Good News of the Week – January 14, 2022

Every week, ‘Good News of the Week’ features a curation of positive headlines from San Diego, delivered straight to your inbox. A blend of aggregated stories from San Diego’s most trusted news sources and original EDC-created content, GNOTW provides a comprehensive recap of the region’s best stories from the past week.

Get Good News of the Week in your inbox every Friday. → Sign up

For the week of January 14, 2022, here’s what we’re reading:

…and here are some opportunities we’re watching:

Save the date: EDC’s Annual Dinner

Save the date for EDC’s Annual Dinner 2022, which will again gather more than 900 business and community leaders for a night of celebration of our organization and region on June 9 in iconic Petco Park. Stay tuned for registration, program details, and award updates.

Interested in sponsoring? Contact Jennifer Storm.

Read More

EDC is hiring, join our team!

EDC is hiring a Research Manager / Sr. Manager with 3+ years of experience to analyze, synthesize, and visualize data to inform a diverse set of stakeholders and senior professionals from the region’s leading companies, nonprofits, and policy makers. EDC is also accepting applications for its Marketing and Communications internship.

Apply Now


Additional resources:

Be in the know – sign up below to receive future editions of GNOTW.

Want to submit your event or news update to our weekly newsletter? Contact us for more information.

Candela Delucchi
Candela Delucchi

Coordinator, Marketing

A note from Dr. Clarke

Like we do every year, our team spent the last few months of 2021 working with EDC’s executive committee, board, and investors to establish annual goals that are informed by current economic realities, led by employers, and have measurable outcomes that contribute to prosperity and competitiveness across the binational region. As San Diego emerges from a global pandemic to an economy full of contradictions—strong job growth, eye-watering VC numbers, and massive capital investment as well as widespread labor shortages, small business closures, and housing prices almost 30 percent higher than 2019—it is abundantly clear that smart economic development is inclusive economic development.

In 2021, EDC reframed our organizational goals around these fundamental building blocks of a strong economy—quality jobs, skilled talent, and thriving households—and committed to working with and through our investors to accelerate progress towards these Inclusive Growth goals. In 2022, resilience means connecting more people to innovation industries; competitiveness means more San Diegans have the skills the economy needs; and prosperity means that working families can afford to live here. Please find EDC’s 2022 goals outlined below.

JOBS

Goal: The region needs to create 50K quality small business jobs by 2030.

EDC will contribute to this goal in 2022 through:

  • Industry Insight: Track regional business sentiment and economic resilience via regular research publications, and complete AI industry series.
  • Business Services: Execute 250+ business expansion, attraction, and retention projects and support major mixed-use projects, leading to 5,000 quality jobs. Leverage the Life Sciences Task Force to establish a “one-stop-shop” framework for expansion support for Life Sciences industry and major development projects.
  • World Trade Center San Diego: Execute MetroConnect VI export accelerator program and expand the export Small Business Development Center to support 35+ export-ready companies, leading to $5M+ in new international sales. Enhance binational project support in priority industries.

TALENT

Goal: The region must create 20K degreed and credentialed workers per year by 2030.

EDC will contribute to this goal in 2022 through:

  • San Diego: Life. Changing.: Communicate opportunities for diverse, skilled talent in San Diego—especially to strategic competitive markets by enhancing Life Sciences recruiting tools.
  • Advancing San Diego: Maintain employer working groups and network of 40+ Preferred Providers for high-demand occupations, update and release regular talent demand reports, and place 80+ Healthcare and Life Sciences interns.

HOUSEHOLDS

Goal: The region must create 75K newly thriving households by 2030.

EDC will contribute to this goal in 2022 through:

  • Anchor Collaborative: Set shared regional procurement goals for region’s largest purchasers, identify $100 million in new small business spend, and create supplier navigation map.
  • Global Identity: Advance San Diego’s global agenda, support investments in critical infrastructure, and lead Mayoral Thriving Cities trade mission to international market.
  • Inclusive Growth: Create regional alignment on Inclusive Growth goals, launch downtown research and policy collaboration at UCSD’s Park & Market, and execute demonstration project on infrastructure needs.

EDC programs have real, measurable outcomes—supporting thousands of quality jobs, placing hundreds of interns and job seekers, and creating opportunities for millions of dollars of new contracts for small businesses. But ultimately, even the most driven and passionate team won’t substantially move the needle on these ambitious regional goals; we do not ourselves create jobs, train workers, draft policy, or build roads, high-rises, or housing. You do.

EDC can draft the roadmap, but you all—our region’s largest employers—are the only ones who will get us there, through working collaboratively and creatively to accelerate progress towards our regional 2030 goals. That is what “with and through” our investors means, and we at EDC can’t wait to get started.

– Nikia

READ EDC’S MONTHLY REPORT

READ EDC’S 2021 ANNUAL REPORT

SEE SAN DIEGO’S GOOD NEWS OF THE YEAR

San Diego’s Good News of the Week – January 7, 2022

Every week, ‘Good News of the Week’ features a curation of positive headlines from San Diego, delivered straight to your inbox. A blend of aggregated stories from San Diego’s most trusted news sources and original EDC-created content, GNOTW provides a comprehensive recap of the region’s best stories from the past week.

Get Good News of the Week in your inbox every Friday. → Sign up

For the week of January 7, 2022, here’s what we’re reading:

…and here are some opportunities we’re watching:

EDC’s 2021 Year in Review

This past year, EDC welcomed new team members, investors, and board members, adding momentum to the goals we set for 2030 that together create a platform for inclusive economic growth. We’ve taken stock of EDC’s most impactful work in 2021—made possible with and through all of you.

Read More

EDC is hiring, join our team!

EDC is hiring a Research Manager / Sr. Manager with 3+ years of experience to analyze, synthesize, and visualize data to inform a diverse set of stakeholders and senior professionals from the region’s leading companies, nonprofits, and policy makers. EDC is also accepting applications for its Marketing and Communications internship.

Apply Now


Additional resources:

Be in the know – sign up below to receive future editions of GNOTW.

Want to submit your event or news update to our weekly newsletter? Contact us for more information.

Candela Delucchi
Candela Delucchi

Coordinator, Marketing

EDC’s 2021 Year in Review

In many ways, 2021 felt like a whirlwind. With the remarkable wins powered by San Diego’s innovation and resilience coupled with the lingering impacts of the pandemic, it can be surprising how much has changed while so much felt the same. This year, EDC welcomed new team members, investors, and board members, adding momentum to the goals we set for 2030 that together create a platform for inclusive economic growth. The need to develop more quality jobs within our small businesses, more skilled workers, and more thriving households across San Diego is more imperative than ever before. As this year comes to an end, we’re taking stock of EDC’s most impactful work in 2021—made possible with and through all of you.

JOBS

High growth industries create quality jobs and enable economic mobility across our binational region. The 2030 inclusive growth goals require the region to create 50,000 quality small business jobs by 2030. In 2021, EDC jobs programs contributed to this goal by assisting companies of all sizes with expansion and retention, and by facilitating sustainable connections to customers and markets.

see how we helped businesses this year

 

TALENT

Skilled talent fuels the growth of the innovation economy. To keep up with anticipated growth, the 2030 inclusive growth goals require the region to create 20,000 degreed and credentialed workers per year by 2030. In 2021, EDC talent programs showcased the region’s opportunities, aligned education with industry needs, and increased diversity in high demand occupations.

  • With a focus on talent shortages and skills needed, as well as the changing demands of the region’s workforce, EDC’s Research Bureau published regular research publications including the Economic Snapshot and Data Bites; a five-part San Diego’s Changing Business Landscape series; and two Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning economic impact reports on key clusters Cybersecurity and Transportation. Read the full AI-ML series.
  • San Diego: Life. Changing. communicated opportunities for skilled talent in San Diego—especially to strategic competitive markets—by enhancing recruiting tools and profiling 160+ exciting opportunities in STEM fields. This year, San Diego: Life. Changing. begun pivoting its focus to primarily spotlight scientific breakthroughs and career opportunities at San Diego’s Life Sciences employers. The ‘Just Say No To Winter‘ campaign is currently targeting Life Sciences markets in New York City, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.
  • Together with a group of industry leaders, Advancing San Diego (ASD) designated Preferred Providers in Manufacturing and Healthcare, and released talent demand reports for the local Healthcare and Life Sciences industries. To help students build meaningful careers in local, high-demand jobs, ASD hosted its virtual Career Exploration Day and welcomed its Business and Manufacturing cohorts, pairing 48 student interns with 25 small companies.

Asd, employers identify highest regional talent needs

 

households

A competitive region is an affordable and accessible one. The 2030 inclusive growth goals require the region to create 75,000 newly thriving households. In 2021, EDC contributed to this goal by providing objective analysis of emerging trends, emphasizing the need for an inclusive economic recovery from the pandemic, and facilitating public private partnerships that increase regional sustainability, affordability, and competitiveness.

  • EDC hosted two Right Recovery Town Halls that highlighted employer-driven, market-based strategies for creating a more resilient economy, one of which explored how the transition to employee ownership enables businesses to retain a dedicated workforce and ensure wealth-building that will lead to more thriving households across the region.
  • Together with local tech company GoSite, EDC launched the San Diego Business Hub, a public-private partnership offering subsidized digital tools for small, diverse businesses. The cohort of 100 service-based businesses will receive a full suite of GoSite’s digital tools at no cost for one year.

Getting this recovery right

See San Diego’s good news of the year

 

Get involved

San Diego’s Good News of the Year 2021

Even as pandemic challenges continue to linger, we look back on a year marked by life-changing innovation and community resilience across San Diego. From scientific breakthroughs to tech company expansions and record venture capital investment, 2021 allowed us to look toward recovery and compete on a global stage.

Read on for some of this year’s biggest headlines, all made possible by those who call the San Diego region home. Here’s to continued collaboration, resilience, and inclusion in 2022.

-Team EDC

Venture capital floods local startup ecosystem

San Diego secured record-breaking venture capital investment, outpacing 2020 by more than $2.6 billion. Some of San Diego’s standout startups and raises include:

  • ClickUp raises $400M, bringing its valuation to $4B
  • MetroConnect alum Cloudbeds raises $150M
  • Drata raises $100 million Series B, becomes unicorn
  • Flock Freight raises $215M, becomes unicorn
  • JuneShine raises $24M for its better-for-you hard kombucha
  • Shield AI raises $210M for AI drone tech, becomes unicorn
  • Tyra Biosciences goes public, raises $199M

Plus, acquisitions and IPOs steadily poured in throughout the year:

San Diego companies lead the charge against COVID-19

As the world continues to grapple with COVID-19 and its new variants, San Diego companies met the moment by developing new treatments, rapid-result testing solutions, and more aimed at getting us to a post-pandemic era:

Companies relocate, double-down amid pandemic

As locals, we know our region is special. And as San Diego competes on a global stage, debunking myths that we’re just a surf and beer town, countless innovative companies took notice. Here are some of our region’s newest transplants:

Homegrown research and innovation fosters global impact

Beyond COVID-19, San Diego’s Tech and Life Sciences employers continued to make waves across a diversity of industries, from oncology and genomics to manufacturing and artificial intelligence (AI), and everything in between:

San Diego’s defense industry lands major contracts

In 2021, the U.S. military contributed an estimated $35 billion in direct spending to San Diego defense companies. As an intrinsic part of our region, these companies scored major contracts to help mobilize and protect our troops and country:

San Diego earns the rankings to back it all up

From heavyweights to fast-growing startups, San Diego’s companies, talented workforce, and innovative industries (like our rising blue economy featured on CNBC’s ‘Streets of Dreams’), are getting noticed around the world. And we earned the numbers to show for it:

Quality of life amplified in San Diego

This year, San Diego saw its international border announce a new port of entry, artistic developments decorate our iconic skyline, and transportation infrastructure better connect our region, all of which made life even better here at home:

Tourism industry looks inward to support community

As the economy began to reopen, one of San Diego’s hardest hit industries made great progress towards recovery. The region welcomed back cruises and celebrated new and returning route service on SouthwestAir Canada, WestJetLufthansaJapan Airlines, and British Airways.

And above all, the Tourism industry pivoted to step up for our community, aid in our recovery, and set examples for the world—in true San Diego style:

GET INVOLVED

2021: World Trade Center San Diego supports 50 businesses as region works toward recovery

15

companies supported

850

jobs supported

$10 M

net export increase, 2021

World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD), an affiliate of San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC), cultivates a pipeline of export-ready firms, maximizes foreign direct investment (FDI) opportunities, and enhances San Diego’s global identity. A globally-connected economy creates quality jobs and makes the San Diego region more prosperous, competitive, and resilient – especially crucial amid COVID-19 and its aftershocks.

As we look toward 2022, here are four key ways WTCSD helped make San Diego a more globally competitive, resilient region:

1. MetroConnect V helps companies go global, awards fifth winner

2021 was an exciting year for WTCSD’s MetroConnect export accelerator program as the fifth cohort of incredible small to mid-sized San Diego companies wrapped up participation in the program.

These companies received $5,000 grants to bolster their export initiatives and international expansion efforts. Amid a pandemic, companies needed more digital support services than ever to help navigate growing e-commerce needs during the pandemic. To support, WTCSD held a Digital Trade Series, which assessed each client’s needs and arranged one-on-one counseling sessions with contracted e-commerce experts.

Over the course of the program, one company stood out – with MetroConnect’s support, satellite-based communications and fleet management company Blue Sky Network generated a 36 percent increase in monthly recurring revenue in Brazil, as well as its largest order to date. To support this growth, the company hired seven new full-time employees. Ultimately, WTCSD crowned Blue Sky Network MetroConnect V’s winner and awarded it a $25,000 grant toward its international expansion goals.

Over the past five years of MetroConnect, 80 companies collectively leveraged $890,000 in export grants, resulting in a $95 million net increase in exports from the San Diego region.

2. WTCSD debuts a regional trade and investment strategy for 2025

In 2015, San Diego Regional EDC’s release of “Go Global: San Diego’s Trade and Investment Initiative,” launched the World Trade Center in San Diego, bringing regional companies and stakeholders together with a global vision. Throughout 2020 and early 2021, WTC engaged many of the same partners, and new ones, in an effort to gauge how the region measured up to it, more than five years later. This 2021 update analyzed the state of exports, foreign investment and VC, as well as the extraordinary impact of COVID. Through rigorous data analysis dozens of interviews with public and private-sector leaders, WTC synthesized a set of five key priorities the region should focus on over the next five years. Find out what they are here. Key findings include:

  • 2020 saw $3 billion in foreign investment into San Diego
  • 73 percent of investment into San Diego is in Life Sciences
  • San Diego exports $22 billion in goods each year
  • San Diego is a top 10 services exporter among U.S. metros

Heading into 2022, we expect to see FDI investment portfolios return to the same levels seen in 2019.

3. Export Small Business Development Center (SBDC) supports export and COVID-relief projects

Beyond MetroConnect, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at WTCSD provided 35 export-ready small companies with the support needed to navigate international goals, including exports, manufacturing support, and more.

In addition to expansion support, the Export Specialty Center continued to offer COVID-19 recovery resources at no cost, helping San Diego companies like Funki Adventures apply to Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) 2nd Draw, Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, and City and County small business grants.

Finally, the Global Readiness Program saw a partnership between WTCSD and the University of San Diego help local small to mid-sized businesses secure STEP grants to grow the regional export pipeline.

4. WTCSD serves as a key source of market intelligence

WTCSD conducted a series of business surveys to better inform decision making of regional partners and affiliates. These included:

Corporate Travel Survey:

  • Survey of 12 large businesses and two non-profits in the region to better understand travel and budgets forecasts for the year ahead. This information was critical for the retention of existing service out of SAN and for the attraction of future direct flights. It found:
    • 79 percent of respondents are willing to pay a premium to fly on a San Diego nonstop route versus flying out from Tijuana or Los Angeles
    • 56 percent of respondents expressed a desire for nonstop service to Mexico City and Sao Paulo

EDC Changing Business Landscape Survey:

  • Survey of more than 100 business in the San Diego region, aimed at informing long-term development priorities, across business areas. It found:
    • 14 percent of respondents currently import and/or export out of the Port of San Diego
    • 24 percent of those surveyed would be interested in using the Port of San Diego if they provided service to the types of goods they ship

READ THE FULL REPORT

Interested in growing your business internationally?

World Trade Center San Diego works directly with companies – free of charge – to help them expand internationally and grow in San Diego. Whether your small company is interested in learning about exporting and international growth, or your small or medium-sized company is ready to export and grow internationally, World Trade Center San Diego is here to help.

Ready to export? Apply to MetroConnect VI by December 17.

Want to know more about WTCSD? Click here to receive our monthly Global Brief Newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox.

Study: AI helps catalyze 10% employment growth in San Diego Transportation cluster through the pandemic

San Diego Regional EDC study quantifies the impact of AI in region’s Transportation cluster

Today, alongside Booz Allen Hamilton, San Diego Regional EDC released the third study in a series on the proliferation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) within San Diego County’s key economic clusters. “Mobilizing the Future: AI and San Diego’s Transportation Cluster” quantifies the economic impact of the region’s Transportation cluster and explores how AI and ML technologies have helped position San Diego as a global trade hub.

While people begin to get more comfortable with the notion of autonomous-driving cars, San Diego is deploying AI and ML in Transportation even beyond consumer use. One in three Transportation and related Manufacturing companies in San Diego are either developing or adopting AI and ML technologies, thus achieving levels of precision and accuracy otherwise unattainable by humans. This is measurably higher than the average engagement rate of 25 percent across all industries.

Local startups like Airspace and Boxton are enabling the shipment of goods in the quickest, most cost effective way; large firms Lytx® and TuSimple are improving safety in transportation; established brands Cubic and SANDAG are streamlining travel and commutes for individuals; and defense contractors BAE Systems and General Dynamics NASSCO are mobilizing troops and supplies to drive mission success and safety.

Underwritten by Booz Allen Hamilton, the web-based study—transportation.sandiegoAI.org—includes video case studies on local Transportation companies, details on the $11 billion economic impact of the Transportation cluster including interactive data visuals, and demonstrates overall how the region’s rapid adoption of AI in Transportation has helped propel San Diego into the global magnet it is today.

“San Diego is home to some of the most innovative and influential Transportation technology companies in the world. The rapid development and adoption of AI in Transportation has uniquely positioned the region as a leader in solving global challenges such as climate change and supply chain disruptions brought about by the pandemic,” said Eduardo Velasquez, Research Director at San Diego Regional EDC.

KEY FINDINGS

  • San Diego’s Transportation cluster is big and growing. The cluster supports more than 90,000 local jobs and contributes $11 billion to the regional economy each year. Despite the pandemic, employment in the cluster has increased 10 percent during the last five years.
  • AI and ML in transportation is much more than just autonomous vehicles. Local developers are creating AI- and ML-based solutions to optimize shipping routes, automate and secure mass-transit fare collection systems, improve safety on roadways, and achieve extreme precision in the manufacturing of ships and aircraft.
  • The Transportation cluster drives global connectivity and competitiveness. These innovations bring enormous economic benefit to the region, including advanced manufacturing jobs, while propelling San Diego’s role in the global marketplace.

“It is important to remember that transportation in San Diego includes not only our personal vehicles, but also a globally connected market supported by an international border crossing, a shipping port, and an international airport,” said Joe Rohner, Director of Artificial Intelligence at Booz Allen Hamilton and leader of the firm’s West Coast AI business. “The study series continues to illustrate how the implementation of AI and ML technologies across diverse industries is perpetuating San Diego’s leadership in tackling global challenges. Booz Allen is ready to engage with our region’s leaders and industry partners to support this work.” Booz Allen employs approximately 1,400 professionals in San Diego, working on cybersecurity, analytics, engineering, and IT modernization.

Transportation is a key and rapidly growing piece of the San Diego regional economy. While employment in all other sectors contracted 2.3 percent since 2016, Transportation employment saw 10 percent growth even amid the coronavirus pandemic. This includes Transportation Manufacturing, Logistics and Freight, Passenger Transportation including Mass Transit, and Other Transportation Services. Importantly, each Transportation job creates another job in other local industries; this means 4,000 more jobs have been created elsewhere in the economy due to Transportation’s 10 percent growth over the last five years.

“At Lytx, we combine video telematics with machine vision (MV), AI, and driving data to help solve the transportation industry’s most critical problems, like distracted driving. We pioneered the use of MV + AI in fleet management solutions, and we firmly believe in this powerful technology’s ability to empower drivers, protect fleets, and create safer roadways—in San Diego and around the world,” said Rajesh Rudraradhya, Chief Technology Officer at Lytx. “The latest report in the series by EDC reinforces the importance of implementing advanced technologies such as AI and the increasing need for companies like ours to continue to innovate and improve outcomes in this space; doing so fuels regional growth while also increasing driver safety.”

With this growth, and a unique convergence of public and private entities, among other factors, San Diego’s Transportation cluster is leading in the global fight against climate change and supply chain disruption.

The study series is underwritten by Booz Allen Hamilton and produced by San Diego Regional EDC. This report was sponsored by Northrop Grumman and Lytx.

Read the full study at transportation.sandiegoAI.org

Read the full AI series

San Diego’s Good News of the Week – December 10, 2021

Every week, ‘Good News of the Week’ features a curation of positive headlines from San Diego, delivered straight to your inbox. A blend of aggregated stories from San Diego’s most trusted news sources and original EDC-created content, GNOTW provides a comprehensive recap of the region’s best stories from the past week.

Get Good News of the Week in your inbox every Friday. → Sign up

For the week of December 3, 2021, here’s what we’re reading:

…and here are some opportunities we’re watching:

MetroConnect VI: Apply by December 17

World Trade Center San Diego is accepting applications for 15 small businesses to participate in Year 6 of its flagship export assistance program MetroConnect. Presented by JPMorgan Chase and Procopio, the program has assisted 80 companies in its first five years in turning $890,000 in export grants into 63 percent average export growth, 40 percent average revenue growth, and 543 new international contracts.

Apply Now

EDC is hiring, join our team!

EDC is hiring a Research Coordinator and Research Manager / Sr. Manager to analyze, synthesize, and visualize data to inform a diverse set of stakeholders and senior professionals from the region’s leading companies, nonprofits, and policy makers. EDC is also accepting applications for its Marketing and Communications internship position.

Apply Now


Additional resources:

Be in the know – sign up below to receive future editions of GNOTW.

Want to submit your event or news update to our weekly newsletter? Contact us for more information.

Candela Delucchi
Candela Delucchi

Coordinator, Marketing

What we learned at Career Exploration Day 2021

San Diego’s economy, made up of innovative companies doing life-changing work, is fueled by skilled talent. Each job in the innovation economy supports another two jobs in the region, allowing for San Diego’s rapid economic growth despite a global pandemic. However, future growth is threatened by barriers to quality employment that many San Diegans face. Changing skill requirements, existing demographic gaps in educational attainment, and a nationwide battle for talent, coupled with a soaring cost of living, continue to threaten San Diego’s competitiveness as a region.

As we work to get San Diego’s recovery right and build a more equitable, inclusive region, EDC’s Advancing San Diego (ASD) program aims to better prepare San Diegans for quality jobs, and expand access to diverse, qualified talent for San Diego companies. As part of this work, ASD hosted its second annual Career Exploration Day and Virtual Career Fair. Sponsored by Qualcomm Incorporated, the virtual event served to connect students from all over San Diego County, who are enrolled in employer-verified training programs, with opportunities across a diverse range of industries and professions. Via an online platform, ASD connected nearly 100 local students with 22 companies including startups Smartville and Flock Freight, established firms Booz Allen Hamilton and San Diego Gas & Electric, and many more. In the day-long event, students and employers had the opportunity to network and interview, share job opportunities, and listen in on career exploration panels with professionals in high-demand roles and industries.

“At Qualcomm, we’re looking to expand our recruitment of diverse talent while cultivating new opportunities to hire locally”, said Heather Ace, Chief Human Resources Officer at Qualcomm Incorporated. “Career Exploration Day offers us the opportunity to both connect with potential local candidates and support the broader talent development efforts being driven by the EDC here in San Diego.”

ICYMI, here’s what we learned from the event

1. Be a chameleon; learn to adapt:

COVID-19 has made one thing clear: Your plans may change. Different externalities will force you to change your strategies and the way you work. Take this opportunity to learn to be adaptable; this will help you be successful into the future.

As Sharp Healthcare’s Talent Acquisition Specialist Jason Pijapaert shared in the Healthcare and Life Sciences panel, “Being able to roll with the punches and having the ability to work collaboratively with a diverse group of people that have different mindsets, expertise, and opinions is vital in any workplace. Being adaptable to your environment and the different challenges that you will inevitably be presented with will allow you to grow and be better at what you do.”

2. Consider opportunities to say “Yes”:

Now, we’re not talking about taking on unimaginable workloads or saying yes beyond your boundaries. Instead, we mean saying yes to new opportunities, yes to learning new things, yes to working with a different team, yes to taking risks.

Lalitta Ghandikota, Senior Director of Talent at Element Biosciences, shared in the Healthcare and Life Sciences panel the key to her success has been saying yes to every opportunity. In the beginning, it may seem like you know nothing about what you just got yourself into, but those will be the times when you will have the most fun growing and learning. “I always say that the time in your career where you are having the most fun is also probably when you are most terrified,” she said.

3. Take time to learn: 

With millions of websites and video tutorials available, taking the time to learn a new skill or improve an existing one will give you an important advantage when looking for a job or an internship.

Dr. Michael Alston, Senior Staff Engineer at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., says our most valuable employees innovate in ways that increase the productivity of other employees or create new products or services. On the Engineering and Manufacturing panel, he shared, “for students, websites like code.org (which teaches computational thinking), and Python.org (a versatile, widely-used coding language) are great platforms for building skills useful for innovation.”

4. Don’t forget about soft skills:

While hard skills like coding or data mining are crucial for certain roles, leveraging your soft skills can help you stand out. The ability to manage your time effectively, think critically about a problem, absorb constructive criticism, communicate effectively both internally and externally, and collaborate across teams is just as valuable as knowing a particular programming language.

Regardless of your industry or position, you’ll always need to work effectively with people of different backgrounds and skills to get a project done well. Leverage these skills when you’re speaking with recruiters to showcase a different facet of professional strength.

What now?

  • Interested in careers in key industry sectors? Visit ASD’s Preferred Provider Map where you can find leading training programs that have been certified by employers.
    • Looking to join our network of Preferred Providers? Sign up to get updates on ASD’s future talent pipeline management work.
  • Looking for skilled local talent? Contact Taylor Dunne, Talent Initiatives Manager, and we will help you get in touch with San Diego’s skilled talent pool.
  • Check out jobs at Qualcomm and many other local firms hiring across San Diego.
  • Learn more at AdvancingSD.org