Meet our Advancing San Diego Preferred Providers of Healthcare Talent

Meet the Preferred Providers of Healthcare Talent.

Fueled by Tech, Defense, and Life Science industries, San Diego’s innovation economy relies on a pipeline of diverse talent. However, local companies continue to cite access to quality talent as a persistent challenge–98 percent of firms in San Diego are small companies (<100 employees) that often lack time and resources to effectively compete for talent with their larger counterparts. Meanwhile, many San Diegans are disconnected from high-demand job opportunities in Healthcare, largely due to education requirements.

Made possible by JPMorgan Chase, Advancing San Diego is a demand-driven strategy to address talent shortages and remove barriers for small companies to access qualified workers. It is a collaborative effort between EDC, San Diego and Imperial Counties Community College Association, San Diego Workforce Partnership, City of San Diego, and United Way of San Diego.

Over the last six months, Advancing San Diego partners worked with a group of seven employers to develop a skills-based criteria for medical assistants. We asked that any education provider meeting that criteria apply for the Preferred Provider designation. An employer-led review panel then evaluated these applicants against the skills criteria to determine which programs should be designated as ‘Preferred Providers,’ recognized as those most effectively preparing individuals for jobs and internships as medical assistants.

EDC is excited to announce Preferred Providers of Healthcare Talent:

How small companies can get involved:

Advancing San Diego will cover the cost of internships for 30 students, sourced from the above Preferred Provider, at small clinics, doctor’s offices, and other medical facilities in the region. Selected interns will be paid and have access to additional funds to support their success in the workplace. All students from Preferred Provider programs will be invited to participate in industry engagement opportunities such as career fairs and networking events. Healthcare internships will begin in early 2022.

If you are a small medical office or healthcare provider interested in hosting Medical Assistant interns and meet this eligibility criteria, apply now by October 4, 2021!

How education programs can get involved:

Advancing San Diego will continue to designate Preferred Providers in a variety of high-demand fields. Preferred Provider criteria and applications are updated and reviewed on an annual basis. The Preferred Provider application schedule is as follows:

  • SOFTWARE: Revisited Spring 2021
  • ENGINEERING: Closed Summer 2020
  • BUSINESS: Closed Winter 2020
  • MANUFACTURING: Closed Spring 2021
  • HEALTHCARE: Closed Summer 2021 (announcement above)
  • LIFE SCIENCES: Upcoming Winter 2021

For more information, visit AdvancingSD.org.

Advancing San Diego Company Spotlight: Misadventure & Co.

The Advancing San Diego (ASD) Internship Program launched in Summer 2020 in a remote-capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to provide up to 100 San Diego-based employers with fully subsidized interns. This program targets small employers with 100 employees or less, which comprise 98 percent of all businesses in San Diego, employ nearly two thirds of San Diegans, and account for 70 percent of job growth. A key issue for these companies has been a lack of time and resources to recruit the skilled talent necessary to continue their growth.

As students close out their Spring business internship experiences, EDC has rolled out this blog series to highlight the innovative local companies that comprise the third cohort of the program, and the interns they hosted. To date, ASD has placed 93 student-interns in local businesses, with $455,000 in total wages and support services paid. 

In this edition, we sat down with Romi Rossel, Content Marketing Manager at Misadventure & Co., a leading provider of vodka production and sustainability.

Read on for more about ASD intern host Misadventure & Co.

Romi Rossel, with Advancing San Diego interns, Andreapaola Loda (right) and Michelle Bodi (left).

Tell us about your company.

Misadventure & Co. is the world’s first carbon negative distillery, and the first and only to upcycle excess baked goods into an award winning spirit. Our vodka is smooth and upcycled certified. The best part? Consumers get to help save the world just by having a drink! Our tasting room and production facility are located in Vista, and we are known for our delicious craft cocktails, sustainable vodka, and wonderful atmosphere.

Why was your company founded?  

It all started in 2013 with a chance meeting at a North County San Diego bar between the two founders. Whit Rigali, the bartender, wanted to create local craft spirits as tools for other bartenders. Sam Chereskin, the Agricultural Economist, wanted to find ways to improve food systems and show that doing good can also be viable. Their conversation over a glass of whiskey led to the creation of Misadventure & Co. Our vodka is not just a product of four years of R&D, but lessons learned through the San Diego brewing and distilling communities, and our wonderful friends and family. We desire to make quality spirits and create them sustainably. With food waste prevention being the number one solution to climate change, we are focusing on educating our community on finding creative ways to help the environment, and choosing products that can help make the world a better place.

What does growth look like over the next few years?

We are excited to further develop both our hospitality and distribution channels. Increasing our production would allow us to make a bigger positive impact on the environment.

How has your company pivoted as a result of COVID-19?

As a result of the pandemic, we expanded our forecasting capabilities beyond traditional weather variables like temperature and relative humidity, as we were involved in a project in collaboration with NASA scientists to understand the effects of COVID-19 in the upcoming forest fire season. Further, Misadventure pivoted into producing hand sanitizer to support the uptick in sanitation needs amid pandemic. That experience not only allowed us to stay in business through 2020, but also opened up a whole different set of possibilities for us. We realized that we are not only a distillery producing high quality spirits, but also a sustainable ethanol manufacturer that can be used in many other industries from food production to cosmetics.

Tell us about your experience building a small business/startup in San Diego. 

We have been extremely lucky to work with other amazing organizations and companies that support what we do. San Diego has a very tight sustainable community as well as a great distilling and brewing community that encourages collaboration and assistance. CAL Recycle has been extremely helpful in providing grants to fund pieces of equipment that have helped us increase and improve our production. We also love working with other anti-food waste organizations such as Kitchens for Good and Oceanside Kitchen Collaborative, and we are proud to say we are founding members of the new nonprofit organization Sustainability is Sexy.

The most special thing about the San Diego business community is that is a very collaborative community. There is always a genuine interest from people to help each other and grow together, especially when it comes to making positive changes in the world.

How did you find out ASD and how has your experience been? Tell us a little bit about your interns and the value they bring.

We found out about ASD through a contact at California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC) who shared the internship opportunity with us. Our interns provided strong support for our marketing campaigns by doing market research that allowed us to grow our social media presence and bring more foot traffic to our tasting room.

Learn more about Advancing San Diego and our internship program.

Company contact info and additional information:

  • Website: misadventure.co
  • Social Media: @misadventureco
  • Email: info@misadventure.co

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A note from Mark…

San Diego’s healthcare workforce accounts for 13 percent of all jobs within the local economy. And these more than 186,000 jobs touch the lives of every San Diegan, every day. This has never been more evident than over the last 18 months.

Pressure mounting

When the pandemic started, I remember hearing my neighbors out in the streets cheering nightly for our healthcare workers. San Diegans jumped into motion to drop off food and other gifts for personnel putting their lives on the line to treat patients across the region’s hospitals. Yet over the last several months, finding anyone acknowledging the contributions and commitments of our healthcare workforce has been much harder to come by. The conversations in the streets outside my home and on my social media feeds have moved on to other issues and topics. Yet the stresses, challenges, frustrations, and weight that we have placed on the shoulders of our healthcare workforce have only grown.

For decades, higher education, workforce development, and healthcare systems have worked together to address workforce shortages in this industry and others. New programs have been developed and creative ideas and solutions have (just barely) helped ensure that healthcare systems keep pace with the increasing demand and changing needs. These partnerships, programs, ideas, and solutions will be needed more than ever as we work to deal with increasing staffing shortages, as well as the exhaustion, fatigue, and strains that the circumstances of the pandemic have caused.

Advancing San Diego to host healthcare round

In the weeks ahead, our team at EDC is kicking off Advancing San Diego’s healthcare cohort. Now in its fifth round, Advancing San Diego is focused on addressing skilled talent shortages and increasing diversity in high-growth, high-demand jobs. Sourced from our Preferred Providers of Healthcare Talent (TBA), we will place up to 30 Medical Assistant (MA) students in 240-hour paid work experiences at local health offices, at no cost to the business. Learn more on MA demand here. Applications open late September.

On top of this, we will be reaching out to existing networks and consortiums already engaged in this work to see what additional resources we can bring to the table—and we welcome the involvement and support of any EDC investors in this critical work.

We know that nurses and advanced healthcare professionals cannot be created overnight. So, as we think of ways to ensure that the pipeline of future healthcare workers remains strong, it is increasingly important to recognize, incentivize, and reward those who have spent the last year and a half in the thick of a battle that still does not have an end in sight. We all owe them more than I can possibly put into words.

Additional information on EDC’s work is featured and linked below, and as always, we know that none of it would be possible without your leadership, investment, and support. Thank you for always putting us in the position to do work that matters for our economy and our community.

With gratitude and optimism,

Mark Cafferty

Read EDC’s Monthly Report

San Diego health systems are hiring:

Advancing San Diego Company Spotlight: Benchmark Labs

The Advancing San Diego (ASD) Internship Program launched in Summer 2020 in a remote-capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to provide up to 100 San Diego-based employers with fully subsidized interns. This program targets small employers with 100 employees or less, which comprise 98 percent of all businesses in San Diego, employ nearly two thirds of San Diegans, and account for 70 percent of job growth. A key issue for these companies has been a lack of time and resources to recruit the skilled talent necessary to continue their growth.

As students are closing out their Spring business internship experiences, EDC has rolled out this blog series to highlight the innovative local companies that comprise the third cohort of the program, and the interns they hosted. To date, ASD has placed 93 student-interns in local businesses, with $455,000 in total wages and support services paid. 

In this feature, we sat down with Carlos Gaitan, CEO and Co-Founder at Benchmark Labs. As part of the third cohort of host companies, Benchmark Labs is a leading provider of IoT-based weather forecasting solutions for the agriculture, energy, and insurance sectors.

Read on for more about ASD intern host Benchmark Labs.

Tell us about your company?  

Benchmark Labs provides asset-specific environmental forecasting for the agricultural, energy, and insurance sectors. We do so by incorporating in-situ IoT sensor data, machine learning techniques, and weather information to provide actionable forecasts tailored to specific locations and sensors. We recently moved our headquarters from San Francisco to San Diego with the help of EDC, and our main office is at UTC, courtesy of The BlueTech Incubator.

Why was your company founded, and what are your current points of focus?  

We founded Benchmark Labs to improve operational margins of farmers by bringing state of the art environmental forecasting technologies to farmers all over the world. We understood that although microclimates create substantial environmental differences between farms, those differences are not reflected in the weather forecasts available to asset managers, as the current generation of weather models divide the world in grids and everyone inside a grid box receives exactly the same forecast.

How did you find out about Advancing San Diego and how your experience has been? Tell us a little bit about your interns and the value they bring.  

We became aware of Advancing San Diego thanks to the great team at The Maritime Alliance and the Bluetech Incubator. ASD’s Internship Program aided us in finding local talent in the areas of software engineering and business research. From the company perspective, we believe in giving back to the community and in providing those first training and work opportunities to local students, and we couldn’t be happier with the human and technical capabilities of our current and past interns. Our interns have made us a better company by bringing new voices and experiences to solve our technical challenges.

What does growth look like over the next few years?

We are excited about future opportunities for Benchmark Labs and for the region. We were recently awarded a highly competitive National Science Foundation Small Business Research Grant to further develop our forecasting technology and to bring it to market. We will soon have job openings in market research, software engineering, data science, marketing and sales.

How has your company pivoted as a result of COVID-19?

As a result of the pandemic, we expanded our forecasting capabilities beyond traditional weather variables like temperature and relative humidity, as we were involved in a project, in collaboration with NASA scientists, to understand the effects of COVID-19 in the upcoming forest fire season.

Tell us about your experience building a small business/startup in San Diego. 

We are very grateful to EDC for their support during our company relocation and with the internship program. Benchmark Labs has been fortunate to find great mentors, organizations, and local resources during the last few years. We want to highlight the support of Cleantech San Diego, the Southern California Energy Innovation Network, The Maritime Alliance and the The Bluetech Incubator, and the services provided by Connect and the San Diego and Imperial Small Business Development Center.

What is special about San Diego’s business community, and the talent that drives it? 

San Diego’s business community is special as there is substantial collaboration between founders, government, and academia. We strongly believe that San Diego’s workforce can support cutting-edge research in environmental science and that the academic programs offered by local institutions provide skills that are directly transferable to work in the private sector.

Learn more about Advancing San Diego and our internship program.

Company contact info and additional information:

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Advancing San Diego Intern Spotlight: Oderah & Jo Christian, Benchmark Labs

The Advancing San Diego (ASD) Internship Program launched in Summer 2020 in a remote-capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to provide up to 100 San Diego-based employers fully subsidized interns. This program targets small employers with 100 employees or less, which comprise 98 percent of all businesses in San Diego, employ nearly two thirds of San Diegans, and account for 70 percent of job growth. A key issue for these companies has been a lack of time and resources to recruit the skilled talent necessary to continue their growth.

As students are closing out their Spring business internship experiences, EDC has rolled out this blog series to highlight the innovative local companies that comprise the third cohort of the program, and the interns they hosted. To date, ASD has placed 93 student-interns in local businesses, with $455,000 in total wages and support services paid. 

Oderah Ahiligwo (above)

This week, we sat down with Oderah Ahiligwo and Jo Christian Arenas, ASD interns at Benchmark Labs, a leading provider of IoT-based weather forecasting solutions for the agriculture, energy, and insurance sectors. The firm’s service helps reduce operating costs using proprietary machine learning software to provide precise asset specific weather forecasting.

Read on for more from Oderah (OA) and Jo Christian (JCA).

Tell us about yourself. 

OA: I am a former student athlete who enjoys swimming, investing, and conversing with many different types of people. I recently graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in economics and I am returning in the Fall to obtain my master’s in finance. After college, I aspire to have a career in the finance sector and hope to one day open a wealth management firm to help individuals become financially secure. Protecting the environment is something I also am interested in doing, which is why I’d like to focus on investing in companies with a high environmental, social, and governance (ESG) score. Fortunately, this summer I was afforded the opportunity to work at Benchmark Labs, an environmental service company as a market research analyst intern.

JCA: I am a student at California State University San Marcos and this is my first internship. I am currently a market research analyst intern at Benchmark Labs and I would like to thank both San Diego Regional EDC and Carlos Gaitan, CEO and Co-Founder of Benchmark Labs, for the opportunity they have given me. Carlos is an excellent leader, supporting his staff whenever challenges arise, and ensuring that his interns have a fun and educational experience.

Jo Christian Arenas (above)

How has your experience in the ASD Internship Program been, and what projects have been the most meaningful?

OA: My experience in the Advancing San Diego Internship Program has been wonderful. Working in a startup environment is fast paced and exciting. Just like any company, there are many moving parts but generally in startups, you get exposure to many different areas of business. One day I will be studying competitor’s pricing strategies and the next day I will be looking over a script for our videographer. The most meaningful work I did at Benchmark Labs was market research, which is a process that every company should engage in because it is often extremely rewarding. The conversations I had with potential customers helped shape the products that Benchmark Labs will offer next year.

JCA: It was a unique experience for me, considering I am an accounting student doing market research for the company. Part of my project is customer discovery, which includes calling companies for short interviews. I have learned to be patient with companies in my conversations with them, especially with the support from my leader, Carlos, since the work can be tough as times. It can also be rewarding when you receive those positive interactions with businesses, which at the end of the day, help inform Benchmark Labs on its product selection. Doing work outside your field brings in perspective, which is why I am very glad I took this internship.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your day-to-day, and what challenges have you faced as a student?

OA: The COVID-19 pandemic has affected my day-to-day in many ways. I consider myself an extrovert and this explains why I find joy in creating relationships with new people. A university is usually a great place to do this, however, going to school virtually has made this more difficult. On top of this, I found learning solely through a computer screen is not my forte. A classroom setting is often more engaging and the pandemic required me to adapt to a new way of life.

JCA: I believe I am facing the same predicament as any other student during the pandemic, and that is finding motivation to get up from bed everyday. My internship is work-from-home and there were times where I was experiencing burnout from being being constrained to my room for the workday. What I did find helpful was the mentorship and positive reinforcement from Carlos and the team at Benchmark Labs.

What advice would you give to high school students looking for a successful career? 

OA: My advice to high school students would be to seek out every opportunity you see to learn and gain experience. Throughout your college journey, there will be opportunities to grow in different areas of business; reach out to them so you can develop a diverse set of skills and separate yourself from your peers. This will often lead to more opportunities and enable you to create a larger impact wherever you end up.

JCA: My advice is to network, whether it be on professional online business platforms or in-person business events. Getting your name out there raises the probability of you finding the work you desire. Also, be confident and learn to be comfortable outside of your comfort zone.

Learn more about Advancing San Diego and the Internship Program.

Company contact info and additional information:

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Advancing San Diego Company Spotlight: Meri Consulting Services

The Advancing San Diego (ASD) Internship Program launched in Summer 2020 in a remote-capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to provide up to 100 San Diego-based employers with fully subsidized interns. This program targets small employers with 100 employees or less, which comprise 98 percent of all businesses in San Diego, employ nearly two thirds of San Diegans, and account for 70 percent of job growth. A key issue for these companies has been a lack of time and resources to recruit the skilled talent necessary to continue their growth.

As students are closing out their Spring business internship experiences, EDC has rolled out this blog series to highlight the innovative local companies that comprise the third cohort of the program, and the interns they hosted.

In this feature, we sat down with Meri Birhane, CEO at Meri Consulting Services. As part of the third cohort of host companies, Meri Consulting Services provides social media management services, LinkedIn coaching, and sales training for sales teams. The team helps businesses book more meetings and generate more revenue without cold calls.

Read on for more about ASD intern host Meri Consulting Services.

Why was your company founded, and what are your current points of focus?  

It all began with an idea. In 2017, Meri Consulting Services, a Black-owned and woman-led consulting firm was founded to help businesses book more sales meetings, increase revenue, and reduce sales rep churn and burn. We do this through social media management services, sales coaching, and LinkedIn training. Passionate about giving back, we also host monthly “Empowerment Mastermind” events to provide opportunities for minority founders who have been historically underfunded.

What does growth look like over the next few years?

Meri Consulting’s growth means expanding our social media management services to reach more businesses and creating digital courses to reach more clients.

How has your company pivoted as a result of COVID-19?

Meri Consulting Services focused on fractional VP of sales services but with COVID-19 clients needed new ways to connect with customers. This created more demand for our digital marketing services and LinkedIn coaching services.

Tell us about your experience building a small business/startup in San Diego. 

The CONNECT ALL @ the Jacobs Center was the most valuable accelerator program as I obtained mentoring and a $5,000 grant. This led to a lot of exposure for my business and access to mentors. Furthermore, Advancing San Diego, in partnership with Manpower, helped me get two superstar marketing interns (Chinnery and Michelle) helping me take my business to the next level.

 

Learn more about Advancing San Diego and our internship program.

Company contact info and additional information:

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Advancing San Diego Intern Spotlight: Michelle Consunji, Meri Consulting Services

The Advancing San Diego (ASD) Internship Program launched in Summer 2020 in a remote-capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to provide up to 100 San Diego-based employers fully subsidized interns. This program targets small employers with 100 employees or less, which comprise 98 percent of all businesses in San Diego, employ nearly two thirds of San Diegans, and account for 70 percent of job growth. A key issue for these companies has been a lack of time and resources to recruit the skilled talent necessary to continue their growth.

As students are closing out their Spring business internship experiences, EDC is rolling out this blog series to highlight the innovative local companies that comprise the third cohort of the program, and the interns they hosted. To date, ASD has placed 93 student-interns in local businesses, with $455,000 in total wages and support services paid. 

In this feature, we sat down with Michelle Consunji, intern at Meri Consulting Services. As part of the third cohort of host companies, Meri Consulting Services provides social media management services, LinkedIn coaching, and sales training for sales teams. Their team helps businesses book more meetings and generate more revenue without cold calls.

Read on for more from Michelle.

Tell us about yourself. 

My name is Michelle Consunji and I am a recent college graduate from California State University San Marcos. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in marketing, and was grateful to have received an internship with Meri Consulting Services at the start of my senior year of college. I have always been passionate about all things creative, including social media, branding, and content creation. Some of my passions in life include fashion, traveling, and design.

How has your experience in the ASD Internship Program been, and what projects have been the most meaningful?

My transition between being an eager college student looking for professional working experience, to gaining an internship through the ASD Program has been pivotal to my current success as a recent college graduate. Not only has this internship allowed me to finally showcase my marketing skills, but also provided me with experience working with real world situations, people, and problems. My usual tasks included content creation for the company’s social media platforms, developing monthly newsletters, and tracking social media analytics. My most meaningful assignments have been the social media audits and competitive research reports I created for my boss, Meri Birhane. This assignment helped me showcase my strength in taking large chunks of information and simplifying it into something concise and easily digestible.

What advice would you give to high school students looking for a successful career? 

Each experience you take on will have an impact on you. Even if it’s something you’re not sure you will connect to, you will always find out something new about yourself and your capabilities that you didn’t know before. No matter what you do or where you end up, taking that leap of faith will help you grow into who you’re meant to become.

Learn more about Advancing San Diego and the Internship Program.

Company contact info and additional information:

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Advancing San Diego Company Spotlight: San Diego Loyal

The Advancing San Diego (ASD) Internship Program launched in Summer 2020 in a remote-capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to provide up to 100 San Diego-based companies with fully subsidized interns. This program targets companies with 100 employees or less, which comprise 98 percent of all businesses in San Diego, employ nearly two thirds of San Diegans, and account for 70 percent of job growth. A key issue for these companies has been a lack of time and resources to recruit the skilled talent necessary to continue their growth.

As students are closing out their Spring business internship experiences, EDC is rolling out this blog series to highlight the innovative local companies that comprise the third cohort of the program, and the interns they hosted. To date, ASD has placed 93 student-interns in local businesses, with $455,000 in total wages and support services paid. 

In this feature, we sat down with Ricardo Campos, VP of Operations and General Manager at San Diego Loyal. As part of the third cohort of host companies, San Diego Loyal is a professional soccer club that was founded locally in 2019 and is currently competing in the United Soccer League (USL) Championship.

Read on for more about ASD intern host San Diego Loyal, and hear direct from their student-intern here.

Why was your company founded, and what are your current points of focus?  

San Diego Loyal SC is built on four core pillars–independent, authentic, inclusive, and optimistic. San Diego Loyal plays for America’s Finest City and is led by some of the best in sport. The club was founded to bring professional soccer to San Diego and the point of focus is to make this city a better place to work, live, and play through the beautiful game.

What does growth look like over the next few years?

We are currently playing at the University of San Diego’s Torero Stadium, which can seat over 6,100 fans. Over the next few years, our focus is to identify a location within San Diego County to build a soccer-specific stadium.

How has your company pivoted as a result of COVID-19?

We played two games in front of fans in 2020 and took a pause at the onset of the pandemic; however, we returned to playing in July 2020 without fans in attendance. This had a major impact in our ticket revenue for the season but we were blessed to have our corporate partners stay with us during such challenging times.

Tell us about your experience building a small business/startup in San Diego. 

Starting a professional soccer club is very challenging but resources within the United Soccer League and an experienced club management team were key factors in our success. Process creation and execution are one of the hardest parts, as you new employees implement standard operating procedures for long-term success.

In your opinion, what is special about San Diego’s business community, and the talent that drives it?

San Diego is special in many ways. The local talent is on par with any major region in the world. We are confident that the San Diego region can deliver quality talent no matter the industry.

Learn more about Advancing San Diego and our internship program.

Company contact info and additional information:

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Advancing San Diego Intern Spotlight: Dominique Hernandez, San Diego Loyal

The Advancing San Diego (ASD) Internship Program launched in Summer 2020 in a remote-capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to provide up to 100 San Diego-based companies with fully subsidized interns. This program targets companies with 100 employees or less, which comprise 98 percent of all businesses in San Diego, employ nearly two thirds of San Diegans, and account for 70 percent of job growth. A key issue for these companies has been a lack of time and resources to recruit the skilled talent necessary to continue their growth.

As students are closing out their Spring business internship experiences, EDC is rolling out this blog series to highlight the innovative local companies that comprise the third cohort of the program, and the interns they hosted. To date, ASD has placed 93 student-interns in local businesses, with $455,000 in total wages and support services paid. 

In this feature, we sat down with Dominique Hernandez, intern at San Diego Loyal. As part of the third cohort of host companies, San Diego Loyal is a professional soccer club currently competing in the United Soccer League (USL) Championship. Hernandez is a rising senior at CSU San Marcos where she is studying business management.

Read on for more from Dominque.

Tell us about yourself. 

My name is Dominque Hernandez and I am originally from Ventura County, California. I am currently attending CSU San Marcos where I am a captain of the women’s basketball team. As an academically-awarded student athlete for an NCAA DII Women’s Basketball Team, I was interested in a position working in the local sports industry. Thanks to ASD’s Internship Program, I was able to join San Diego Loyal as an operations management intern.

How has your experience in the Advancing San Diego Internship Program been, and what projects/assignments have been the most meaningful?

My experience in the ASD Internship Program has been amazing. It has allowed me to work with very knowledgeable and supportive individuals who are so driven in the work they do. This hands-on experience has been so important as I begin to navigate my career path. The most meaningful assignment thus far was being an Ambassador Manager. Here, I was responsible for 40+ individuals as we strived to create an optimal customer experience. Our 619 game consisted of 20 individuals from the SD Loyal Ambassador Program and 20 Sports-Management students from the University of Iowa. This experience highlighted the future impact I could have by helping individuals and creating the best work-environment, while also striving to be successful in the task as a customer-experience based team.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your day-to-day, and what challenges have you faced as a student?

One of the biggest challenges I faced was the struggle of simultaneously balancing responsibilities from different aspects of my life. Because I was studying from home, I was asked to assist my family, all while taking 18 units and completing basketball workouts. My love for my family and desire to succeed encouraged me to take on all these responsibilities, but I soon realized that the biggest challenge was delegating tasks. Once I figured this out, things became less stressful, and I learned more about my ability to balance responsibilities in the different realms of my life. Because of this experience, I am now able to manage various tasks in my life while enjoying each experience.

What advice would you give to high school students looking for a successful career in the local software industry? 

Connections are incredibly important to have. As my mom has been telling me for years, it is not what you know, it is who you know. While it is important to be a driven and hard worker, it is equally if not more important to have personal connections. I believe it is important to start those connections as early as possible, and when you do connect, leave a positive first impression. Start building your LinkedIn profile now, and connect with professionals whose roles you can see yourself in.

Learn more about Advancing San Diego and our internship program.

Company contact info and additional information:

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Meet the companies: Advancing San Diego, Manufacturing interns

Through our Advancing San Diego initiative, EDC provides San Diego-based businesses with paid interns in high-demand fields. This program targets companies with 100 employees or less, which comprise 98 percent of all businesses in San Diego, employ nearly two thirds of San Diegans, and account for 70 percent of job growth. A key issue for these companies has been a lack of time and resources to recruit the skilled talent necessary to continue their growth. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, these challenges were especially salient.

With the help of our staffing partner Manpower, between 2020 and 2021, EDC has provided 53 San Diego companies and non-profits with interns in the fields of software, engineering, and business.

Now, we’re excited to announce 14 more companies who have been selected to host Manufacturing interns in engineering technician and machinist roles this Summer. Interns are sourced from programs designated as Preferred Providers of Manufacturing Talent, with internships running from July to November 2021.

Please join us in welcoming our next cohort of Advancing San Diego intern hosts:

  1. American Lithium Energy is a company developing and manufacturing high performance, next generation lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries.
  2. Artience Lighting is an architectural lighting design and manufacturing company that brings beauty to spaces through tunable white technology as well as UVC disinfection technology.
  3. Bitchin’ Sauce is a family-owned and operated company that manufactures an almond-based dip.
  4. Diakont  Advanced Technologies is a leader in providing specialized services and solutions for the energy industry, primarily in the oil and natural gas, and nuclear industries.
  5. Discflo Corporation Inc. is a global pump manufacturer that sells industrial pumps into the “hard to pump market.”
  6. Drewfab is a family-owned machine shop that services several industries including the power generation, marine, automotive, and racing. The company does engineering, machining, fabrication, and 3D printing.
  7. Fuse Integration is a veteran-owned business that has earned recognition as an emerging leader in airborne, maritime, and ground networking. The company was founded with the noble cause of bringing the benefits of commercial human-centered design processes to first responder and military systems engineering.
  8. Left Coast Engineering offers full-service, electronic product design resources and specializes in custom electronic product design and rapid prototyping in the R&D space.
  9. Microtek is a bioengineering company that specializes in design, development, and fabrication of miniaturized devices, which are often medical in nature.
  10. Smartville Inc. is a rapid-growing renewable energy company that specializes in electric vehicle battery repurposing and lifecycle management.
  11. SurfDurt manufactures a natural, reef-safe sunscreen.
  12. Survival Systems International is a company in the safety lifeboat industry and holds 30 years of experience as a supplier of ballistic foam, fuel cell foam, and aerospace assemblies to the aviation community.
  13. The Broken Token designs and manufactures storage and organization solutions, component upgrades and accessories for the tabletop board gaming industry.
  14. Watershed Idea Foundry, Inc. is an additive manufacturing company specializing in the 3D printing of titanium medical devices

Hosting interns is an investment in the next generation of talent in San Diego. Through the Advancing San Diego internship program, local students gain valuable work experience while supporting our local small businesses. Students are paid $22 an hour and receive access to $500 in flexible funds to support their success in the workplace.

Introducing the Advancing San Diego Host Company Map

All small companies that have hosted interns through Advancing San Diego can be found on this interactive map!

Adaptive Launch Solutions

Aeromutable Corporation

ALD Technical Solutions LLC

American Lithium Energy

AndAlways

Artience Lighting

BeanStock Ventures

Benchmark Labs

Bitchin’ Sauce, LLC

BLKBOX Music

Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos

Chicano Federation of San Diego County

Clear Blue Sea

Deckard Technologies

Diakont Advanced Technologies

Discflo Corporation Inc.

DREWFAB

Ectron Corporation

Educational Vision Technologies

Eton Bioscience, Inc

EUCO – Electric Unicycle Collective

Family Proud, Inc.

Fantasy Sports Co.

Fenix Space, Inc.

Fuse Integration

GigaIO Networks

Impact Resources, Inc

Intellecy Inc.

KIGT Inc.

Lazy Surfer

Learn Academy

Left Coast Engineering

MedCrypt

MemComputing, Inc.

Memjet US Services, Inc.

Meri Consulting Services

Microtek

Misadventure & Co.

Nanome

ObjectSecurity LLC

Omni2Max, Inc.

Paragrine Systems

Perspectium Corp.

Programination

Qualer

Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine

Reveal Biosciences

reVessel

San Diego Loyal Soccer Club

SeodaPop

Smartville Inc.

SurfDurt

Survival Systems International

Tag-N-Trac

The Broken Token

The Commons XR

Tourmaline Wireless, LLC

Trabus Technologies

Traits AI, Inc.

Voltera

Watershed Idea Foundry, Inc.

Welfie

WithHealth, Inc.

ZUM Radio, Inc

  • Adaptive Launch Solutions
  • Aeromutable Corporation
  • ALD Technical Solutions LLC
  • American Lithium Energy
  • AndAlways
  • Artience Lighting
  • BeanStock Ventures
  • Benchmark Labs
  • Bitchin’ Sauce, LLC
  • BLKBOX Music
  • Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos
  • Chicano Federation of San Diego County
  • Clear Blue Sea
  • Deckard Technologies
  • Diakont Advanced Technologies
  • Discflo Corporation Inc.
  • DREWFAB
  • Ectron Corporation
  • Educational Vision Technologies
  • Eton Bioscience, Inc
  • EUCO – Electric Unicycle Collective
  • Family Proud, Inc.
  • Fantasy Sports Co.
  • Fenix Space, Inc.
  • Fuse Integration
  • GigaIO Networks
  • Impact Resources, Inc
  • Intellecy Inc.
  • KIGT Inc.
  • Lazy Surfer
  • Learn Academy
  • Left Coast Engineering
  • MedCrypt
  • MemComputing, Inc.
  • Memjet US Services, Inc.
  • Meri Consulting Services
  • Microtek
  • Misadventure & Co.
  • Nanome
  • ObjectSecurity LLC
  • Omni2Max, Inc.
  • Paragrine Systems
  • Perspectium Corp.
  • Programination
  • Qualer
  • Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine
  • Reveal Biosciences
  • reVessel
  • San Diego Loyal Soccer Club
  • SeodaPop
  • Smartville Inc.
  • SurfDurt
  • Survival Systems International
  • Tag-N-Trac
  • The Broken Token
  • The Commons XR
  • Tourmaline Wireless, LLC
  • Trabus Technologies
  • Traits AI, Inc.
  • Voltera
  • Watershed Idea Foundry, Inc.
  • Welfie
  • WithHealth, Inc.
  • ZUM Radio, Inc

For our next round of internships, we will be recruiting small healthcare companies interested in hosting students from medical assistant programs. Applications to host interns in these fields will open in Fall 2021.

If your company is interested in hosting students in the next round, sign up here receive program announcements.