A talent update from EDC

March note from our Talent Initiatives lead

While companies continue to cut costs and make layoffs in the wake of a highly anticipated (though not clearly signaled) recession, the nation’s ratio of available workers to open positions remains less than one to one. This means that there are more open positions across the United States than unemployed people available to fill them. Demographic changes can be attributed to a decline in the working age population following baby boomer retirements, as well as decreased immigration.

And San Diego is not immune to these impacts. In fact, the nature of the region’s highly skilled economy adds even greater complexity. From August to December 2022, there was an average of more than 50,000 people unemployed month over month in San Diego (BLS). During that same period, there were more than 238,000 unique job postings in the region (Lightcast). Of those 238,000 jobs, 31 percent required a bachelor’s degree or higher as a minimum requirement. Currently, these ‘must-haves’ serve as a proxy for a list of technical and interpersonal skills employers are looking for in candidates. But a recent publication by The Burning Glass Institute explores how that assumption, even in the tech industry, has been changing for the better since before the pandemic.

According to a 2021 statement, multinational tech leader IBM has “stripped bachelor’s degree requirements for more than half of [its] U.S. job openings, and [is] continuously reevaluating [its] roles to prioritize skills over specific degrees.”

Like IBM, it’s time for San Diego to rethink talent pipeline development.

Highly educated individuals are important to the growth of our innovation economy, but they cannot (and should not be expected to) fill every job. Not to mention, the nature of diversity, equity, and inclusion means not every hire should be the ‘university-educated type.’ Often, years of experience and/or non-traditional training can both substitute a degree and serve a company better.

For three years, a key feature of the Advancing San Diego program has been to help employers define the skills required for critical jobs—looking beyond the degree(s) and instead at the capability. Using the Talent Pipeline Management model, talent acquisition teams are challenged to step away from habits and traditions and gain a real understanding of the jobs of today and tomorrow. Doing so has the potential to open high-growth, high-wage occupations to opportunity populations—moving the needle on our Inclusive Growth goals and further seeding diversity of thought within companies.

As the three-year, $3 million AdvancingCities grant from JPMorgan Chase sunsets, San Diego and Imperial Valley were pursued and granted $18 million to continue this talent work. This new funding, called the Border Region Inclusive Talent Pipeline Collaborative, builds upon the work of Advancing San Diego by expanding into K-12 education, into new industries, and into new partnerships.

While this investment aligns and strengthens publicly available resources, long-term solutions to workforce challenges will require the investment and creativity of employers like you.

If you’re interested in learning more about Advancing San Diego, or you want to work with the EDC team to dream up and pilot creative talent solutions, let’s talk.

Thank you,

Taylor Dunne
Taylor Dunne

Director, Talent Initiatives

See more in our monthly report

Investor Spotlight: Founders First Capital Partners

As a nonprofit, San Diego Regional EDC is supported by investment from nearly 200 private organizations, companies, and public agencies. With their support, EDC provides direct services to help companies grow and thrive in San Diego, and leads initiatives to enhance the region’s recovery and resilience.

We sat down with Kim Folsom, founder, chairperson, and CEO of Founders First Capital Partners to discuss the company’s mission to provide access to the capital businesses need to unlock their economic potential. Check out the Investor Spotlight below!


Tell us about Founders First Capital Partners and its mission.

Founders First Capital Partners is building a comprehensive ecosystem through its proprietary platform to empower underrepresented founders to become leading, premium-wage job creators within their communities. The firm provides revenue-based financing, term loans, and business acceleration support to service-based small businesses outside of major capital markets.

In addition, Founders First Capital Partners focuses on supporting businesses led by women, people of color, military veterans, LGBTQIA+, businesses located in low-to-moderate income areas, and companies dedicated to inclusive hiring practices.

Why San Diego?

I came to San Diego as a young girl after my dad was stationed here. Growing up here, I loved the city and stayed to attend college at San Diego State University. I knew it was a great place to live and a growing region to do business. For these reasons and more, I decided to build all seven of my companies here.

What’s on the horizon for Founders First?

In the last seven years, we’ve grown from a company of five to more than 35, most of whom are based in San Diego. We see ourselves as a significant driver of the inclusive economy, so it’s no coincidence that we’re staying in the region.

Beyond our full suite of accelerator programs, grants, growth capital, and asynchronous tools, one of our major initiatives is leveraging our expertise and platform to help corporations and their suppliers drive increased capacity and reach. These are very exciting times for us.

Tell us about Founders First’s collaboration and partnership with San Diego Regional EDC.

EDC is a driving force in economic development and aligns with our mission of being a key driver toward an inclusive economy, which makes our focus complementary. We’re focused on not just talking the talk but walking the walk and making a real economic impact driving diverse-led premium wage jobs, profits, and returns for our investors.

Learn more: foundersfirstcapitalpartners.com

Read more about EDC’s investors in our investor spotlight blog series. Or, join Founders First Capital Partners by becoming a member of EDC.

Interested in publishing an investor spotlight? Contact our team:

Contact SDREDC
To learn more, please contact us.

Looking into the crystal ball…

A note from our Senior Director.

Before joining EDC in 2016, I spent more than seven years as an economist and forecaster. On my last day, my boss gifted me a crystal ball as a facetious reminder of how economic forecasting is often more art than science—perhaps mystic, even.

Nearly seven years later, that crystal ball sits on my desk and continues to serve as that reminder. Particularly at the start of every new year. As we look ahead to 2023, there are many economic headwinds to be concerned about—inflation, labor shortages, and record housing unaffordability.

One of the biggest stories at the moment is the massive layoffs in the technology industry. This news is incredibly painful for those who have lost their jobs and should not be minimized. However, much of the reduction in workforce reflects a reversal of the over-extension by these firms in 2022. More importantly, there is a silver lining for those workers affected in that nearly every industry is still hiring and struggling to fill currently open positions. The country currently has the lowest ratio of available workers to unfilled positions in 15 years.

When we look at the San Diego region more specifically, we find that many of the large layoff announcements come from companies with small and or niche presence in San Diego. Last week, official employment statistics were published that showed San Diego’s unemployment rate fell again in December to 2.9 percent. The region ended the year with 50,500 more jobs and saw the labor force grow 1.2 percent. San Diego’s labor market ended 2022 in one of its strongest positions on record.

Throughout 2022, San Diego companies posted more than 53,000 unique jobs openings. As we begin 2023, local employers are still hiring. In fact, during the first few weeks of the new year, local tech companies have already posted 1,213 unique positions with a median advertised salary of $92,000.

The news of tech layoffs and high cost of financing has not scared off investors from San Diego startups. Rather they are flocking toward quality companies with serious growth prospects—something our region is known for. During the fourth quarter of 2022, San Diego tech startups pulled in $671 million in venture capital funding, which continues to trend up relative to pre-pandemic levels.

So when I look at that crystal ball, I see…well I don’t see much. But when I look at the data and past the news headlines, I see a San Diego economy that is diverse and resilient. I see a region that is well positioned to usher the next era of semi-conductor production and clean technology innovation.

While the winds may shift, our north star remains the same. Nationwide talent shortages are a stark reminder that we must build our own skilled workforce. We must continue to support quality job growth in our small businesses by connecting them to new customers locally and around the globe. We must invest in the infrastructure needed to ensure businesses can grow and working families can afford to enjoy all that our beautiful region has to offer. Together, we can make our economic vision a reality.

Happy new year,

Eduardo Velasquez
Eduardo Velasquez

Sr. Director, Research & Economic Development

Read EDC’s Monthly Report

For the latest on EDC, visit our events and news page to stay engaged.

EDC’s Top 10 in 2022

The year has come and gone in a flash, but as always, we must take a moment to acknowledge all we accomplished with and through EDC’s 200 investors. On the heels of the pandemic and a return to ‘normal’ that will never feel quite normal again, EDC’s Top 10 in 2022 included a new board chair, team and board members, and increased commitments to the Inclusive Growth goals we set for 2030. See it all in our year in review below:

  1. Supported 165 companies across the region.
    With a suite of services from talent pipeline development to site selection, permitting, and export consulting, EDC’s core economic development work supported 9,906 jobs in 2022. Key wins include Element Biosciences’ expansion and creation of 280 local jobs, Rady Children’s Hospital hiring six former interns following involvement in the Advancing San Diego program, and support of ASML’s application for $14 million in Cal Competes incentives to generate more than 600 quality jobs, among others.
  1. Welcomed Jennie Brooks as board chair.
    A longtime board member and a senior leader at a major consulting and technology employer in San Diego, Jennie Brooks took the gavel in June for her two year term as Chair. She is flanked by four officers: Vice Chair, Rob Douglas, President & COO, ResMed; Vice Chair of Inclusive Growth, Lisette Islas, EVP & Chief Impact Officer, MAAC; Treasurer, Tom Seidler, SVP Community & Military Affairs, San Diego Padres; and Secretary, Barbara Wight, CFO, Taylor Guitars.
  1. Rallied commitments to Inclusive Growth.
    City, County, and private sector leaders pledged their public commitments to the region’s Inclusive Growth goals, increasing the number of skilled talent, quality jobs, and thriving households critical to San Diego’s competitiveness and resilience. As part of the forum, EDC shared the region’s progress against the 2030 goals in a new report.
  1. Led talent strategies to develop and attract talent.
    To build a diverse regional workforce and meet industry demand, EDC continued to lead its Advancing San Diego (ASD) and San Diego: Life. Changing. (SDLC) talent programs. Specifically, ASD recognized five training programs for their work in preparing San Diegans for entry-level lab technician roles and placed 45 interns at 23 companies where they worked nearly 7,150 hours. EDC also played a major role in the Southern Border’s successful proposal for $18 million from the state of CA over the next four years to develop and strengthen career pathways. Further, SDLC developed new tools to assist employers in telling San Diego’s innovation story, including a brand anthem on the region’s Life Sciences cluster, a company spotlight on Element Biosciences, and accompanying ad campaigns.
  1. Welcomed new cohort to MetroConnect VI.
    EDC’s international affiliate World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD) welcomed a sixth cohort to its export accelerator program MetroConnect. Underwritten by JPMorgan Chase and Procopio, WTCSD awarded 15 local, small and mid-sized businesses with financial and consultative resources to help them go global. Cohort companies include Nano PharmaSolutions, Trabus Technologies, and more.
  1. Supported international exports for small businesses.
    Small businesses are the backbone of the regional economy, made stronger by their access to global markets. In support, WTCSD’s Export SBDC directly helped nearly 40 local and international firms with expansion in San Diego, in addition to supplying 452 hours of counseling and hosting 13 workshops.
  1. Led Mayoral trade mission to the Netherlands.
    Together with San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and 30 business and civic leaders, WTCSD led its first trade mission since 2019. For three whirlwind days across the Netherlands, the delegation explored best practices in urban mobility, infrastructure development and circularity, engineering for City solutions, and more. Key programs were hosted at Qualcomm’s AI Research Lab, ASML’s Veldhoven headquarters, the Port of Rotterdam, Leiden Bio Science Park, and many more.


  1. Informed regional stakeholders using data.
    EDC’s Research Bureau launched several reports and analyses to inform regional decision makers including:

    • Diagnosing the Future: AI and San Diego’s Life Sciences Cluster,” which quantified the economic impact of the region’s Life Sciences cluster and explored the proliferation of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies being used to diagnose disease and develop drugs, among other lifesaving products and solutions.
    • The Downtown Demographics Study on behalf of the Downtown San Diego Partnership, which provided new data on the residential and workforce populations of the city’s urban core, identified areas for growth, opportunities for investment and advocacy, as well as a benchmark for the impacts of COVID-19.
    • Other ongoing economic analyses including the Quarterly Economic Snapshot.
  1. Celebrated coming together again.
    With two years of events missed and the words ‘COVID’ and ‘pandemic’ now common nomenclature, EDC was excited to come together again with investors and partners to celebrate the resilience of our community and those making the most significant impacts during the pandemic. EDC welcomed more than 800 attendees at our Annual Dinner at Petco Park, and more than 400 guests at our Summer Bash, among other events. EDC also welcomed new co-chairs for several committees including Dr. Sunny Cooke of MiraCosta College and Kevin Pegels of Illumina to EDC’s Economic Development Committee; Laura Garrett of TaylorMade Golf and Karen Reinhardt of ASML to the HR Forum; and Kim Becker of the San Diego Regional Airport Authority and Rob Douglas of ResMed to the Global Competitiveness Council.
  1. Re-located and re-branded.
    Arguably the most fun of all: This year marked the start of a new chapter in a new home for EDC. As part of our move into UC San Diego’s Park & Market in downtown, EDC debuted a fresh new brand that integrates the vibrancy of our region.

Together with EDC’s nearly 200 investors and you, 2023 will present yet another opportunity to grow talent, quality jobs, and thriving households across the San Diego region. We’re looking forward to it.

Get involved with EDC

A note from Mark…

Gratitude abounds.

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I am struck by just how fast the past year has gone by. While the last few years have made it easy (and more than justified) to lament so much of what we have all been through—and what so many people are still going through—I want to use the inspiration of the month to give thanks.

The EDC team just recently moved into our new offices on the fourth floor of UC San Diego Park & Market in Downtown San Diego. And when you go through a big office move after being in the same place for more than a decade, you find a few reminders of what has made the work so important and special over the years. Through thank you notes from past colleagues, to small gifts and tokens from trade missions and visiting delegations, to photographs of different generations of team members, investors, and partners, the memories come rushing back.

Work, I have always found, can be as important to who we are and who we become as family, friends, education, environment, and the many other factors that help shape our lives. As colleagues, co-workers, supervisors, leaders, and partners, we not only have an opportunity to contribute to organizations, missions, and/or visions that matter to us, we have the opportunity to contribute to the lives of those we cross paths with every day.

As I looked through the thank you, farewell, and congratulations notes I have received (and saved) over the years, I started to recognize a pretty obvious trend: In my 30 years in the workforce, what has mattered the most to others hasn’t been the successes, failures, promotions, achievements, innovations, or inspirations that can often be associated with management and leadership positions and organizational successes. It has been the way we treat each other during the simplest or most challenging of times that matters the most. Almost more than words can express.

To everyone who has played a role in making my days better over the last 10 years at EDC and the last 20 years in San Diego, I am so thankful for your presence in my work and in my life. In the days we have left in 2022, let’s try to take some time to reach out to those who matter most to us and tell them why. Just an e-mail, a voicemail, or a few kind spoken or written words can become such an important treasure to someone around you, that they just might still have them sitting nearby in their (new) office decades later.

Below are some of the ways you can engage with the EDC team and our work in the coming weeks. We’re thankful as always for your investment, partnership, and support that makes it all possible…


Mark Cafferty
Mark Cafferty

President & CEO

Read EDC’s Monthly Report

Need tech talent? Attend Advancing San Diego’s upcoming events to strengthen your local talent pipeline:

Plus, join World Trade Center San Diego to grow your international sales:

For the latest on EDC, visit our events and news page to stay engaged.

Reflections on our trade mission by WTCSD’s director

Thriving Cities Trade Mission to the Netherlands

Two weeks have passed since our return from the Netherlands Trade Mission, and I continue to think back on how effectively public and private sector forces work together to develop the infrastructure for trains, busses, bicycles, cars, and even canal boats to coexist in harmony. 

After three years of pandemic-related travel limitations, it was refreshing and inspiring to hit the road again, this time with San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and 29 of our region’s most influential and collaborative business, academic, political, and economic leaders. This delegation carried the San Diego banner in one of the world’s leading metros for innovation and circular urban development—the Netherlands—a country engineered out of the sea. 

Learn why the netherlands → 

We kicked off the mission by hosting the Thriving Cities Mayoral Forum, where we explored the leading role that cities play in driving circular/sustainable development with insight from Mayor Gloria, Amsterdam Mayor Halsema, and other innovation leaders from both regions.

We visited Qualcomm’s largest AI research hub outside of San Diego to celebrate its expansion, and learn about its partnership with the University of Amsterdam, QUVA, which supports a pipeline of engineering talent.  

Joined by SANDAG Chair Catherine Blakespear and leadership at San Diego’s higher education institutions, we visited TNO, the premier applied research organization of the Dutch government to see its newest tool in action—a ‘digital twin’ of a region that overlays conditions for traffic, energy usage, pollution, and more, with the option to toggle different variables to see how the conditions interact with each other.  

Our delegation then headed to ‘the smartest kilometer in Europe’ to visit Philips and ASML, the largest medical systems and technology companies in the Netherlands, respectively, that both have existing and growing operations in San Diego. 

We also brought together three Commissioners and the CEO of the Port of San Diego in the Port of Rotterdam to learn about circular and efficient operations at Europe’s busiest port and share the exciting developments we have underway on our beautiful waterfront. 

And perhaps one of the most inspiring moments of our trade mission happened on our last day, when WTCSD’s MetroConnect companies Trabus Technologies and Nano PharmaSolutions pitched to Port of Rotterdam and Leiden Bio Science Park leaders, respectively, for foreign investment. 

As we settle back into life in San Diego, our delegation brings home a fresh perspective on the ways we can address challenges in critical areas such as transportation and urban development. We see more clearly than ever the value of closer collaboration between the public sector, academia, and private business. In the coming years, we hope to see engineering solutions and transformative technologies like TNO’s Digital Twin being used to aid decision-making in large public works, and large multinationals like ASML and Philips successfully growing their operations in the region. 

Most of all, we look forward to the meaningful relationships and connections built through the mission and the collaboration that will lead to smarter, stronger, more inclusive development for all, right here in San Diego.  

The trade mission is organized by WTCSD, an affiliate of the San Diego Regional EDC, with assistance and support provided by the Consulate of the Netherlands, and sponsorship by ASML, Lufthansa, and Qualcomm Technologies.


Lucas Coleman
Lucas Coleman

Director, World Trade Center San Diego

Read EDC’s Monthly Report

Investor Spotlight: Commute with Enterprise

As a nonprofit, San Diego Regional EDC is supported by investment from nearly 200 private organizations, companies, and public agencies. With their support, EDC provides direct services to help companies grow and thrive in San Diego, and leads initiatives to enhance the region’s recovery and resilience.

We sat down with Neil Semcheski, sales manager at Commute with Enterprise, to discuss the company’s mission to combat traffic congestion and carbon emissions with affordable commuting solutions. Check out its Investor Spotlight below!

Tell us about Commute with Enterprise and its mission.

Commute with Enterprise‘s vanpool solutions are one of the largest and most cost-effective available today. As the largest U.S. vanpool operator, our company addresses both local and global needs by reducing traffic congestion, commute times, travel costs, parking land usage, and carbon emissions, all while providing commuters with a smarter and more efficient way to get to work.

Each year, our commuting solutions eliminate more than one billion commuter miles, clearing more than 45,000 individual vehicles from the road, and reducing carbon emissions by 812 pounds annually. Additionally, businesses that offer our programs not only build their sustainability profiles, but gain a competitive edge in the battle for talent.

In the wake of the pandemic and with the rise of hybrid working arrangements, we know commuters are looking for affordable and convenient alternatives for getting to and from work. For little to no cost to the employer, Commute offers customizable programs that benefit workers and their employers—an investment in employee well-being, attraction, and retention. Our vanpools have alleviated traffic congestion and reduced commuting costs by more than 80 percent.

A few EDC investors currently using Commute with Enterprise include Illumina, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Scripps Health, among other San Diego giants hailing from a variety of industries.

Why San Diego?

Commute with Enterprise established its first vanpool in San Diego 25 years ago, which still operates today. Commute with Enterprise has since served numerous employers in the region across industries including healthcare providers, manufacturing firms, tech and biotech startups, universities, DoD affiliates, and other military and federal entities.

One of the most significant partnerships Commute with Enterprise offers is with the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), which provides financial incentives for vanpool offerings—a valuable complement to other forms of public transit offered in the region, especially for the 20-30 percent of the population who commute more than 60 miles each day.

Looking ahead, what’s on the horizon for your organization?

Commute with Enterprise is dedicated to continuing to grow our services in the San Diego region. With essential workforces still on site and as employees continue to return to the office, there’s a great opportunity for businesses to offer vanpool services as a valuable addition to their employee benefits package.

Tell us about Commute’s collaboration and partnership with San Diego Regional EDC.

Commute with Enterprise is excited to be a new San Diego Regional EDC investor and for the opportunity to add value to the organization. We are proud to support EDC investors’ goals of leading San Diego’s economic prosperity and global competitiveness, while investing in the workforces that power our great binational region.

Learn more: commutewithenterprise.com

LinkedIn: Commute with Enterprise

Read more about EDC’s investors in our investor spotlight blog series. Or, join Commute with Enterprise by becoming a member of EDC.

Interested in publishing an investor spotlight? Contact our team:

Contact SDREDC
To learn more, please contact us.

A note from Mark…

Back to school, back to school

I hope this note finds you all healthy, well, and beating the heat as we head into fall. 

A quick look at my social media pages is a clear indication that school is back in session across our region. From first day of pre-school photos to first day of college photos, the lifelong learning process is on full display in the posts of proud parents, grandparents, and family members. 

It goes without saying that education is the cornerstone of economic development and opportunity. These days our team at EDC is working more closely with our education partners than ever before, and we can truly feel their enthusiasm as this new year begins. From the opening of new academic buildings, to the announcements of new courses and programs, to the celebration of a new stadium—the successes and results of business and education partnerships are on full display across our region. 

Over the last few years, I have marveled at how the quiet generosity of one EDC investor initiated a new partnership between a local high school and non-profit organization that has changed student’s lives. I have seen our community colleges and higher education partners work tirelessly with our team and employers to ensure they are consistently expanding and upgrading their curriculum to meet changing industry needs and requirements—evidenced by the recent, exciting news of an $18.1 million grant to SDICCCA. And within our own organization, we have watched part-time student internships lead to full-time job offers, promotions, and more as part of Advancing San Diego. 

When we think about our Inclusive Growth goals, and more specifically about doubling the number of post-secondary completions by 2030, it can feel overwhelming. But we know that we can only get there by leveraging, supporting, and embracing every partnership we have with our local educational institutions and systems. By working together to keep student curriculum and exposure current, we can drive socio-economic mobility for the talent of tomorrow.

So this September, as the education and lifelong learning cycle begins anew, we urge all of our private sector EDC investors—regardless of industryto continue expanding your relationships with the education leaders you share our table with. They cannot get us there alone, and neither can you. 

A broad list of resources for employers seeking to recruit and retain talent can be found here. If you have any questions on who and how to engage them, please contact our Advancing San Diego team. 

Wishing all of our education partners (and parents) within our EDC community a wonderful, safe, and productive school year ahead. I’m proud to work with and through all of you to ensure that the young people growing up in all corners of our community have the opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive within our region and economy. 


Mark Cafferty
Mark Cafferty

President & CEO

Read EDC’s Monthly Report


For specific opportunities to get involved with Advancing San Diego, submit this form or contact:

Taylor Dunne
Taylor Dunne

Director, Talent Initiatives

A note on what’s to come from our CEO

Looking ahead…

Dear Board Members, Investors, and Partners:

I truly hope this message finds you well and enjoying a wonderful summer. I also hope that you are as excited about the Padres’ recent moves as we are at EDC. Being Downtown the last several days, you can already feel the energy.

Recognizing August as a month where many people are finishing up their summer travel and families are preparing to get their children back to school, EDC historically foregoes our regularly scheduled board meeting and executive committee meeting to make sure everyone has the extra time they need. But as we gear up for the final four months of 2022, I wanted to share a bit of what’s to come—because in many ways, our team is busier than ever.

Our World Trade Center team is in the throes of planning our first international trade mission since 2019, bringing dozens of our region’s top business, community, and civic leaders (including San Diego Mayor Gloria) on a fast and furious trip to the Netherlands in late September. This trip will help us expand business, trade, and academic connections within the market while also learning from some of the world’s smartest and most sustainable cities and economies.

True to Mary Walshok’s vision, and with the help of board member Tom Turner of CBRE, we have signed a lease and will be moving into UC San Diego’s Park & Market space, an exciting new addition to the Downtown landscape that promises to “bring people together who might not otherwise have crossed paths.” The building will serve as a homebase for a collection of organizations seen as “multidisciplinary and boundary spanning”—connecting art and science, culture and technology, civic engagement, lifelong learning, etc. With a new office and a new brand identity to come, you can expect an invitation to a reception and other gatherings before year’s end. Stay tuned.

As always, we will work hard to make sure that all EDC board and committee meetings continue to embrace the moments that we are living and working through. In addition to our continued healthcare and employment law updates at our monthly board meetings, we stay committed to digging deeper into the talent, workplace, and human resources-related challenges, opportunities, and discussions that dominate our interactions with local businesses. We will also continue to balance these topics with presentations from our region’s largest, leading, and most cutting-edge businesses. And most importantly, we will work to ensure that all of these efforts continue to guide us toward meeting our 2030 Inclusive Growth goals of growing the number of skilled workers, quality jobs, and thriving households in all corners of our region.

While we have more new names and faces on our board roster than ever before, you all know that it is your investment in our work that allows us to do what we do. Our priorities, strategies, activities, goals, and workplans fully reflect your leadership, direction, feedback, partnership, and support. We look forward to continuing to share this year with all of you as we best position the San Diego economy and community for all that lies ahead.

In closing, I want to share the words sent to me after our last in-person board meeting by EDC board member Bob Rief, executive director and co-founder of San Diego Sport Innovators:

“The EDC meetings are so provocative…virtually every one is a reminder about how much more every citizen, specially me, can do.”

Know that we draw the same inspiration from and share the same admiration for all of you. Look forward to seeing you all in the months ahead.


Mark Cafferty
Mark Cafferty

President & CEO

More news and events from edc

Investor Spotlight: The Lufthansa Group

As a non-profit, San Diego Regional EDC is supported by investment from nearly 200 private organizations, companies, and public agencies. With their support, EDC provides direct services to help companies grow and thrive in San Diego and, through its affiliate World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD), leads global initiatives to enhance the region’s recovery and resilience.

We sat down with Lufthansa Group, WTCSD’s preferred European airline, to discuss its partnership with and support of key efforts to connect San Diego’s business community to Europe. Check out the investor spotlight below!

Tell us about Lufthansa Group and its commitment to global connectivity.

The Lufthansa Group is one of the world’s leading aviation groups, as well as the market leader in Europe’s airline sector. The airlines of the Lufthansa Group—Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, Lufthansa, SWISS, and Eurowings Discover—fly business and leisure passengers to more than 300 destinations around the world via hubs in Brussels, Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, and Zurich. Passengers enjoy a premium product and a comprehensive route network, combined with the highest level of travel flexibility. In its 2022 summer schedule, the Lufthansa Group carriers will offer flights from 30 North American gateways to the various home market hubs, Europe-at-large, and the world.

From San Diego to Germany, and beyond 

A long-time partner, Lufthansa continues to work collaboratively with WTCSD and San Diego Regional Airport Authority (SAN) to offer a trusted gateway from our region into Western Europe.

In March 2022, Lufthansa launched its nonstop service to Munich, opening an opportunity for San Diego companies to partner with German and other EU innovators.

WTCSD’s 2021 Annual Report and the Go Global 2025 Report showed the San Diego business community is eager to return to international travel and expand global connectivity—and Lufthansa’s direct Munich flights have enjoyed positive feedback and frequent use since its launch.

Thriving Cities: A trade mission to the Netherlands

In September 2022, WTCSD will take a delegation of San Diego business leaders to the Netherlands via Lufthansa’s new direct flight to Munich. Over the course of a week, trade mission delegates will broaden international connectivity between San Diego and Western Europe with topics ranging from mobility, sustainability, to life sciences and tech.

In collaboration with Lufthansa and the Consulate of the Netherlands, WTCSD aims to drive increased investment between the two regions.

Are you a senior leader at a San Diego innovation company interested in joining the delegation? Contact Caroline Murray, listed below, for details.

From San Diego to the world

WTCSD looks forward to continuing its partnership with Lufthansa and collaborating on opportunities to help San Diego companies access new international markets through programs like:

  • MetroConnect
  • Future Trade missions
  • Reliable connectivity to Germany and beyond

Stay in touch

Read more about EDC’s investors in our investor spotlight blog series. Or, join Lufthansa Group and become a member of EDC.

Contact our team:

Caroline Murray
Caroline Murray

Manager, World Trade Center San Diego