Advancing San Diego: What we’ve done in one year

EDC’s inclusive growth strategy is fueled by three key economic ingredients: skilled workers, quality jobs (particularly in small companies) and thriving households. Launched in 2019 with funding from JP Morgan Chase, Advancing San Diego is helping the region meet its inclusive growth goals by addressing skilled talent shortages and expanding access to quality job opportunities. Advancing San Diego partners, in lockstep with industry and education partners, recognize that each group has a role to play in developing and strengthening our local talent pool.

The challenge & the opportunity

Employers cite access to diverse, qualified talent as a top challenge within their business, relying on high-cost recruitment strategies to fill job openings. Meanwhile, San Diego is a diverse community with an education system that serves hundreds of thousands of San Diegans (10 community colleges, 5 universities, numerous non-traditional training programs). Black and Hispanic San Diegans make up more than half of our population, but are glaringly underrepresented in high-demand jobs.

Advancing San Diego introduces a collaborative, region-wide strategy to prepare San Diegans for high-demand jobs via our locally-serving education intuitions. While labor market data is improving, there is not a consistent approach for adapting education to meet industry expectations. With clear and consistent communication about skills, we collectively create an environment where San Diegans are trained for, and can access quality job opportunities, and employers can look to our local talent pool for their hiring needs.

Talent development amid a global pandemic

We felt the initial impacts of the pandemic across our entire economy. Unemployment in San Diego rose from 4.2% to 15% in a matter of months, with some industries experiencing a 50% decline in their workforce. Of the jobs impacted the most, many were already at risk of decline due to factors including automation and digitization. Further, the highest-risk jobs are disproportionately held by Black and Hispanic San Diegans.

Other industries, particularity innovation industries, took less of a hit as business held steady and employees had the option to work remotely. Jobs most insulated from the impacts of the pandemic are disproportionately held by white and Asian San Diegans.

Pre- and post-COVID-19, software developers continue to rank among the highest demand occupations in San Diego. In May, software developers were the second most advertised job in San Diego, with 3,000 postings. With numerous training options beyond a 4-year degree, software engineers can be trained relatively quickly at a much lower cost to the individual, and both training and jobs can be done from essentially anywhere with an internet connection. As such, Advancing San Diego started its work by informing education providers on skills requirements for software engineers, and is actively working with employers do the same for engineering and business professionals. 

The Advancing San Diego approach

Advancing San Diego is a demand-driven, outcomes based strategy for strengthening lines of communication between industry and education, and expanding access to talent for small companies.

  1. COMMUNICATION: employer working groups communicate hiring requirements for entry-level jobs, offer feedback to education providers on how to update & improve curriculum, and recognize “Preferred Providers” as delivering top-quality training for quality jobs. It’s through this process that employers also gain a better understanding of which local institutions they should be recruiting from.
    YEAR 1 PROGRESS: 30+ employers have actively engaged in working groups to communicate skills criteria, offer feedback on curricula, and grow the network of Preferred Provider programs. Following their participation in the working group, many employers express interest in hiring from a community college, university, or non-traditional training program where they had not previously recruited from.
    >> Skills Reports for Software Talent & Engineering Talent
  1. ADAPTATION: with better communication from industry, education programs can more effectively train talent that employers want to hire. Education programs are also recognized by employers for their ability to reach and serve a diverse student body.
    YEAR 1 PROGRESS: Employers have offered feedback to 21 education programs; 7 have been selected as Preferred Providers of software talent, and Preferred Providers of engineering talent will be announced in coming weeks. Multiple programs who were not selected are actively adapting programs for reconsideration as a Preferred Providers, which are evaluated annually.
    >> More information on Preferred Providers
  1. ACCESS: Small companies (<100 employees) often do not have the time or resources to effectively recruit top talent. At no cost to them, small companies can host paid interns from Preferred Provider programs as part of Advancing San Diego. These companies receive training for building successful remote teams, access to a software platform for managing remote interns, and interns are eligible for $500 in products or services that support their internship success. The internship program prioritizes students who are first generation college students, community college students, or residents of San Diego’s low income communities.
    YEAR 1 PROGRESS: 22 small companies from a variety of industries are hosting ASD interns remotely this summer. A second cohort of companies is currently being recruited to meet interest in this program from students, many of whom are experiencing heightened anxiety due to job-market uncertainty.
    >> The average size of companies in this cohort is 12 employees, and 54% of host companies identify as either minority, woman, disabled, veteran, or immigrant-owned.
    >> ASD has placed +40 software engineering interns from community college, university, and non-traditional education backgrounds. 100% of interns are either first-gen college students, community college students, veterans, or residents of San Diego’s low income communities.

What’s next?

Advancing San Diego was designed as a cyclical process that is responsive to the ever-changing needs of the economy. Our priority remains to better prepare the local talent pool for the jobs our economy needs, and provide better access to talent for small companies. Even once shelter-in-place guidelines are lifted, we will continue to offer paid remote work experiences as one way to remove geographic and scheduling barriers for students and companies.

However, we realize that not all jobs can be done remotely. While we will continue to focus on high-demand job areas such as software, we will lean into jobs that are economically resilient, good-paying jobs that are accessible via shorter-term training and have cross-cutting industry need. We believe this approach will increase our ability to support those most impacted by the pandemic on a path to economic stability.

For more updates on Advancing San Diego, visit the program page.

Meet our Advancing San Diego Preferred Providers

Meet the Preferred Providers.

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% of firms in San Diego are small companies (fewer than 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 like software engineering, 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 San Diego Regional 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 17 employers to develop a skills-based criteria for the region’s highest growth position over the past five years–software engineers. We asked that any education provider meeting that criteria apply for the Preferred Provider designation. An employer review panel then evaluated these applicants against the skills criteria to determine which programs should be designated as ‘Preferred Providers’, recognized as effectively preparing individuals for jobs and internships in software engineering.

EDC is excited to announce the first round of Preferred Providers of software talent.

Preferred Providers (Full Designation) – defined as fully preparing individuals for software engineering jobs.

Preferred Providers (Partial Designation) – defined as providing the foundational skillsets necessary for students to pursue a software engineering internship.

How small companies can get involved:

Over the next three years, Advancing San Diego will cover the cost of internships for Preferred Provider students within up to 100 small companies. Students will also participate in industry engagement opportunities such as career fairs and networking events, and become eligible for up to $500 each in flexible funds to support their success in the workplace. The Preferred Provider (full) and (partial) designations come with the same set of benefits. The first cohort will be placed in Summer 2020.

If you are a small company (<100 employees) that is interested in receiving interns from STEM fields and meets the eligibility criteria, apply now!

In the meantime, please register to attend our workshop geared toward building and improving your company’s internship program. While it is not a requirement for companies to attend the workshop and be eligible to host interns, it is highly encouraged.

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:

For more information, visit AdvancingSD.org.

 

Future of Growth Forum 2020 hosts Brookings members to discuss inclusive growth

On the morning of Super Tuesday in February, leaders from business, philanthropy, education, and the public sector gathered at the San Diego Central Library for the Future of Growth Forum presented by Bank of America. Here, this community heard from members of the Brookings Network for Economic Inclusion (BNEI) on how they are addressing economic inclusion in their own cities across the country.

The panel followed opening remarks from Julian Parra, Senior Vice President of Executive Business Banking in the Pacific South West region at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, on why the bank sees this work as an economic imperative, as well as from Joe Parilla, Fellow at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program on why inclusive growth matters for regional economic development.

Mark Cafferty, President and CEO of San Diego Regional EDC (EDC), moderated the panel. He opened with an explanation of what BNEI is, and how it has facilitated inspiring relationships between leaders of a variety of organizations, from unique cities, who have found themselves working to address very similar issues. The underlying issue is a modern lack of inclusivity, the long-lasting result of prejudices that existed for years, and still exist in systems across the country.

MarySue Barrett of the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) in Chicago kicked off the panel by sharing how MPC, a uniquely positioned economic development organization, made the case to their stakeholders that inclusivity was an economic imperative with a tangible cost. MPC’s report, The Cost of Segregation, quantified the economic impact of continuing to allow our communities to be segregated. That cost came out to approximately $4.4 billion. Each year that they continued living in a segregated society, they were losing out on $4.4 billion to their gross regional product. MPC followed this report with a two-part roadmap to equity, through which they outline how the region can address these issues.

Brad Whitehead of Fund our Economic Future in Cleveland, Ohio followed MarySue’s comments by discussing the inception of his organization, and how they are addressing the issue as it relates specifically to employment. Brad stated, “Economic development is too important to leave up to the economic developers.” In other words, this massive challenge across the United States must have the buy in of everyone in the economy – not just the economic development organizations, or just the philanthropies, but rather everyone together.

Following Brad’s comments, Tawanna Black of the Minneapolis Center for Economic Inclusion reminded us of the harsh realities of racial and economic segregation, that exist every single day in her city and in others across the country. As she explain how her organization works with business and philanthropy to “disrupt systems and influence market forces”, Tawanna reflected on a constant reminder of this economic imperative: her own children and their peers who are still today being treated differently because of the color of their skin, or their zip code.

Finally, Michael Huber discussed how the Indy Chamber works in a similar fashion to EDC, and related his own work, getting large employers in Indianapolis involved in inclusive growth, to what we are doing here is San Diego. Michael pointed out that the research Brookings did with Indianapolis served as a kind of myth-buster for them in revealing what challenges their constituents were actually facing when it came to inclusivity and affordability.

EDC would like to thank all of its supporters and partners for making this event, and this work, possible. A special thanks to The City of San Diego for its consistent support and for allowing us to use the beautiful Downtown Central Library.

To learn more about EDC’s inclusive growth work, visit inclusivesd.org, or follow along on Twitter using #inclusiveSD.

If you would like to support EDC’s inclusive growth initiative, contact Eduardo Velasquez.

Good News of 2019

A look at San Diego’s top headlines…

As we close out the year (and decade!) in San Diego, we want to take a moment to highlight some of the ‘good news’ about our region’s companies, leaders, institutions, and more. Keep reading below for a recap of this year’s top stories, and check out the full edition here.

Here’s to creating a more prosperous San Diego in the next decade.
-Team EDC

Together, San Diego leaders work to create a more inclusive regional economy
While the growth of our innovation economy has created tremendous opportunities, it has also perpetuated systemic inequities within our region. This year, we saw more companies, elected officials, and organizations make an active effort to build a more inclusive SD.

Local colleges add new programs, receive national accolades and funding
The region’s higher education system is integral for building a quality talent. This year, we saw more universities and colleges lean in to support a regional goal of 20,000 new skilled workers by 2030, while also earning recognition for new programs and accomplishments.

A great year for San Diego’s tech pioneer
Things are looking good for Qualcomm. This year, the tech giant took the no. 1 spot on Fortune’s Change the World List for connecting us all and bringing 5G to the globe. As part of its legal settlement, Qualcomm signed a six-year licensing deal with Apple. Following the announcement, Qualcomm stocks climbed 20 percent, marking the stock’s best day since 1999.

San Diego companies earn nearly $2 billion in VC funding
In 2019, San Diego saw 99 VC deals totaling nearly $2 billion (up to Q3). Majority of the VC transactions were concentrated in our local life sciences and healthcare sector, garnering $819 million in funds via 37 deals, followed by the tech sector with 27 deals. Since 1995, healthcare has consistently drawn the bulk of VC dollars into the region.

Global companies, startups and ‘unicorns’ make moves to San Diego
While the majority of our economic growth is going to come from companies already in the region, it’s always a good sign when firms relocate or open a new office in San Diego. This year, we saw some new names establish strongholds in the region, as well as existing companies, double-down on their presence.

San Diego tops national charts
2019 proved that San Diego was no stranger to some of the most coveted national rankings. From our vibrant startup ecosystem to our award-winning airport, high-level publications and organizations recognized what makes San Diego truly life-changing.

CONNECT joins forces with San Diego Venture Group
Two regional powerhouses with similar missions – to propel early-stage startups in San Diego – joined forces. This move brought forth a more resourceful, unified entity within San Diego, utilizing CONNECT’s reputation for supporting small, emerging tech companies mixed with SDVG’s impressive connections to VC investors.

San Diego welcomes new regional leaders
This year, influential organizations throughout the region brought on new leaders to spearhead their efforts.

San Diego celebrates 250 years!
In July 2019, City of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and a group of representatives from the Kumeyaay nation gathered for a ceremony honoring San Diego’s 250th anniversary. The event took place at Old Town’s Presidio Park, marking the birthplace of San Diego and also commemorating the location where California began.

San Diego Integration Pilot Program (IPP) hits new milestones
San Diego is currently one of 10 state, local, and tribal governments to participate in the Integration Pilot Program, which allows our region to be at the forefront of an industry that is expected to reach a $43 billion market value by 2024. This year, the program – managed by EDC in collaboration with the City of San Diego – achieved new milestones.

Read all the Good News of 2019

Northrop Grumman pilots new student talent pipeline program in San Diego

Inspired by the newly-minted Advancing San Diego initiative and the company’s involvement with EDC’s Inclusive Growth Steering Committee, Northrop Grumman Corporation launched a new talent pipeline program in San Diego that provides community college STEM students with paid, work-based learning opportunities and a pathway to qualification for careers in the aerospace and defense industries.

 

Since the program’s inception earlier this year, Northrop Grumman has partnered with MiraCosta College and Palomar College for the pilot phase of the program during the 2019-2020 school year and is exploring additional partnerships through the San Diego & Imperial Counties Community College Association (SDICCCA) for the 2020-2021 school year.

Establishing a framework to collaborate with education systems is necessary for building a strong local talent pipeline and supports a long-term workforce planning strategy,” said Alfredo Ramirez, vice president, engineering, Northrop Grumman. “Our decision to develop a community college pilot fills a critical gap bridging K-12 and university programming, allowing us to reach and engage students in San Diego throughout their education journey.”

Check out the video below to see how Northrop Grumman’s program is building a better regional economy that benefits all San Diegans and directly supporting the goals set forth by EDC’s Inclusive Growth Steering Committee.

Looking to start your own talent pipeline program?

Learn more about advancing san diego

San Diego employers commit to addressing the region’s affordability crisis

In an effort to address San Diego’s soaring cost of living, San Diego Regional EDC and its Inclusive Growth Steering Committee of 40 employers officially endorsed a regional goal to create 75,000 newly thriving households by 2030. Driven by the findings in EDC’s latest study release, this regional goal and accompanying set of recommendations aim to address key factors (housing, transportation, and childcare) impacting San Diego’s affordability crisis – the last of three main goals of a regional Inclusive Growth agenda.

“While San Diego’s affordability crisis impacts everyone in the region, it has a disproportionate and devastating impact on African American and Hispanic communities,” said Mark Cafferty, president and CEO, San Diego Regional EDC. “The lack of affordable housing is a significant part of the problem, but those impacted are also the same residents who are dealing with the longest commute times, childcare deficits, limited connectivity to public transportation, and other barriers that make access to high-wage, high-skilled jobs particularly more difficult and burdensome.”

ADDRESSING SAN DIEGO’S AFFORDABILITY CRISIS
In its new study, EDC found that the majority of household incomes in San Diego do not meet the region’s expected cost of living ($96,000 annually for owner-occupied households and $61,000 annually for renter-occupied households). The cost of housing – twice the average among U.S. metros – is the primary driver of the region’s growing cost of living, pushing residents further away from job centers and resulting in longer commute times and increased cost of transportation.

Additional key findings include:
Affordability: San Diego is 47 percent more expensive than the average U.S. metro.
Housing: Half of all homeowners do not earn enough to cover their cost of living, and nearly 60 percent of all renters fall thousands of dollars short each year.
• Transportation: The average household spends more than $14,000 on transportation and travels nearly 20,000 miles over the course of a year.
• Childcare: There are now nearly twice as many children under the age of six with working parents as there are licensed childcare spaces available.

With the fifth highest median home price, staggering commute times for its poorest residents, and substantial childcare shortages, San Diego’s high cost of living not only impacts the region’s existing workforce, but also the pipeline of future talent.

“It is becoming more challenging to recruit talent from out of the San Diego region because San Diego is not an affordable place to live.  This is especially true in higher education where many competitors for talent are in low-cost college towns,” said Thom Harpole, human resources director, San Diego State University. “Salary and benefits packages alone are not adequate to address the problem.  Affordability in San Diego must be addressed to ensure the health of our communities and the success of our organizations in delivering on their missions.”

If the region’s housing, transportation, and childcare costs continue to rise at this rate, San Diego will no longer be an attractive place to live or work. To address this affordability crisis, the Inclusive Growth Steering Committee has endorsed a regional goal of creating 75,000 newly thriving households by 2030. To meet this new regional goal, San Diego must increase the proportion of households that can afford the region’s true cost of living from 47 percent to 55 percent. This means more housing, more transportation options, and more childcare. It also means growing household incomes through the local development of skilled workers and creation of more quality jobs.

“San Diego’s cost of living significantly impacts our ability to attract and retain talent from other destinations,” said Clifford “Rip” Rippetoe, president and CEO, San Diego Convention Center Corporation. “We need to be creative to compete.  We work to make sure that all of our employees have the opportunity to thrive in San Diego.”

The Inclusive Growth Steering Committee has recommended that employers support the regional goal through the following actions:
1. Transparency – understand the impacts that lack of affordability has on existing workforce and talent pipeline.
2. Engagement – participate in public policy dialogue around infrastructure development to address the region’s affordability challenges.
3. Investment – invest in programs and projects that help ameliorate cost of living pressures on workforce.

Employers that have officially endorsed this goal and recommendations include San Diego State University, San Diego Convention Center, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cox Communications, Northrop Grumman, and more. For a complete list of employers committed to this effort, visit the new interactive web study.

EDC’S INCLUSIVE GROWTH INITIATIVE
In 2018, EDC launched a data-driven, employer-led initiative focused on promoting inclusive growth as an economic imperative. Together with its Inclusive Growth Steering Committee, EDC has set collaborative regional goals, endorsed actionable recommendations for accomplishing them, and will continue to monitor its regional progress towards building a strong local talent pipeline, equipping small businesses to compete, and addressing San Diego’s affordability crisis.

For more information about the Inclusive Growth initiative, visit inclusiveSD.org. Join the conversation at #inclusiveSD.

View the full interactive web study release: Addressing San Diego’s Affordability Crisis.