Public, private leaders announce commitment to Inclusive Growth

County, City, academic, and private sector leaders announce commitment to inclusive economic growth

Today at its Report to the Community event, San Diego Regional EDC shared progress against the 2030 inclusive growth goals outlined pre-pandemic in 2018. With new data and bold objectives set around increasing the number of skilled talent, quality jobs, and thriving households critical to the region’s competitiveness, County and City of San Diego officials as well as leaders in the private sector, education, and philanthropy offered their shared commitments to economic inclusion.

“EDC’s recent analysis underscores the significant impact of the pandemic on San Diego’s under-resourced communities and small businesses,” said Julian Parra, Business Banking Region Executive at Bank of America and EDC Board Chair. “To drive meaningful economic change, a diverse set of stakeholders must step up or the issues facing our economy—talent shortages, skills gaps, and a soaring cost of living—will further challenge San Diego’s economic competitiveness.”

The innovation economy has made San Diego more prosperous than many of its peers—leading the region out of the COVID-spurred economic recession as it has in past downturns—but remains inaccessible to the fastest-growing segment of the region’s population. At no surprise, the goalposts EDC outlined four years ago are now farther from reach in the wake of the pandemic.

With nearly 200 members, EDC represents just a small fraction of the region’s employers. It is only with and through a broader group of stakeholders that more quality jobs, skilled talent, and thriving households in San Diego is possible. As such, EDC has enlisted the endorsement of key regional partners and employers that have committed to using the Inclusive Growth framework to inform their priorities, tactics, and resource allocation.

Hear some of those commitments:

 

“The County shares a deep commitment to the framework outlined by EDC. In order to help regionalize these Inclusive Growth goals, the County has created the Office of Economic Prosperity and Community Development that will prioritize significant investments in our communities as well as uplift our local businesses,” said Vice Chair Nora Vargas, San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “Our inclusive work is centered on achieving an equitable economic recovery that ensures prosperity for all San Diegans.”

“Employing more than 1,200 San Diegans, we understand the criticality of large employers fostering a robust talent pipeline who can afford to live and thrive here,” said Jennie Brooks, Senior Vice President at Booz Allen Hamilton and EDC Vice Chair. “We are committed to advancing these goals by mentoring the next generation of women leaders through partnerships with local organizations like Girl Scouts San Diego; creating opportunities through our Mil/Tech Workforce Initiative to help military veterans build on their experiences and upskill into quality tech careers; and providing the flexibility that employees need in today’s dynamic work-life environment.”

The pandemic’s impact to progress: Jobs, talent, households

In its new analysis, available at progress.inclusivesd.org, EDC quantifies the COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating impact on the regional economy and reports progress toward the 2030 goals. Takeaways include:

  1. QUALITY JOBS:
    While the region saw an overall increase in the number of quality jobs* since 2017, the disparity between quality jobs in small and large firms grew. The jobs losses of 2020 were principally concentrated in lower paying jobs at small businesses, especially those held by people of color. Meanwhile, larger firms added quality jobs in haste. In order to compete on talent, small businesses need new, reliable customers. San Diego’s large buyers can support quality job growth and ensure supply chain resilience by spending more with small, local businesses.
  1. SKILLED TALENT:
    Since 2016, all job growth has been in positions that require some form of degree or credential acquired through post-secondary education (PSE). Looking forward, it is projected that 84 percent of new jobs created between now and 2030 will also require PSE. Hispanics represent one-third of San Diego’s total population but only 15 percent of degree holders. Further, nearly half of middle school students are Hispanic but are statistically the least prepared for the jobs of the future. To address employers’ hiring challenges long-term, the region must invest in college readiness for more San Diego students.
  1. THRIVING HOUSEHOLDS:
    Rapidly rising home prices—up more than 30 percent in the last two years alone—coupled with jobs losses have resulted in almost 11,000 fewer thriving households** in 2020 than in 2017. Further, the region lost 3,200 licensed childcare facilities due to business closures amid the pandemic. Rising costs and access to childcare, transportation, and broadband—disproportionately felt by people of color—will leave businesses unable to retain or recruit talent from outside of the region.

While the innovation cluster has more than rebounded from the pandemic, the talent challenges employers face will only worsen and threaten their growth across San Diego. A concerted commitment to Inclusive Growth must be made; the region’s competitiveness depends on it.

The initiative is sponsored by Bank of America, HomeFed Corporation, San Diego Gas & Electric, Southwest Airlines, The San Diego Foundation, University of San Diego School of Business, City of San Diego, and County of San Diego.

Read the full report at progress.inclusiveSD.org.

join the movement

*Quality job = $44K wages + healthcare benefits.

**Thriving household = total income covers cost of living for renter- or owner-occupied households, at $796K and $122K respectively.

Release: Life Sciences Talent Demand Report and Preferred Provider Application

Advancing San Diego has released its sixth Talent Demand Report, this time focusing on the Life Sciences industry. Advancing San Diego joined forces with Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) to collaborate on a first-of-its-kind cross-regional workforce development study between two California metros using the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Talent Pipeline Management framework. The two organizations worked together to identify:

  • A high-demand occupation in need of a strengthened and diversified talent pipeline
  • The skills needed to fill that occupation in an industry that fuels the economies of both regions.

By engaging employers from both San Diego and Los Angeles, some of which have locations in both regions, Advancing San Diego and LAEDC are working to create a common language and understanding of employer need throughout Southern California.

VIEW THE FULL REPORT

APPLY TO BE A PREFERRED PROVIDER OF LIFE SCIENCES TALENT

 

Resources

  • Watch the Talent Demand Webinar where we release the report and walk through the application process HERE.
  • View and download the full list of skills criteria HERE.
  • Download a Google Doc version of the Preferred Provider application to prepare responses HERE.

About Advancing San Diego:

Advancing San Diego is a collaborative effort to better prepare San Diegans for quality jobs via locally-serving education institutions and expand access to diverse, qualified talent for San Diego companies. The program works to help the region meet its inclusive growth goals by strengthening relationships between local industry and education systems. Better alignment between these systems will mean that the region can collectively prepare San Diegans for high-demand jobs, and local employers – many of which are small companies – can establish or expand recruitment relationships with locally-serving institutions. Learn more about the program here.

How we do it:

  • Gather job skills requirements through employer working groups
  • Share insights with education partners and publicly recognize programs as industry-approved Preferred Providers of talent
  • Build a network of locally-serving Preferred Provider programs and connect companies to students of those programs, including fully-subsidized internships for small companies

 

The collaboration between Advancing San Diego and LAEDC was made possible by:

Advancing San Diego is made possible by JP Morgan Chase, and is a collaborative effort by the following organizations:

Other resources you may be interested in:

Questions? Contact us:

Taylor Dunne
Taylor Dunne

Manager, Talent Initiatives

Black History Month: Elevating San Diego’s Black businesses and innovators

Black History Month is one of many opportunities to spotlight the Black founders, innovators, creators, and businesses throughout the San Diego region – and across the country at large.

This particular year feels especially critical, as we’ve watched current and historic racial inequality broadcast in our communities and across our TV screens, and as COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted communities of color here in San Diego.

For these reasons and more, we must do everything in our power to make sure we get this post-pandemic recovery right. We cannot do that without elevating Black and other marginalized voices.

Read ahead to learn more about Black-owned businesses and ongoing inclusion efforts across the San Diego region, published by EDC’s various brands and initiatives:

Through resources, programs, and regional partners, we are committed to helping Black-owned businesses grow and thrive in San Diego. If you are a Black entrepreneur or business owner in San Diego and we can help connect you to resources, programs, or other assistance, please contact us here.

Black lives matter. They matter in this country, they matter in San Diego, and they matter to us.

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.

CSUSM recognized as leader in social mobility

4 graduates in cap in gown from CSUSM looking at the camera

Since its founding in 1989, Cal State San Marcos (CSUSM) has put its commitment to social mobility at the forefront of its educational mission. The university’s dedication to economic opportunity was recognized this week when it was named among the nation’s leaders in social mobility.

The Social Mobility Index

CSUSM ranks 36th nationally out of almost 1,500 schools measured in the sixth annual Social Mobility Index (SMI) by CollegeNET.

The SMI focuses directly on the factors that enable economic mobility. The index is computed from five variables: published tuition, percentage of students whose families have incomes below $48,000 (slightly below the U.S. median), graduation rate, median salary approximately five years after graduation, and endowment size.

“Nationally, higher education is often called out for reinforcing inequality rather than closing socioeconomic gaps,” said EDC Board Member and CSUSM President Ellen Neufeldt “However, our rising SMI ranking embodies our collective efforts to serve any student who dreams of the opportunities that come with a college education as we help them reach their full potential.”

CSUSM improved its ranking in the SMI for the fourth consecutive year. The university ranked 74th in 2015, 62nd in 2016, 54th in 2017, and 52nd last year.

How CSUSM is creating a more inclusive San Diego

As EDC looks to create a more inclusive San Diego, CSUSM and other regional educational institutions are playing a pioneering role in San Diego’s strategy. Afterall, CSUSM is a crucial part of creating a sustainable talent pipeline. Nearly 80 percent of its graduates remain in the region following graduation. In 2018, the university opened its engineering program, creating a technical talent pipeline for companies such as Viasat and emerging regional startups.

CSUSM is trying to correct systematic inequities in that are often ever-present in the educational system. More than half (54 percent) of its graduates are first-generation bachelor’s degree recipients. Additionally, nearly half of its students qualify for Federal Pell Grants. In order to support students from all backgrounds, the university offers community-based learning opportunities, internships, undergraduate research opportunities and more to ensure student success.

Help us create a more inclusive San Diego.

Learn more about EDC’s Inclusive growth work

Related EDC articles and research: 

Inclusive Growth Best Practices: Microsoft pledges $500M for affordable housing

As part of EDC’s Inclusive Growth initiative, we’re gathering best practices to help uncover unique approaches to inclusion that can be replicated or scaled locally – including actions from employers and regions outside of San Diego. We hope that sharing these best practices will help inspire San Diego companies/organizations to take on their own. Read The New York Times article below to learn how Microsoft is contributing to affordable housing in the Seattle area:

SEATTLE — The Seattle area, home to both Microsoft and Amazon, is a potent symbol of the affordable housing crisis that has followed the explosive growth of tech hubs. Now Microsoft, arguing that the industry has an interest and responsibility to help people left behind in communities transformed by the boom, is putting up $500 million to help address the problem.

Microsoft’s money represents the most ambitious effort by a tech company to directly address the inequality that has spread in areas where the industry is concentrated, particularly on the West Coast. It will fund construction for homes affordable not only to the company’s own non-tech workers, but also for teachers, firefighters and other middle- and low-income residents.

Microsoft’s move comes less than a year after Amazon successfully pushed to block a new tax in Seattle that would have made large businesses pay a per-employee tax to fund homeless services and the construction of affordable housing. The company said the tax created a disincentive to create jobs. Microsoft, which is based in nearby Redmond, Wash., and has few employees who work in the city, did not take a position on the tax.

The debate about the rapid growth of the tech industry and the inequality that often follows has spilled across the country, particularly as Amazon, with billions of taxpayer subsidies, announced plans to build major campuses in Long Island City, Queens, and Arlington, Va., that would employ a total of at least 50,000 people. In New York, elected officials and residents have raised concerns that Amazon has not made commitments to support affordable housing.

Microsoft has been at the vanguard of warning about the potential negative effects of technology, like privacy or the unintended consequences of artificial intelligence. Executives hope the housing efforts will spur other companies to follow its lead.

“We believe everybody has a role to play, and everybody needs to play their role,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer.

The company’s strong finances, a sign of its resurgence under Satya Nadella as chief executive, have given it resources to deploy, Mr. Smith said. In October, the company reported net income of $8.8 billion in its most recent quarter, up 34 percent, and it had almost $136 billion in cash and short-term investments on its balance sheet. The company’s stock has risen steadily under Mr. Nadella, and Microsoft is now valued at over $800 billion.

A number of other tech businesses have tried to address the homeless crisis. Amazon’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos, has supported homeless service providers through his personal foundation, and the Salesforce chief executive, Marc Benioff, helped fund a proposition in San Francisco to tax businesses to pay for homeless services. Voters approved the tax in November, rejecting opposition from some tech leaders, including Twitter’s chief executive, Jack Dorsey.

Others plan to build housing for their own employees. Such housing may help with demand, but it has also reinforced the impression that the companies are focused too closely on their own backyards.

“This is long-range thinking by a company that has been around for a long time, and plans to be around for a long time,” said Margaret O’Mara, a professor at the University of Washington who studies the history of tech companies.

Microsoft began researching the region’s housing last summer, after the nasty tax fight in Seattle and around a peak of the housing market. The company analyzed data and hired a consultant to decide how to focus its work. The area’s home prices have almost doubled in the past eight years, and Mr. Smith said he learned that “the region has counterintuitively done less to build middle-income housing than low-income housing, especially in the suburbs.”

That squeeze hits a range of workers. “Of course, we have lots of software engineers, but the reality is that a lot of people work for Microsoft. Cafeteria workers, shuttle drivers,” Mr. Nadella said this week at a meeting with editors at the company’s headquarters. “It is a supply problem, a market failure.”

Microsoft plans to lend $225 million at subsidized rates to preserve and build middle-income housing in six cities near its Redmond headquarters. It will put an additional $250 million into low-income housing across the region. Some of those loans may be made through the federal programs that provide tax breaks for low-income housing.

The company plans to invest the money within three years, and expects most of it to go to Seattle’s suburbs.

The loans could go to private or nonprofit developers, or to governmental groups like the King County Housing Authority. As the loans are repaid, Mr. Smith said, Microsoft plans to lend the money out again to support additional projects.

The remaining $25 million will be grants to local organizations that work with the homeless, including legal aid for people fighting eviction. The Seattle Times reported Wednesday that if the $500 million were put into one project, it would create only about 1,000 units, so instead Microsoft will most likely put smaller amounts in many projects to help build “tens of thousands of units.”

The initial reaction to the company’s announcement was positive.

“There is almost no level of housing that isn’t direly needed,” said Claudia Balducci, a member of the King County Council who helps lead the Regional Affordable Housing Task Force.

A report in December by the task force said that the region needs 156,000 more affordable housing units, and will need 88,000 more units by 2040 to accommodate future growth.

A growing body of research has tied the lack of affordable housing to increasing homelessness. A December study from the real estate website Zillow said that was particularly true when households pay more than a third of their income in rent. The New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle regions — the country’s largest tech hubs — have all already crossed that threshold.

“The idea that you can live in your bubble and put your fingers in your ears just doesn’t work anymore,” said Steve Schwartz, head of public affairs at Tableau Software, which is based in Seattle.

Amazon in recent years has worked closely with Mary’s Place, a homeless shelter for women and children in Seattle, and is integrating a shelter for about 65 families into one of its new buildings. Amazon has paid tens of millions of dollars to the city’s affordable housing trust fund as fees to build in the core of Seattle.

Amazon declined to comment.

Google supported the City of Mountain View’s plan to add 10,000 housing units in an area it’s developing, with 20 percent designated for lower-income residents. And Facebook has planned to build 1,500 apartments near its Menlo Park headquarters, with 15 percent to be affordable.

Microsoft has begun a major overhaul of its main campus in Redmond, committing billions of dollars in renovations and connecting it to a light rail station under construction. The company helped finance a successful campaign for voters to approve more property taxes to pay for transportation. This new investment in housing takes its commitments a step further.

“This is where Microsoft is going to be, and the region needs to work,” Ms. Balducci said. “I don’t think this is wholly altruism.”