Together with CMTC, EDC assists CA manufacturers impacted by COVID-19

CARES Act funding solidifies partnership with EDC, CMTC

EDC is pleased to announce a partnership with CMTC’s California’s Manufacturing Network to provide direct support to San Diego’s small and mid-size manufacturers negatively impacted by COVID-19.

“Through our partnership with CMTC, EDC is proactively supporting San Diego’s manufacturing industry. From defense and aerospace to craft beer and surfboards, regional manufacturers provide more than 108,000 jobs across more than 3,100 companies. Our team is making sure those impacted by COVID-19 access local and state resources to help them stabilize, and improve productivity and profitability when and where they can,” said Mark Cafferty, president and CEO, EDC.

With the pandemic dramatically redefining the landscape for California manufacturers, EDC will work with California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC) and other members of the Network to help businesses survive, recover, and thrive as they navigate through the challenges brought on by the crisis.

EDC is providing resources and services at no cost to businesses such as: assistance with supply chain optimization, sourcing and logistics, talent recruitment and development, market diversification and exporting, and more. The goal is to meet with small- and mid-size manufacturers throughout the region to identify and understand their specific needs, challenges, and opportunities, and provide them with assistance for recovery and growth.

Funding from the CARES Act Stimulus Package 2020 is supporting this effort to reach manufacturing companies who are facing challenges in the current economic climate.

“Through our partnership with EDC, we’re reaching out to manufacturers in central and northern San Diego offering assistance to address their critical business challenges. Our partnership is focused on preserving the strong manufacturing base in the region during this unprecedented economic crisis,” said Jim Watson, president and CEO, CMTC.

EDC is offering a manufacturers a free webinar on October 1, kicking off National Manufacturing Month. Details and registration here.

Click here for more resources for manufacturers

About CMTC and California’s Manufacturing Network (CMN)

Established in 1992, CMTC is a private non-profit corporation that provides consulting services to small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) throughout the state of California. CMTC operates as part of a National Network through a cooperative agreement between the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under the Department of Commerce for the State of California. In 2016, CMTC formed California’s Manufacturing Network (CMN) to expand capabilities and capacity to efficiently serve more manufacturers in California. This Network delivers services that address the regional challenges driven by a diverse manufacturing community. The Network is a collaboration of more than 25 partners focused on serving SMMs in rural and urban areas statewide. CMN has increased the number of SMMs served to more than 1,300 companies annually, which adds significant economic impact for manufacturers and the public good of the State of California.

This Outreach Program is funded by the CARES Act Stimulus Package 2020 – and is managed by CMTC – California’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Center.  For more information visit

About the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Funding

COVID-19 recovery and resilience services funding is made possible by the NIST MEP National Emergency Assistance Program through funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Pub.L. 116–136).

The next normal: emerging trends in commercial real estate and the future of the Midway District

Over the last several months, the economic development team has kept a close pulse on the businesses that make up our regional economy – and EDC’s economic development committee has always pivoted to support, by addressing current challenges and changes to our economy.

Where every recovery before this one has widened inequality, EDC is committed to making sure we get this recovery right. During this pivotal moment, through the perspectives of a variety of businesses and stakeholders, the committee is focused on highlighting economic development solutions and charting the path to an inclusive resilient recovery. As we collectively turn to rebuilding our economy, it has never been more important to do so thoughtfully and holistically, with equity as a lens and skilled workers, quality jobs, and thriving households as the core building blocks.

This past September, the committee discussed emerging trends in commercial real estate and the redevelopment of the Midway District.

The Good, The Bad, and The Uncertain

Our discussion began with an informative commercial real estate market update presented by Tom Turner, vice president at CBRE. Tom highlighted emerging industry trends across the San Diego market focusing on potential growth, and concentration of key employees.

Tom noted that major key tenants that are continuing to hire based on advancements of new technologies specifically related to 5G and artificial intelligence, and that tech companies are continuing to support our local industry growth. Also contributing to the potential for regional economic growth are major redevelopment projects underway, specifically around NAVWAR and the Midway District Community Plan.

Opportunities in San Diego’s Midway District

With the timely announcement surrounding the City of San Diego’s selection of the winning development bid for the Sports Arena and Midway district, the committee hosted a panel discussion with regional leaders on future plans for the community and what it will mean for transit, housing and job opportunities.

Dike Anyiwo moderated this discussion. A policy adviser at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce & vice chair of the Midway Pacific Highway Community Planning Group, Anyiwo focused on equitable development for small businesses and how to align the community with future development plans.

Zach Adams, vice president of development at Brookfield Properties, presented on his company’s winning bid and the vision to establish new parks, bring new opportunities for businesses, and offer affordable housing in San Diego’s Midway District.

NAVWAR Executive Director John Pope emphasized the importance of the Navy Old Town Campus Revitalization Project to NAVWAR’s high-tech mission and rapidly growing cyber and information warfare requirements. For NAVWAR, this would be a transformative opportunity to retain thousands of mission-driven tech jobs in the region.

Finally, Hasan Ikhrata, executive director at SANDAG, provided additional details on regional transit development and future goals in the Midway community to greater align opportunities for talent access in San Diego.

Looking ahead

In the months ahead, EDC’s economic development committee will work to highlight recovery-driven economic development solutions, focused on skilled talent, quality jobs, and thriving households.

Please contact Ashley Swartout to share thoughts on future committee topics or ways your organization can support the committee goals.

For more information on the Midway projects, please see the following links:

Please visit Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) for information on the Navy Old Town Campus (OTC) project.

Please visit San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) for alternatives and planning processes.

Learn more about SANDAG’s New Transportation Vision in 5 Big Moves.

Get information on the City of San Diego’s current Midway-Pacific Highway Community Plan.

Visit this page for Brookfield & ASM Global’s Midway winning bid.

Join us: Manufacturing Day 2020

Do you work for a manufacturer, or just want to know more about San Diego’s thriving manufacturing scene?

Click here to register for EDC’s October 1 virtual manufacturing event.

Plus, register to attend other regional manufacturing events:

Six things you didn’t know were #MadeInSD

Our region is home to a vibrant manufacturing cluster that spans many industries, including defense, aerospace, shipbuilding and repair, medical devices, craft brewing, and sports and active lifestyle. With a highly-skilled workforce, robust training programs, and close proximity to Mexico, San Diego is a hub for advanced manufacturing companies, with nearly 3,150 manufacturing companies currently supporting more than 108,000 jobs.

Here are six things you didn’t know were made by San Diego companies. And if you want to know more about San Diego’s thriving manufacturing scene, click here for key manufacturing resources, events, and data

1. Hard kombucha 

San Diego is a craft beer capital, certainly. But add an affinity for the outdoors, San Diego’s powerhouse brewing capabilities, and a sprinkle of regional innovation, and you’re eventually bound to get hard kombucha.

Local companies JuneShine and Boochcraft, which brew their beverages from organic, fresh ingredients, are heavyweights in the $12 million international hard kombucha industry. Even Forbes agrees.

Companies you should know: Boochcraft, JuneShine

2. Household supplies

You can keep your house clean and running thanks to San Diego manufacturers that believe its users should enjoy one product for dozens of use cases.

Vista-based Dr. Bronner’s boasts 18 different uses for its castile soaps, like doing laundry, scrubbing toilets, and controlling pests. And arguably everyone’s favorite household item, Scripps Ranch-based WD-40 has compiled more than 2,000 user-documented applications, including oiling, polishing, and removing residue.

Companies you should know: WD-40, Dr. Bronner’s

3. Medical devices

You probably know San Diego is a thriving hub for biotech in all forms – from research to medical device manufacturing. BD, Illumina, and Genentech are just a few of the local medical device companies that collectively employ more than 6,000 San Diegans.

And younger, smaller companies are showing no signs of slowing down either. From April through June 2020 alone, San Diego healthcare startups brought in $875 million in VC funding to help advance a variety of tests, treatments, and cures – largely focused on COVID-19.

Companies you should know: BD, Illumina, Genentech

4. Golf equipment

When it comes to popular success, North County’s golf equipment companies are on par with the rest of our region’s manufacturers. Callaway Golf and TaylorMade Golf, both based in Carlsbad, manufacture high-quality golf and athletic equipment used by casual and pro players alike.

Companies you should know: Callaway Golf, TaylorMade Golf

5. Guitars

Headquartered in El Cajon with a factory open for public tours, Taylor Guitars equips everyone from new players to Taylor Swift with beautiful, locally-made electric and acoustic instruments. Recently, the company has seen renewed public interest in its product. In June and July alone, the company received an enormous uptick in sales – to the tune of half its projected yearly orders.

Companies you should know: Taylor Guitars

6. Sunscreen

All this San Diego sun means we need healthy sun protection. Enter locally-made sunscreen. Coola, Sun Bum, and Amavara Skincare aren’t just solid sunscreen choices; they’re good for the earth too. These local manufacturers boast natural, environmentally-friendly, and cruelty free products – so you can care for yourself and the world around you.

Companies you should know: Coola, Sun Bum, Amavara Skincare

More on manufacturing:

Does your San Diego manufacturer need help finding resources, or just want to know more about San Diego’s thriving manufacturing scene? Click here to learn more, and get in touch with EDC for custom help

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Advancing San Diego Intern Spotlight: Anna Kelley, Tourmaline Wireless

The Advancing San Diego (ASD) Internship Program launched this Spring 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 close out their Summer internship experiences, EDC has rolled out this blog series to highlight the innovative local companies that make up the first cohort of the program, and the interns they hosted.

In this feature, we sat down with Anna Kelley, ASD intern at Tourmaline Wireless. A part of the inaugural cohort of host companies, Tourmaline Wireless is building the future of decentralized wireless telecommunications. The Oceanside-based company provides resilient, off-grid solutions based on mesh networks, 4G LTE, and Iridium satellite.

Tell us about yourself.

Hi my name is Anna, and I was a second-year student at San Diego Mesa College when I came across the ASD internship opportunity. I recently transferred to New York University to pursue a Computer and Electrical Engineering degree.

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

The hands-on experience that I obtained while interning at Tourmaline Wireless exceeded all of my expectations. During this internship, I had an opportunity to get hands-on experience with different programming languages and to work on debugging and troubleshooting software defects. Since it was my first internship in the engineering field, I was worried that I was lacking in technical skills. However, my internship supervisor Paul Victorine was so supportive and he made it so easy for me to participate in all the activities during this internship. It was such an amazing learning experience for me and I will continue educating myself in these areas to grow my confidence.

See Paul’s ASD interview here

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

The most challenging part about being a student during COVID-19 was a transition to online learning because not every class can be fully online. For example, my chemistry lab was replaced with five minutes of YouTube videos and it was not the same experience anymore.

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

I would recommend participating in different clubs, programs, and getting an internship as soon as possible. This year I participated in several programs with NASA (L’Space Academy and NCAS, all remote) and it was not only fun, but also a great experience that I can put on my resume.

Visit Tourmaline Wireless on web and Instagram.

Learn more about Advancing San Diego and our internship program.

San Diego Science & the Global Pandemic: A Recap

San Diego Science & the Global Pandemic: a Recap

In August, San Diego: Life. Changing., a program of San Diego Regional EDC, wrapped up a series of virtual events highlighting the innovation economy and spirit of collaboration that exist in San Diego. The series looked at how the life sciences industry is playing a role in shaping the pandemic, and life after the pandemic, for our region.

The series kicked off in May through a partnership with Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc., featuring a research institution searching for a vaccine, a therapeutics company working on a treatment, and a med-tech company developing ventilators and other devices to aid in COVID-19 treatment. The expert panel included Dr. Sumit Chanda, professor and director at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute; Joseph E. Payne, president and CEO of Arcturus Therapeutics; and John Stevens, VP of IT at Thermo Fisher Scientific.

San Diego: where collaboration happens.

The scientists that participated in the first webinar agreed that the collaborative spirit of San Diego is what makes the life-changing work that happens here possible. Dr. Chanda stated:

“I don’t know if it’s the weather or the synergy, but the partnerships that happen here don’t happen anywhere else. We are working with Scripps, UC San Diego, and a number of local companies across different disciplines.”

Stevens agreed, in saying: “The partnerships are really important – different companies with everyone working together is truly how we’re going to combat this going forward.”[Thermo Fisher] has leveraged a lot of great relationships in the San Diego area. New partnerships come in every day, and I think it’s important to keep working together as one team.”

Then, in June, EDC partnered with investor Illumina to have genomics experts weigh in on the pandemic. We were joined by Gary Schroth, distinguished scientist and Vice President at Illumina, and James Lu, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Helix. Gary and James helped us untangle the complicated world of DNA and understand how next-generation genome sequencing is helping scientists understand the intricacies of COVID-19.

Still hiring!

In July, we took a break from the scientists and heard from some of San Diego’s top hiring professionals as they shared pro tips for finding new career opportunities during the global pandemic. Jessica Serrano, Sr. Director of Talent Acquisition and Talent Systems at Lytx; Chris Shoemaker, Senior Talent Acquisition Partner at MindTouch; and Lee Wills, Head of Talent Acquisition and Employee Engagement for Sony North America shared their recommendations for finding and starting a new job while navigating this new remote-first environment. All three of these companies, and so many others, are still hiring for positions that could lead to a meaningful career in San Diego.

See the recorded event here

Stay inspired, San Diego.

Finally, with the help of trusted investor West Health, we wrapped the San Diego Science & the Global Pandemic webinar series up with a look at what he region is doing to ensure our senior population is receiving the care they deserve in a safe and accessible way as they continue to be among the most vulnerable to COVID-19. Moderated by Dr. Zia Agha, Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of West Health, the conversation hit on the most important topics from food security for older adults, to dental care, to healthcare policies that will ensure long term success…as well as what WE can do to help the seniors in our community.

See the recorded event here

If you were able to tune in to our series, we hope that it provided you with some insight on the ongoing and impactful efforts of some of San Diego’s brightest, in a time in our world when we need it most. As always, San Diego steps up to change lives.

What you need to know about reopening your small business – September 2020

The state of California has established a four tier system for reopening nonessential business sectors. Businesses listed in Tier 2, including hair salons, places of worship, gyms, and restaurants, may reopen modified indoor operations that ensure employee and customer health and safety.

What you need to know

In addition to the information laid out in prior public health orders, new updates came into effect on September 1.

Hair Salons, Barbershops, Nail Salons, and Personal Care Services

  • Must require all customers receiving service indoors or using indoor facilities to sign in with their name and phone number

Places of Worship

  • Max 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer
  • May host religious, cultural, and wedding ceremonies indoors with modifications and in compliance with state guidance

Gyms and Fitness Centers

  • Max 10% capacity
  • Must require all customers receiving service indoors or using indoor facilities to sign in with their name and phone number

Restaurants, Wineries, Bars, Breweries, and Distilleries
(where meal is provided)

  • Max 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer
  • Must require all guests receiving service indoors or using indoor facilities to sign in with their name and phone number
  • Must maintain the list of names and phone numbers for three weeks
  • Must require guests to wear face coverings at all times while in the facility, including when seated at a table before the meal is served and after the meal is finished
  • Highly encouraged: limit indoor guests to only members of the same household at each table


New Statewide Financial Assistance

Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed several bills intended to bolster small businesses across California. This includes excluding forgiven Paycheck Protection Program loans from taxable income, and offering up to $100 million in tax credits for small businesses impacted by the pandemic that agree to hire new or laid-off workers. For more information, visit the State website and fact sheet.

Business Revitalization and Assistance Grant Program 

The County of San Diego has introduced a new program that offers businesses located in unincorporated areas up to $8,000 to help improve the front exteriors of their buildings. Applications will be accepted from October 1-15, 2020. For more information on the application process, eligibility, and general grant guidelines, please visit the County website.

Employment Training Panel

The Employment Training Panel’s Small Business Program reimburses some training costs for small businesses with 100 or fewer employees. The program covers between eight to 200 hours of instruction for both small business owners and their employees, and includes re-training to adjust and shift with COVID-19 regulations. For more information, visit the State website.

Check out more business resources on our COVID-19 page

Advancing San Diego Company Spotlight: Tourmaline Wireless

The Advancing San Diego (ASD) Internship Program launched this Spring 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% 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 Summer internship experiences, EDC is rolling out this blog series to highlight the innovative local companies that comprise the first cohort of the program, and the interns they hosted.

In this feature, we sat down with Paul Victorine, CTO and Co-Founder at Tourmaline Wireless, who hosted two ASD interns. A part of the inaugural cohort of host companies, Tourmaline Wireless is building the future of decentralized wireless telecommunications. The Oceanside-based company provides resilient, off-grid solutions based on mesh networks, 4G LTE, and Iridium satellite.

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

I started the company at the beginning of 2019, after having worked for a Tier-1 wireless operator for nearly 20 years. I jumped at the opportunity to start my own consulting business, leveraging an extensive background in deploying and optimizing cellular networks. Tourmaline is currently developing a new gateway product that will allow localized mesh networks to connect to geographically separated networks across the globe. This gateway will allow neighborhoods and communities affected by natural disasters to continue communicating with their loved ones. This allows for the sharing of hyper-local information and will support offline payment remittances in far-off corners of the world. It might even provide hikers along the Pacific Crest Trail a means of “checking-in” with friends and family at various mile markers. There are many use-cases we envision for the mesh gateway, and we are excited to see how our customers anticipate using the device too!

Tell us about your experience building a small business in San Diego. What resources, services and/or organizations were most valuable in supporting Tourmaline’s growth?

Building a startup in San Diego has been a great experience overall! Valuable resources include following San Diego Regional EDC, Innovate78, and the City of Oceanside. There is a ton of talent here in San Diego – largely coming out of the many colleges and universities spread throughout the county. There is also a surprising amount of resources available here that help support small business. I’ve been really impressed with all the grants, loans, and positive encouragement broadcast daily from San Diego Regional EDC.

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

As a result of COVID-19, we decided to go all-in and focus exclusively on new product development as our day-to-day consulting jobs (designing, installing, and optimizing cellular in-building equipment) were mostly sidelined due to COVID-19.

Tell us a little bit about your interns and the value they bring.

We are currently hosting two college interns through the ASD program, who you’ll hear from in another blog post. One intern is soon graduating from UC San Diego, with a BS in Computer Science. Our second intern will be starting her Junior year at NYU, as a transfer from Mesa College, also studying Computer Science. The internship experience was definitely a challenge given its fully remote format. Plus, it was our first time hosting interns, but it turned out to be a rewarding experience for all of us. They helped troubleshoot and improve our existing software codebase, adding new features and functionality. We were able to meet up in-person (socially distanced, of course) for a field day of wireless range testing at Balboa Park. It was a fun experience and I think it helped the interns better understand the capability of wireless mesh communications.

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

San Diego has historically been a technology-driven community, from the early days with the focus on military and defense (companies like General Dynamics) to the early 2000’s being a wireless hotbed (including Qualcomm, Nokia, etc). Now we are starting to see software really taking hold here, with companies like Apple opening offices and building out their local workforce. San Diego really is the perfect choice for STEAM students to select for college and then stay to launch their careers.

Visit Tourmaline Wireless on web and Instagram.

Learn more about Advancing San Diego and our internship program.