Your Comic-Con how-to guide

It’s Comic-Con week, San Diego. Whether you’re one of the 135,000 attendees or you’re just heading downtown to people-watch, Comic-Con has the power to turn the mundane into the magical – if done right. The international convention has a $147.1 million regional economic impact, and spurs 57,7000 hotel room nights. And in an attempt to attract attendees from outside of the region to live and work here, San Diego: Life. Changing. is hosting a Comic-Contest on social media and is even setting up a skylight downtown. Location hint: it smells like chocolate and looks like a hipster’s closet…. See below for a Comic-Con how-to guide.

How to Comic-Con

  1. Don’t be afraid to walk. All of downtown San Diego will be jam-PACKED with cool activations on buildings, buses, trolleys, street corners, our sunny skies, and bars/restaurants galore. Parking far away might not be such a bad thing.
  2. Download Ace Parking app. If you’re one of the many people who weren’t quick enough to get the sold-out Comic-Con parking spaces, you can download the free Ace Parking app to see where all of the available public parking spots are at. Thursday morning is usually the most challenging time for parking, since many people will be trying to navigate around downtown for the first time. Just be patient and embrace it.
  3. Or take the Trolley. The SDCCU Stadium (Formerly Qualcomm Stadium) is an easy and convenient alternative to braving downtown in a car. For the small price of a trolley ticket, you can park and enjoy a ride to and from downtown, most likely seated next to your favorite superhero and villain.
  4. Wear comfortable close-toed shoes and socks. We get it. It’s San Diego, and people wear flip-flops here. But Comic-Con draws thousands of people into downtown San Diego. That means the streets, sidewalks, and any other surface will be taken up by people walking every which way. You are most likely to get stomped on and/or will be walking a couple miles. Wear your comfy shoes and you’ll be thankful later.
  5. Embrace the lines. Lines are everywhere. For the panels, the crazy cool photo ops, and especially at all of the nearby restaurants and bars. It’s okay, just hop in and know that whatever you’re waiting for will be worth it. The people-watching alone will surely set your spirits back up.
  6. Know your way around. A lot of time can be wasted by trying to navigate around the crowds. Don’t be that lost soul, desperately in need of an iced coffee but can’t figure out where to get it. Do your homework to know where you’d want to get food/drinks from and where they are located in downtown. Also note that Harbor Drive will be closed for the first time this year. The Convention Center put together some helpful maps, so you don’t drive around like a newb.
  7. Have fun! This is a time for you to explore everything nerdy with people all around who share that same passion. From comics to tabletop games to movies to books, it has everything. Talk to people in lines, make friends. Who knows, you could meet your new BFF…or roommate for when you finally take the San Diego plunge.

The fun doesn’t have to end with Comic-Con. Enter the #ComicContest

We’ve teamed up with local illustrator Jon Condry (@joncondry) to develop custom-made pins, in the spirit of San Diego: Life. Changing. So head to IDW Publishing‘s booth #2743 (did you know they were a San Diego-based company?) to collect one. And keep a lookout for San Diego: Life. Changing.’s street team (@bernoraptor & @bree_burris) this weekend for another shot. Follow @SDlifechanging on Twitter, where they’ll keep you up-to-date on their location. Then, once you have your hands on one of these exclusive pins, head over to our one of our social channels – @SDlifechanging in case you were wondering – and post it. Check out sandiegolifechanging.org/comiccontest/ for more details and info. And check out #ComicContest to see some posts.

And if you want to start your job search today, head over to the company map to learn about some of our companies that are hiring.

Good luck, and don’t forget your sunscreen.

Why San Diego, according to Amazon, Luna DNA, & more

EDC launched the San Diego: Life. Changing. campaign to attract talent and investment to San Diego by celebrating the smart and innovative people that call this place home.

Join us August 9 for a night of local food + drinks served up by celeb chef Brian Malarkey, campaign giveaways, and more to learn how we can take San Diego: Life. Changing. to the next level. We’ll also hear a keynote from Dawn Barry, co-founder and president of Luna DNA, and Nate Wiger of Amazon. Stay tuned for word on another special guest..

Where: Farmer & the Seahorse | 10996 Torreyana Rd, San Diego, CA 92121 (one of the hippest spots in SD)
When: Thursday, August 9, 2018 | 5:00-8:30pm

Celebrate With Us

How this San Marcos company saved a Thai soccer team

San Marcos-based MetroConnect company Ocean Reef Group proves just what we mean by San Diego: Life. Changing.

When twelve Thai boys and their soccer coach were trapped in a partly flooded cave, the diving equipment company quietly stepped in behind the headlines. On its own accord, Ocean Reef shipped thousands of dollars worth of full-face dive masks to Thailand to be worn by the young boys as they escaped the cave. After a two-week ordeal, all team members survived and were successfully extricated. This is how #SDlifechanging gets to work.

More details here.

EDC’s Q2 in review: drones, beer, and H20

With and through our investors, EDC works to maximize San Diego’s economic competitiveness. Click through the links below to see how.

EDC’s Q2 in review

Regional Support

EDC convenes resources and stakeholder groups to help talent and a diversity of companies thrive in the San Diego mega-region. The economic development team led and advised on a variety of projects with the following outcomes:

WTC San Diego

As part of EDC, World Trade Center San Diego (WTC) works to cultivate a pipeline of export-ready firms, maximize FDI opportunities, and grow the region’s global connectivity.

The WTC team connected local businesses and industry leaders to foreign markets. Here’s how:

San Diego: Life. Changing.

EDC’s marketing efforts serve to elevate the region as a top destination for talent, business, and investment.

As part of the San Diego: Life. Changing. campaign, EDC’s marketing-communications team debuted the following to equip businesses with the resources necessary to ‘sell’ the region:

Research

Understanding our economy begins with strong data. EDC develops economic reports to help business and civic leaders make informed decisions.

Our research team released the following economic reports in Q2:

See the full Quarterly Report here.

Jobs in San Diego – there’s a map for that.

In an effort to maximize the region’s global competitiveness via talent attraction, EDC launched the San Diego: Life. Changing. brand campaign last year. The campaign serves to raise San Diego’s profile by telling real stories of the people and companies that call San Diego home. By bringing light to San Diego’s robust innovation ecosystem and vibrant entrepreneurial community, EDC aims to eliminate the stigma that there aren’t jobs in San Diego.

Most people around the world know San Diego as a vacation destination, rather than a place where they actually live and grow their careers. Part of this could be attributed to a ‘too good to be true’ mentality, with San Diego’s impeccable weather, endless outdoor activities, and friendly easy-going residents. It doesn’t seem possible to get both one’s dream job and the top-tier quality of life that San Diego offers. But those who have made the move to San Diego know that is, in fact, not the case. San Diego may not be a headquarters town, but the mission-driven companies located here are making huge, ‘life-changing’ impacts in both the tech and life sciences industries. And better yet, they’re hiring.

As part of the campaign’s latest web developments, there is now an interactive company map that showcases top tech, life sciences, and lifestyle companies in San Diego. This allows people to easily compare and contrast the different companies located here at a high-level, so they can get a holistic view of San Diego’s career offerings.

If you are part of a San Diego company that meets this criteria and would like to be added to the map, simply sign up for the online recruitment toolkit and select ‘I’d like to also add a profile for my company.’

From Illumina’s human genome sequencing technology to Aira’s software for the visually impaired, San Diego companies are quite literally changing the world. Visit the San Diego: Life. Changing. company map to see other top companies that are fueling global innovation from right in our backyard.

Your guide to work + life in San Diego

As part of the San Diego: Life. Changing. campaign, we’re always thinking of different ways to communicate San Diego’s story. And though it’s a mostly digital campaign, we know the value in prospective talent having something tangible to hold, touch, and keep at their desk to flip through whenever daydreaming of a better life.

This guide – as part of the Talent Recruitment Toolkit – provides an overview of what it’s like to work and live in San Diego, showcasing some of the innovations and technology created here, as well as the different neighborhoods recruits could soon be calling ‘home.’ Flip through the digital version of the guide below. If you’re interested in purchasing printed copies for use in your recruitment efforts, email us at communications@sandiegobusiness.org.

EDC celebrates SD at Annual Dinner

Well, that was fun.

Thank you to those who joined us at EDC’s 52nd Annual Dinner, underwritten by Point Loma Nazarene University. This event continues to remind us how lucky we are to call San Diego home – we are a region that lifts each other up and celebrates all the life-changing people and innovation around us.

We were honored to celebrate Dr. Mary Walshok with the Herb Klein Civic Leadership Award presented by Alexandria Real Estate, and Sempra Energy with the Duane Roth Renaissance Award presented by Carrier Johnson + CULTURE. And, we welcomed EDC’s new board chair, Janice Brown, founder of Brown Law Group.

Janice laid out a big vision for EDC and San Diego. And many of you have asked us how you can help make this a reality. Here are two quick things you can do that will make a big difference to us:

  • Sign up for the San Diego: Life. Changing. recruitment toolkit. In it, you will find free resources to help us all project one, cohesive image of San Diego to the world and the talent that should be here.
  • Nominate a small business for the Inner City Capital Connections program. The program is coming to San Diego this fall and is completely free thanks to Kaiser Permanente. Learn more about this truly life-changing program and please send us a note if you have any suggestions.

Like Janice eloquently said, we must continue to embrace change to fuel progress in our region and beyond. Thanks for pushing and helping us to do this work.

Download pictures from the event here. We’ll be adding more as we receive them so check back soon.

EDC’s Annual Dinner from San Diego on Vimeo.

EDC releases talent recruitment toolkit, company map

As part of the San Diego: Life. Changing. campaign, EDC has released a recruitment toolkit and company map for use by local employers.

Amid a nationwide battle for talent, San Diego companies must compete with other cities to fill innovation jobs. To address this issue, the toolkit and map provide the resources needed to inform talent of all that San Diego has to offer: meaningful career opportunities, unparalleled lifestyle amenities and highly-talented people.

San Diego: Life. Changing. was created by San Diego, for San Diego,” said Lauree Sahba, COO, San Diego Regional EDC. When we spoke to tech and life sciences companies, they said they needed a one-stop shop where they can pull information about the region to help recruit talent and attract investment. We will continue to add and refine resources based on company feedback.”

Talent fuels economic growth, drives corporate decision-making and incubates entrepreneurship. If San Diego wants to remain economically competitive, it must continue to attract and retain a talent pool that appeals to global companies.

In early 2018, Robert Half staffing company named San Diego the number one city for tech job growth in the first half of 2018. Additionally, STEM jobs are 34 percent more concentrated in San Diego than the U.S. average, based on a San Diego Regional EDC analysis of EMSI data.

San Diego: Life. Changing. was created to refine a cohesive regional identity to attract and retain STEM talent. The campaign and the contents of the toolkit have been guided by the “San Diego Brand Alliance” – a group of more than 50 life sciences and tech employers including Illumina, Human Longevity, Inc., Viasat and more. Representing the region in a united front will ensure San Diego continues to compete on the global stage.

San Diego holds such tremendous opportunities for candidates, yet when recruiting top talent from outside of the region we still encounter the false perception that career options in the area are somewhat limited,” said Melinda Del Toro, SVP of People & Culture, Viasat. “The toolkit provides resources that reinforce the message we’ve been telling candidates for years: San Diego is a dynamic, rich environment with incredible opportunities to have both the career and life you want, that you just don’t find in other regions.”

The toolkit includes recruitment resources such as fast facts, imagery and b-roll, infographics, industry overviews, social media posts and more. Users can sign up for free access to the toolkit online here.

The map was designed so potential recruits and those interested in learning about careers in San Diego can visualize the breadth of companies throughout our region. Representatives from tech, life sciences or lifestyle companies may also request to add their company to the map.

 

For more information about ways to leverage the campaign, visit SDlifechanging.org.

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EDC, Ballast Point partner on ‘Made in San Diego’ craft beer

EDC’s San Diego: Life. Changing. campaign is all about telling San Diego’s authentic story. Besides our impressive new technologies and literally life-changing scientific breakthroughs, there’s nothing more innately San Diego than our delicious craft beer.

EDC has partnered with Ballast Point to create a special Made in San Diego craft brew, exclusively available in San Diego County. Just like our campaign, this beer is made for San Diego, by San Diego.

Ballast Point has been an integral part of the San Diego community for more than 20 years. It was founded here in 1996 as a home brew shop, and with the support of its community, Ballast Point has grown into the global craft beer giant that it is today. As a way to give back to its hometown that has given it so much, Ballast Point will donate a portion of every case sold to a new fund created by EDC’s foundation, to support local entrepreneurs that share the same dream of growing their business right here in San Diego.

The Made in San Diego beer features the same level of innovation, quality, and flavor that embody San Diego and Ballast Point. With packaging that pays homage to the vibrant cities and neighborhoods across the San Diego region, it’s an easy-drinking Kolsch that features toasted bread aroma and flavor from Munich malt and a soft bitterness from Cascade and Mosaic hops. The beer cans also feature the San Diego: Life. Changing. brand mark, as a proud partner of our campaign.

Made in San Diego beer will be available on draft throughout San Diego County later this month, with six-pack 12 oz. cans rolling out region-wide at the end of May.

Raise a glass with us, and visit MadeinSD.com to learn more about this #SDlifechanging partnership.

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Businesses need to act together to attract talent

Businesses need to act together to attract talent” was originally published in The Business Journals, authored by EDC president and CEO Mark Cafferty.

With U.S. unemployment hitting a 17-year low late last year, competition for talent has become increasingly fierce for businesses across the country.

Part of a company’s challenge in attracting talent, however, is working with the broader business community in its city, region or state to ensure that it is not only a place where people want to work, but also a place where people want to live.

While focusing internally to find and hire employees, companies must also work with each other — even with their competitors — and public or municipal entities to help foster a favorable quality of life and career mobility that will attract talented workers.

Companies must communicate with clear, consistent messaging in a united front to evoke authenticity and a sense of community that is appealing to today’s top talent.

Improving perceptions to attract top talent

Some cities and states have an abundance of career opportunities available but lack the public perception that these jobs exist. Often this divide boils down to a lack of available resources for businesses to tout their local economy.

Talent attraction has become about telling a region’s story, not just selling a company’s individual offerings.

An influx of high-paying jobs in a region — especially at publicly-facing brands —must be met with the skilled talent required to fill them. Here in San Diego, the region has a high share of the nation’s life sciences and tech jobs, but research recently revealed many senior-level HR managers are struggling to find talent because of the perception of available opportunities in the area.

To address this issue, EDC has launched a campaign to communicate the region’s unique position in the global market, its lifestyle offerings and its community of people looking to change the world.

The campaign — San Diego: Life. Changing. — serves to tell authentic stories of San Diegans who have discovered the region as not only as a great place to live, but also a place with ample career opportunity, most especially at impact-driven companies and organizations. Through a related work-live-play website, SDlifechanging.org, individuals curious about the region have access to information on its top industries and growing companies, lifestyle amenities and more….

Read the full byline online here.