Skip to Content
The Big Picture San Diego Blog


Economic Drivers

May 17, 2019

Each month the California Employment Development Department (EDD) releases employment data for the prior month. This edition of San Diego's Economic Pulse covers April 2019. Check out EDC's research bureau for more data and stats about San Diego's economy. 

This report is sponsored by Manpower San Diego.

Highlights include:

  • The region’s unemployment rate was 3.0 percent in April, down from a revised 3.6 percent in March 2019, and below the year-ago estimate of 3.1 percent
  • The region’s unemployment rate remains lower than both the state and national unemployment rates of 3.9 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively
  • Between March 2019 and April 2019, total nonfarm employment increased from 1,492,600 to 1,500,400, adding 7,800 jobs
  • Between April 2018 and April 2019, total nonfarm employment increased from 1,480,000 to 1,500,400, adding 20,400 jobs
  • Between April 2018 and April 2019, education and health services led the year-over gain, adding 7,600 jobs

May 7, 2019

Small businesses + defense economy = our future.
It's simple math.

  • Small businesses represent 98% of San Diego companies
  • The defense economy supports 1 in 5 jobs in San Diego

That's why EDC is focused on helping small and mid-sized defense companies grow.

What is DIV?
In 2018, we launched the Defense Innovation Voucher Program(DIV). Thanks to funding provided from the Department of Defense, EDC worked directly with 15 companies to provide consulting services (think: marketing assistance, certifications, accounting compliance, and more) and a six-month long crash course designed to help these participants win high-value government contracts and find other revenue streams.

What's next?
Now, we need your help taking DIV to the next level. On May 23, we're inviting five companies to share their story and pitch for the grand prize - an additional $25k in funding. And YOU - the audience - gets to help pick the winner. 

Event details: 
Grand Prize Pitch
Thursday, May 23 | 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
San Diego Central Library – Shiley Special Events Suite

Who should attend?

  • Defense industry employees that want a better grasp of market trends
  • Startups interested in connecting with other high-growth companies
  • Services providers looking for their next client
  • Anyone that cares about the future of San Diego

The participating companies:

  • EpiSci (EpiSys Science, Inc.) was founded in 2012, with the vision that future disruptive innovations would be derived from the paradigm of systems science. Through its deep technical expertise in multiple emerging areas, EpiSci develops the most innovative systems solutions for defense, intelligence, and commercial applications.
  • Fuse Integration, Inc. was founded with a noble cause of bringing the benefits of commercial human-centered design processes to first responder and military systems engineering. Fuse is working hard to lead the charge with an agile approach to development and a rapid prototyping ethos for the way they build systems.
  • GET Engineering Corporation is a leading-edge, high technology engineering firm providing tactical data solutions to government and industrial clients. GET is a small business dedicated to providing the U.S. Department of Defense and its coalition forces the most cost effective tactical communication products and solutions available.
  • Planck Aerosystems combines artificial intelligence, advanced controls, computer vision, and rigorous testing to enable drones to operate from moving platforms and execute fully autonomous missions. Its customers include government agencies and commercial maritime operators.
  • Trabus Technologies is a high-tech IT and engineering corporation that continues to expand its impressive portfolio of capabilities, programs, and services. Trabus Technologies thrives on practical solutions to the toughest challenges in cyber, wireless, and unmanned systems.

This project is funded with Community Economic Adjustment Assistance for Reductions in Defense Industry Employment funds provided by the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment to the City of San Diego.

Join us on May 23 for the Defense Innovation Voucher Program Pitch event, beginning at 9 a.m. at San Diego Central Library – Shiley Special.

April 19, 2019

Each month the California Employment Development Department (EDD) releases employment data for the prior month. This edition of San Diego's Economic Pulse covers March 2019. Check out EDC's research bureau for more data and stats about San Diego's economy. 

This report is sponsored by Manpower San Diego.

Highlights include:

  • The region’s unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in March, up from a revised 3.5 percent in February, and up from the year-ago estimate of 3.4 percent.
  • San Diego’s unemployment rate remains below both the state rate of 4.6 percent and the national rate of 3.9 percent.
  • The labor force contracted by 8,000 workers over the month, but is currently up 15,100 compared to a year ago.
  • Total nonfarm employment is up 4,300 in March and up 20,100 over the year.
  • The largest employment gain over the year occurred in educational and healthcare services, which added 7,700 jobs.

 

April 18, 2019

Today, JPMorgan Chase has announced that San Diego is one of five cities to win a $3 million grant from the AdvancingCities Challenge. Launched in 2018, the inaugural competition is a $500 million, five-year initiative to drive inclusive growth and create greater economic opportunity in cities across the United States. This grant will be used to fund a new collaborative program—Advancing San Diego.

“The Advancing San Diego program is going to be a game-changer and will provide resources to underserved communities that need it most,” said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “It’s going to lift up our small businesses, prepare San Diegans for skilled jobs and make a real difference in people’s lives. It’s also going to level the playing field so that no matter where you grow up in San Diego, you have access to opportunity. I want to thank JPMorgan Chase for choosing San Diego, as well as the San Diego Regional EDC and all of the participating agencies who supported our proposal.”        

JPMorgan Chase received more than 250 applications from 143 communities. Among the four other winning cities in the U.S.—Chicago, IL; Louisville, KY; Miami, FL; and Syracuse, NY—San Diego was selected because its proposal successfully outlined local coalitions of elected, business, and nonprofit leaders who will work together to address major social and economic challenges such as employment barriers, financial insecurity, and neighborhood disinvestment.

Through Advancing San Diego, EDC and its partners will collectively work to double the production of skilled workers by 2030 and enhance relationships between local employers and the region’s education systems. The concept incorporates a demand-driven, employer-led strategy to both connect underrepresented residents with high-demand jobs, while also providing small business access to diverse talent applicants. More specifically, these efforts focus on elevating San Diego’s Hispanic population, who is projected to be San Diego’s largest demographic group by 2030. Currently, 84 percent of Hispanics do not hold a bachelor’s degree and are drastically underrepresented in the region’s innovation economy.

With unemployment rates at multiyear lows, companies need to compete for talent like never before. The good news is that our future talent poolthe engineers, scientists, data analystswill be homegrown,” said Janice Brown, Board Chair, San Diego Regional EDC. “EDC has embarked on Advancing San Diegoa collaborative effort between business, nonprofit, philanthropy and academia, aimed to increase degree and credential completions required for high demand jobs and support the small businesses that drive our economy forward.”

The San Diego of tomorrow is going to look very different than the San Diego of today. With the AdvancingCities Challenge, EDC is able to support its existing inclusive growth efforts, which aim to build a strong local talent pipeline, equip small businesses to compete, and address the affordability crisis. Together with San Diego Workforce Partnership, San Diego and Imperial Counties Community College Association (SDICCCA), United Way of San Diego County, and City of San Diego, San Diego Regional EDC is leading a region wide approach to sustain growth throughout San Diego County.

To learn more about AdvancingCities and the other AdvancingCities Challenge Winners, visit jpmorganchase.com/advancingcities.

Join us in Advancing San Diego. For more information about EDC’s inclusive growth efforts, visit sandiegobusiness.org/inclusivegrowth

*Read the full press release.*

April 10, 2019

From surveying land after natural disasters to delivering packages, drones offer a world of possibilities to advance society and unlock economic potential. However, in order for this type of drone work to become a reality, they must be able to operate beyond a visual line of site(BVLOS). At the moment, no one is allowed to fly BVLOS in U.S. airspace without obtaining a special, hard-to-get waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Chula Vista Police Department is the exception. As part of the FAA's Integration Pilot Program (IPP), San Diego is one of only 10 agencies nationwide selected to partner with private sector entities to accelerate safe UAS integration and innovation both regionally and nationally. In October, the Chula Vista Police Department announced a new test program to deploy drones as first responders. Now, thanks to the support of CAPE, Airmap and, Skyfire, the Chula Vista PD has become the first public safety agency within the 10 IPP destinations to receive a beyond visual line of sight waiver. This waiver will help Chula Vista continue to expand its Drone as First Responders program across the city providing faster responses and better services to the community.

San Diego's IPP is comprised of the city of Chula Vista, the city of San Diego, and San Diego Regional EDC. Recognizing the potential of drone technology for the regional economy, EDC plays a key role in driving the IPP work and supporting the cities of Chula Vista and San Diego with successful integration.

 

April 10, 2019

With the largest concentration of military assets in the world and the largest federal military workforce in the country, San Diego has the third highest population of veterans in the United States.

Each year, more than 20,000 Sailors and Marines stationed in San Diego leave military service. A third of these individuals, who are  often highly trained, team oriented, and hardworking,  are expected to stay in the San Diego community when transitioning to civilian life. However, adjusting to life outside the military structure and regime comes with its own challenges. According to the National Veterans Transition Service Inc. (NVTSI), 81 percent of transitioning military personnel do not feel fully prepared for the process of entering the job market.

With such high volume of transitioning military personnel comes countless local support services for veterans. Navigating the programs and resources can be a daunting process that leaves many feeling discouraged. Now in its fourth year, the Military Transition Conference, hosted at USD in partnership with EDC, was created to provide a holistic, fresh perspective on the transition experience through the lens of education. Content focused on translating military experience into skills and knowledge applicable to a wide variety of industries, and addressed key questions military personnel and veterans have around educational benefits, job hunting, and more.

More than 40 veterans and their dependents received personalized coaching on how to continue meaningful work in San Diego. The day kicked off with a keynote address by Justin McAnear, former exec of J&J, Apple, and Tesla, Naval Academy grad, navy aviator, with an MBA from USD. Following the keynote were a series of breakout sessions where participants could get their resumes reviewed, speak one-on-one with industry representatives, or get coached on job search strategies. Finally, a panel of accomplished veterans from Petco, Intuit, Cubic, and Teradata wrapped up the conference by sharing their honest transition stories and how they ended up in successful careers across tech, law, and retail.

Supporting our veterans in San Diego means expanding access to education, training, and opportunities that catalyze a smooth transition. Representing nearly 10 percent of San Diego’s population, veterans are an important pool of talent helping drive San Diego’s economic success. EDC will continue to support the veteran ecosystem by elevating local opportunities for transitioning military. 

April 9, 2019

In February 2019, EDC supported The San Diego Foundation’s annual convening to recognize the accomplishments of its 2018 Science and Technology program grantees. The San Diego Foundation supports efforts that encourage more students to pursue STEM careers and academic research, with the goal of strengthening our regional economy. Grantees have a demonstrated track record of engaging students in STEM fields, particularly among underrepresented populations. Eduardo Velasquez, research manager at EDC, participated in a panel alongside City of San Diego’s Deputy Operating Officer Erik Caldwell and Qualcomm’s Inclusion and Diversity Manager Carrie Sawyer for a discussion on the importance of building a strong local talent pipeline. 

The San Diego region is recognized as a tech hub, with some of the most innovative companies and world-class research universities. Yet, not all students have the opportunity to explore and pursue STEM-related fields that lead to high-paying jobs in the innovation economy. San Diego’s Hispanic population is statistically the least prepared to enter or complete a degree or credential, yet represents nearly half of the future local talent pool.

This demographic gap in educational attainment, combined with rapidly changing skill requirements and a nationwide battle for talent, is likely to lead to an increased shortage of skilled workers in our region. As a member of EDC’s Inclusive Growth Steering Committee, The San Diego Foundation’s convening directly supports the regional goal of producing 20,000 new skilled workers per year by 2030.

Learn more at talent.inclusivesd.org

April 9, 2019

From inclusive growth to San Diego: Life. Changing., many of EDC's most high profile initiatives have a similar origin story: they started with bringing the right people around the table. Looking to spur similar programs and initiatives on the 78 Corridor, Innovate78, a program funded by the five cities along the 78 Corridor (Carlsbad, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos, and Vista) and managed by EDC, hosted its first Innovator Dinner in March 2019.

 The Innovators Dinner Series is designed to bring together a diversity of people, engaging in meaningful conversations about how we can all grow and build a more prosperous North County. Bringing together 25 individuals from every corner of the 78 corridor, the wide range of industries represented—from technology to manufacturing to brewing to life sciences—reflected the strength of the corridor.

As the event got underway, the conversation gravitated toward natural themes of mentorship, access to capital, the viability of the local talent pool and more. The idea around remote work came up as well. With North County's strong quality of life and abundance of coworking spaces, many have noted a rise in remote employees based in North County. However, one entrepreneur at the Innovators Dinner bucked that trend. Although his company is located on the 78 corridor, many of his employees are remote, and live as far away as the Midwest. 

April 9, 2019

Launched in September 2018, Defense Innovation Voucher Program (DIV) is a comprehensive business initiative designed to build resiliency in small, local defense companies and help find pathways to diversify its revenues. Since the beginning of the program, Propel San Diego partners—guided by the San Diego Regional EDC—have provided hands-on services to assist 15 San Diego-based companies.

Continuing these efforts, in Q1 2019, EDC hosted three executive education boot camps for cohort companies. Collectively, these boot camps had more than50 people in attendance and covered topics including branding and marketing, small business contracting at SPAWAR, and cybersecurity standards.

Each session brought in regional experts and gave companies a chance to ask specific questions about their businesses. Presenters included Mark McLain the Director of Small Business Program at SPAWAR, James Sly the Vice President of the East County EDC, with organizations including California Manufacturing and Technology Consultants (CMTC), National Defense Industrial Association, Raindrop Marketing, and Seer Interactive also participating.  

On May 23, five DIV companies, chosen by an independent judging panel and EDC staff, will have the opportunity to compete for a $25,000 Grand Prize at the inaugural DIV Pitchfest. Be a judge at this first-ever event, where attendees will be voting on the innovative defense company that’s most deserving of additional funding! Learn more and reserve your ticket to DIV Pitchfest here

DIV is made possible through the generous support of presenting sponsor Booz Allen Hamilton along with Community Economic Adjustment Assistance for Reductions in Defense Industry Employment funds provided by the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment to the City of San Diego.

March 29, 2019

San Diego took home some serious hardware at the California Association for Local Economic Development Awards of Excellence. The awards recognize outstanding contributions to the field of economic development throughout the mighty state of California. 

Awards of Merit include:

The City of San Marcos was also recognized with the Award of Excellence - Collaborations, for its California Competes Tax Credit Collaboration with EDC. And of course, EDC didn't leave empty-handed either, taking home the Award of Excellence - Promotions for San Diego: Life. Changing. Make sure to check out SDlifechanging.org, and give them a follow on social to learn more. Share your story using #SDlifechanging.

We'll see you next year, CALED. 

TAGS