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Economic Drivers

May 16, 2014

This post is part of an ongoing monthly blog series dedicated to the California Employment Development Department (EDD) monthly employment release.

2014_04_Unemployment

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) released statewide county employment data today for the April 2014 period. The big headline in this month’s report is that San Diego County's unemployment rate has dropped nearly a full percentage point, down to 6.0 percent from 6.9 percent in March 2014 and 7.2 percent in April 2013. While this number appears encouraging, it is also noteworthy that the labor force lost 25,000 workers. This is the single largest month-to-month drop in the labor force on record (since 2000), and the lowest the labor force has been since October 2011. Meanwhile, the economy added 2,900 nonfarm jobs from March to April, which makes this month's report particularly perplexing. 

There are several possible explanations for this drastic decline in the labor force. First and most commonly, many long-term unemployed have simply given up looking for work or found work outside of the San Diego region. This most likely explains the 16,000 unemployed who exited the labor force. There may also have been less people who decided to enter the labor force, possibly out of lack of confidence in employment opportunities or lack of relevant skills. However, we also saw 9,000 employed persons leave the labor force, presumably because of a combination of retirements, seasonal exits and moves to other regions. It is not uncommon to see the labor force seasonally decline from March to April, just not to this magnitude. 

2014_04_LF

It appears contradictory that despite this massive labor force decline, the economy actually added jobs. It is worth noting that from February to March, the economy added 12,400 jobs while the labor force lost 11,200 workers. This is likely due to a discrepancy in the surveying, since labor force numbers come from household surveys and job numbers come from surveys of businesses. It is also possible that those who were employed found second jobs. The result is likely a mix of all of these factors, which leaves us with an unusual report for April.

As noted, the economy added 2,900 jobs total from March to April 2014. The private sector outperformed by adding 3,400 jobs in the month, with government job decline accounting for the 500 less jobs. Service providing industries added most of the jobs, while we saw job losses from the goods producing industries like construction and manufacturing.

2014_04_Total

The job picture looks even more promising when compared to last year. From April 2013 to April 2014, the economy added 29,000 jobs, a 2.2 percent increase. The private sector added 26,600 jobs over the year and we saw positive growth in the manufacturing and construction industries, which added 1,100 and 4,300 jobs, respectively. The 4,300 construction jobs added constitutes a 7.2 percent increase over the year. We also saw growth in our important traded economies, with leisure and hospitality adding 4,300 jobs and professional, scientific and technical services adding 6,200 jobs.

We will likely need to wait until future job reports to determine if this unusual report is an anomaly or an indication of larger trends. Historically, we have seen the labor force continue to decline or remain relatively flat from April to May, but with the recent major change in labor force amidst job creation, we may see people coming back to the labor force in the coming months.

Our Economic Indicators Dashboard will show how this compares to other US metros and the US total rate when that information is released in the coming weeks.

April 22, 2014

This is the inaugural post of an ongoing monthly blog series dedicated to the California Employment Development Department (EDD) monthly employment release.

2014_03_Total

The California Employment Development Department (EDD)released statewide county employment data on Friday for the March 2014 period. The biggest news coming out of this month’s report is that San Diego County has finally exceeded its historical seasonally unadjusted employment peak set in December 2007. EDD reported that the region now has 1,335,200 non-farm jobs as of March 2014, exceeding the previous peak of 1,333,400 jobs. Economists expected employment to rebound above its pre-recession peak sometime in 2014, and it is encouraging to exceed that mark as early as March.

Private employment, which was reported at 1,100,300 jobs, has yet to exceed its peak of 1,110,100 set in August 2007. However, March 2014 private employment was the second highest ever recorded. The region added 30,100 private industry jobs from March 2013 to March 2014, with 10,600 of those jobs being added from February to March 2014.

2014_03_MFG_CONST

San Diego’s construction and manufacturing industries continue to pick up steam as the economy rebounds from the recession. The construction industry added 2,000 jobs from February to March 2014, and added 5,800 jobs from March 2013 to March 2014. While manufacturing growth was more modest, the industry added 500 jobs from February to March and added 1,200 jobs from the previous year.

Professional and business services added 6,500 jobs from March 2013 to March 2014, the most of any industry in the region. Professional and business services includes much of the innovation economy activity, along with critical service providers like legal services, architecture services and enterprise management. It is also the largest industry in San Diego, employing more than 228,000 as of March 2014. San Diego’s leisure and hospitality industry, otherwise known as tourism, added 6,100 jobs from March 2013 to March 2014, with 3,400 of those jobs added from February to March 2014. Both of these industries had already exceeded their pre-recession peaks in 2013.

2014_03_Unemployment

The county’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate dropped to 6.9 percent in March 2014, down from 7.0 percent in February 2014 and 7.8 percent in March 2013. California’s statewide unemployment rate was 8.4 percent in March 2014, well above San Diego’s posted rate. Our Economic Indicators Dashboard will show how this compares to other US metros and the US total rate when that information is released in the coming weeks.

April 21, 2014

When MIT set out to the name the world’s smartest company in February, they didn’t look to count the number of patents or PHds or even stock gains; instead, they asked themselves whether a company had made strides which have helped redefine its field. The answer was not a company located in Silicon Valley or Seoul or London. The answer was – and still is – right here in San Diego. That company is Illumina.

Founded in 1998, Illumina has not only helped build the genomics field, but also has redefined it. In a time when medicine and medical research are becoming increasingly expensive, Illumina has made personalized medicine more attainable. They have made it feasible to sequence genomes for under $1,000 a patient.

Last week, more than 15 EDC stakeholders got to experience this innovation first hand when they toured Illumina’s UTC headquarters. With its wide array of platforms, Illumina is sought out by researchers and healthcare professionals as well as ancestry companies, such as Ancestry.com and 23 & Me to provide valuable genetic information. Each day, Illumina and its 3,000 global employees- 1,500 in San Diego - work to improve lives around the world by unlocking the power of the genome.

On the tour of Illumina’s campus, guides walked participants through R&D space, on-site manufacturing facilities and a suite of amenities available to Illumina’s employees, including a state-of-the-art fitness center, coffee shops, an amphitheater and the cafeteria, which employees admit is the most effective and efficient meeting space on campus. Collaboration is at Illumina’s core and all of these spaces provide opportunities for employees to exchange information and generate new ideas, developing the next ideas that will fuel Illumina’s growth as a global brand.

As MIT notes when talking about their rankings, “It might sound difficult to define what makes a smart company, but you know one when you see it.” Thanks in part to Illumina, San Diego is showing the rest of the world what smart really means.


April 10, 2014

Brookings Panel in Seattle

 

San Diego is one of only six cities selected to participate in a new pilot program to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) to the region as part of the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of the renowned Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase.

San Diego joined Columbus, Minneapolis, Portland, San Antonio and Seattle in Seattle today to participate in the first working session, where leadership will collaborate with other regions to address the region’s foreign direct investment plan. San Diego’s team is made up of representatives from the City of San Diego, UC San Diego, JPMorgan Chase, Biocom, Qualcomm, GO-Biz and San Diego Regional EDC.

Foreign direct investment has long supported regional economies, not only by infusing capital, but also by investing in workers, strengthening global connections and sharing best business practices. As the world’s largest economy with a stable investment environment, the United States has been a top destination for foreign direct investment and San Diego is looking to ensure it pulls in a significant portion of this FDI.

In San Diego, many small and medium-sized enterprises have pushed their attention towards the issue of capital. As venture capitalists around the U.S. become more selective about companies they invest in, we must look for alternative solutions. FDI is one answer. Although FDI sounds like an elusive term, this means more capital flow to the region as well as more international attention paid to San Diego which has a strong economic payoff.   

Sean Barr, vice president of economic development at EDC, sat on panel today moderated by Amy Liu, senior fellow at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, which discussed establishing a region’s global identity. According to Brookings, “the most globally fluent metro areas demonstrate a combination of an appealing identity, high standards and reputation, and global relevance in specific markets.”

San Diego has many strengths, and one of our admitted struggles is that it’s difficult to form a distinct global identity when we have so many industries of which to be proud. We are home to a thriving biotech sector where companies like Illumina - dubbed the “World’s Smartest Company” - are based. We have a strong defense sector that is second to none. From our telecom industry to our sports innovation and algae biofuels cluster, the region is an innovation hub. One thing that Sean stressed during the panel is that although San Diego loves its sun, we need to be comfortable shedding our strict tourism message and moving beyond “sun and Shamu.” Working with the Brookings Institute to increase San Diego’s share of FDI is one way to do this.

As part of the pilot, San Diego will develop a foreign direct investment market assessment and plan, along with an implementation plan and a policy memo. This work, added to the region’s existing export plan, forms the second core component of a global engagement strategy that will strengthen the region's global economic connections and competitiveness.

San Diego is the only city in California selected for this pilot program and is one of only two cities in the program for which Brookings will be developing and publishing the complete FDI plan.

Here’s what some people are saying about the announcement:

  • City of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said: “San Diego’s strong ties to international markets, high-growth industries and culture of innovation mean we have the necessary ingredients to attract foreign direct investment to the region. I am honored Brookings selected San Diego for this pilot program and I look forward to working with the core team  to show that San Diego is open for business.”
     
  • Councilman Mark Kersey, fifth district, City of San Diego said: “San Diego is becoming start-up central and small-medium enterprises will benefit from a regional strategy for attracting foreign direct investment. I’d like to see more companies born global, attracting international investment and competing in worldwide markets.”
     
  • William Bold, senior vice president of government affairs of Qualcomm said:  “The highly educated work force, technology clusters, and location of San Diego already make it a thriving hub of the globalized economy. The Global Cities Initiative will only strengthen San Diego’s attractiveness to foreign investors looking for a solid innovation and high-technology track record. We’re delighted to help with an effort to share with the rest of the world the trade, talent and financial potential to be found here.”
     
  • Brennon Crist, JPMorgan Chase market manager for Middle Market/Commercial Banking in San Diego said: “We’re delighted that  San Diego will be a part of this new pilot – it’s exactly the kind of innovative planning that will ensure our community’s long-term economic success. We have a history of helping businesses connect to global markets and the Global Cities Initiative’s foreign direct investment work brings another level of depth to our region’s efforts to further create jobs, attract capital and grow our economy.”
     
  • Brad McDearman, Brookings fellow and director of metro trade and investment said: “For this pilot, we selected metro areas that are committed to attracting and leveraging foreign direct investment as part of a comprehensive global trade and investment strategy. The six metro areas selected for this round will be strong role models for other regions and represent a growing group of leaders who understand the need to embrace the global market to remain competitive in the 21st century economy.”
     
  •  Joe Panetta, president and CEO of Biocom said: “The region’s global mindset is apparent when you look at the thriving life sciences industry. Companies have long looked to San Diego for its world-class talent pool and abundant research opportunities. San Diego’s new collaboration with Brookings not only means that the region has opportunities to create more jobs, but also that we will be looked at as a role model for other areas looking to embrace the global economy.”

 

 

March 28, 2014

Patents, as legal records of novel and useful ideas, help drive regional innovation and economic growth. With strong biotech and information and communications technology (ICT) sectors, San Diego is a patent producing hub; according to the Brookings Institution, the region currently produces 2.3 patents per 1,000 jobs. Current legislation being proposed in Washington will make it more difficult for San Diego to innovate.

Mark Cafferty and Greg McKee of CONNECT penned a piece in the U-T discussing how the proposed legislation could harm our economy.


Patent legislation could hurt San Diego economy (appeared in the U-T on March 28)
 
It is easy for San Diegans to forget that what happens in Washington can affect our lives some 3,000 miles away. But the San Diego economy, so strongly reliant on innovation across a spectrum of industries, could be severely harmed by Congress’ latest attempt at patent reform.
 
Patents may seem to be a complex and obscure issue, but as legal documentation of intellectual property (IP) — just like the deed to a plot of land — they help drive regional innovation and job creation. According to the Brookings Institution, from 2007-2011, the San Diego region was granted an average of 3,165 patents a year, making us the eighth-highest patent producing region in the U.S.
 
Our innovative climate is the single largest factor that attracts and sustains our most important economic drivers — the businesses and individuals that operate successfully here. For example, San Diego-based Illumina recently developed the first low-cost genome machine, which could change health care significantly. UC San Diego — ranked the 20th best university in the world — is not only essential to training many that will go on to file patents at San Diego’s companies, but also has a growing portfolio of over 2,600 active innovations and more than 1,600 patents that translate into new startups and innovations. Please read the complete piece in the U-T....

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March 26, 2014

The California Competes Tax Credit, an economic incentive that is part of the Governor's Economic Development Initiative, is now accepting applications for its first round through Monday, April 14, 2014.

California Competes is an income tax credit available to businesses that want to come to California or stay and grow in California. Tax credit agreements will be negotiated by GO-Biz and approved by a newly created “California Competes Tax Credit Committee,” consisting of the State Treasurer, the Director of the Department of Finance, the Director of GO-Biz, one appointee from the Senate, and one appointee from the Assembly.

California Competes  will be allocating $30 million for fiscal year 2013/2014 and it will increase next fiscal year to $150 million, and then finally $200 million for 2015/2016 through 2017/2018. 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions about the CCTC 

Related post: $30 million up for grabs

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March 18, 2014

Linden Blue

Linden Blue, vice chairman of General Atomics and current chairman and CEO of Spectrum Aeronautical, was honored by the Tesla Foundation this past Saturday with the Nikola Tesla Award for Innovation.

Linden Blue is one of the masters of modern energy and aviation and San Diego is honored to have such an innovative leader in its region. The event program reads, “Linden Blue has always been very interested in technology. That interest has led him from innovating Learjet product improvements while working at Gates Learjet, to overseeing the development of the Lear Fan and the Beech Starship, and, more recently, to develop unmanned aerial vehicles and nuclear reactors.”

The Tesla Foundation’s mission is to create, promote, and protect American jobs and businesses through innovation and commercialization. 

Here’s to you Linden, for your incredible contributions to the aeronautics and energy sectors and for pioneering San Diego’s game-changing innovative culture.

The thing that’s always turned me on in aviation is the innovation part of it. If you could dramatically improve the technology, that interested me. That’s what I want to do.” – Linden Blue

February 13, 2014

Congratulations to Kevin Faulconer on being elected the new mayor of the City of San Diego. Throughout the nation and the world, the role of an urban mayor has become an important and influential component in the resurgence and success of metropolitan economies.

EDC took a look at Faulconer’s jobs plan from the standpoint of EDC’s priorities:  

EDC Priority: Talent

Talented workers are the lifeblood of San Diego’s innovation economy. Attracting skilled workers and developing San Diegans for the careers of the future is important for our region’s business attraction, retention and expansion efforts. It is our opinion that a mayor can and should play a critical role in both the attraction and development of a talented workforce.

Kevin’s policies and statements regarding workers and talent focus on our universities, business incubators, engineering and entrepreneurship.

Kevin also sets a goal for youth employment, with a particular emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math programs (STEM): “…providing summer jobs for 2,500 students to prepare them for bright futures.” To accomplish this goal Kevin cites working with the Workforce Partnership (and its existing Connect 2 Careers program) and programs like Job Corps to; “…expand access to technology, engineering and job training programs.”

Kevin speaks of working with local universities and property owners and managers to help turn at least four sites in the city into new high-tech incubators. He has also described working with local university leaders to create business mentoring programs for students.

EDC Priority: International Opportunities

Maximizing San Diego’s global competitiveness is a central focus of EDC’s mission and important to driving San Diego’s tourism and innovation economies. Increasing the region’s exports through the Brookings Metropolitan Export Initiative, expanding our international profile, attracting more foreign direct investment, and further engaging our neighbors in Mexico are all specific strategies we will work on throughout 2014.

Kevin talks about the importance of our binational economy and the unique strengths and opportunities we have when partnering with Mexico.  Kevin cites specific goals for increasing trade with Mexico and the Pacific Rim: “…increase trade with Mexico and the Pacific Rim by 100 percent within 5 years.” Kevin also speaks about working with the Port and Airport Authorities, as well as EDC, to increase our region’s exports and create better access to international markets.

Kevin talks extensively about the role a mayor can play in securing the funding and support to complete our border crossing and expand our border infrastructure.

Kevin also calls out the importance of international tourism to the local economy. He talks of supporting the Tourism Authority’s efforts to promote San Diego throughout the world and for securing San Diego’s spot as a top tourism destination.

EDC Priority: Business Growth and Expansion

Kevin’s plan is quite specific.   He calls out particular programs he would work to grow and expand: “The City’s business expansion, attraction and retention (BEAR) program will grow to help attract businesses by working with companies to provide permit assistance and fee reductions.”

He goes on to state specific milestones and deliverables:

 •“Within his first year as mayor, Faulconer will overhaul the City’s website to make it user-friendly so San Diegans and businesses can interact with the City quickly and easily.”

• “Within his first year as mayor, Faulconer will direct the City toward a modern permit-tracking program that expedites the permitting process.”

• “During his first term as Mayor, Faulconer will partner with commercial property owners and managers as well as local university leaders to create mentorship programs and at least four additional high-tech incubators strategically positioned throughout San Diego that will attract talented entrepreneurs, engineers, venture capital and good paying jobs.”

EDC Priority: Capital

An adequate flow of capital to companies at all stages of development is important to San Diego’s regional economy. Without the proper funds to grow or expand, San Diego companies will not be able to achieve their maximum job growth potential. EDC is focused on ensuring that companies have access to local, national and international capital resources and that growth opportunities are visible to potential funders.

In the dedicated investment portion of his plan, Kevin shares some specific goals and deliverables in this area. His website reads:  “In his first year as mayor, Faulconer will work with local universities and the innovation sector to develop a strategy to increase by 50 percent the federal grants the San Diego region receives by 2020 to fund technological breakthroughs and create good paying jobs.”  He frequently mentions his plans that involve: “…partnering with commercial property owners and managers as well as local university leaders to create…additional high-tech incubators strategically positioned throughout San Diego that will attract talented entrepreneurs, engineers, venture capital and good paying jobs.”

Kevin received the endorsement of BIOCOM, the biotechnology/life sciences association that works with public and private sector partners to promote the growth and competitiveness of the region’s biotechnology economy. BIOCOM is one of the few local trade associations within the innovation economy that endorses candidates.  Capital development is certainly one of BIOCOM’s top priorities and concerns.

EDC Priority: Land Use

Strong and informed urban planning efforts and protecting San Diego’s industrial land are important to our efforts to maintain a diverse and attractive economy for future investment and expansion.

Kevin’s policies and language regarding land use focus heavily on the protection of land for industrial use and economic purposes. His website states: “Faulconer will propose land-use policies that protect the thousands of high quality manufacturing jobs that rely on the vitality of the maritime industry.” He goes on to make the following commitment: “Faulconer will have the City conduct a comprehensive analysis and complete an economic development strategy that identifies – citywide – which industrial land needs to be preserved for jobs, and which areas can be used for residential and retail needs.”

Kevin also speaks about protecting the interests of neighborhoods and the environment as well. He commits to the following: “Faulconer will streamline regulations by strategically funding community plan updates that include Master EIRs (environmental impact reports)…Faulconer will prioritize San Diego’s low-to-moderate income communities to stimulate investment and revitalization efforts.”

Kevin has been outspoken about the challenges that the Barrio Logan Community Plan presents to industry and he has worked actively with the maritime industries to reverse the City Council’s action in approving the plan.

EDC Priority: Infrastructure

When EDC speaks of infrastructure needs, we focus more specifically on the larger, regional infrastructure projects that can move and grow an economy. Our members and investors see the airport, the Port of San Diego, our international border crossings, and our highways and public transportation systems as either strengths or impediments to economic growth. Increasing our international flights at the airport, improving wait times at the border and protecting our maritime economy will remain essential for job creation and economic prosperity. 

Kevin has specific sections of his website dedicated to the city’s neighborhoods, roads and deferred maintenance plans. When it comes to our region’s large infrastructure projects, Kevin’s plan also focuses heavily on our border, our relationships with Mexico and upgrading and modernizing our ports of entry. Kevin’s website states: “As mayor, Faulconer will work with leaders in Tijuana and Washington to modernize the border crossing and decrease wait times, transforming the San Diego-Tijuana border from lost economic opportunity into a competitive advantage that is the envy of the world.”

Kevin talks in detail about the need to increase our exports, create a regional export plan and ensure that our port-related infrastructure is aligned with these plans.

EDC Priority: Defense

San Diego’s military and defense economy impacts approximately 302,000 jobs—or one out of every five jobs in the region. The defense industry in San Diego generates approximately $32 billion for the region. Protecting our military assets and positioning our region to retain or grow its defense presence remains among EDC’s top priorities.

Kevin’s entire plan reflects a very strong understanding of – and commitment to – the local military and defense economy. Kevin’s website states: “Faulconer will initiate a comprehensive study of industrial land to protect middle-class jobs and provide greater certainty for the U.S. Navy and job creators to invest in confidence. Faulconer will use this analysis to create land-use policies that protect thousands of high quality manufacturing jobs that rely on the vitality of the maritime industry.”

Kevin outlines potential job training partnerships and employment programs for our region’s veterans. This includes: “…a plan to hire at least 130 additional police officers … and believes combat veterans have many of the skills necessary to succeed as San Diego Police Officers. Faulconer will collaborate with local veteran support programs, such as Reboot, to assist veterans returning to civilian life in finding good employment opportunities.”

Ultimately, Kevin’s plan speaks often about the need to protect and grow military and defense jobs within the region and showcases an understanding of the important role the military plays in San Diego’s economic landscape.

EDC looks forward to the opportunity to partner with Kevin and support his plans as we all strive to maximize the economic prosperity and global competitiveness of San Diego.

 

 

January 31, 2014

global sd cover

Throughout the nation, and the world, the role of metropolitans is becoming more pronounced. Due in part to political gridlock in D.C., metropolitans have become living incubators for ideas and innovation. Although the rise of the metropolitan region can be seen by anyone who picks up the paper or flips on the T.V., it’s the Brookings Institute that has given this movement new momentum.

San Diego is one region to embrace this "metropolitan first" ethos. This week, EDC – along with numerous regional partners – released the “Global San Diego Export Plan” which focuses on growing our metropolitan economy and creating jobs through exports. The release of the export plan is part of San Diego’s continued participation in the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project of the Brookings Institute and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

In 2012, San Diego was selected by Washington-based Brookings Institute as one of the first eight U.S. cities to participate in a national initiative to pioneer new strategies that boost exports and global economic competitiveness. The Global Cities Exchange has now grown to include 20 U.S. metropolitan areas.

A focus on exports means a focus on all sectors of San Diego’s economy, from the established defense and communications sectors to emerging industries such as craft beer. Companies that export not only grow faster, but are 8.5 percent less likely to go out of business. Additionally, if you work at a company that exports, on average, you will earn a 10-20 percent higher wage than you would if you worked at a company that didn’t export.

San Diego’s Core Team Partners are streamlining four strategies to implement the export plan:

·         Leveraging the diversity of regional markets

·         Developing and increasing small- and-medium-sized enterprises’ capacity to export

·         Concentrating on San Diego’s unique infrastructure assets

·         Leveraging the trade potential of the CaliBaja Bi-National Mega Region

A newly-formed Global Competitiveness Council, comprised of key leadership from the Core Team Partners including elected officials and university leadership, will move forward on implementation of the strategies and provide insight into the region’s trade and investment plans.

In San Diego, we’re not just exporting San Diego products; we’re exporting San Diego culture as well. Core Team Partners have included a Global Outreach component to encourage San Diegans to adopt a more global mindset and use this initiative as a platform for communicating San Diego’s global fluency.

In the coming weeks, the Core Team will continue to push out information regarding San Diego’s plan to increase exports.

In the meantime, here’s what Brookings and some members of the Global Competitiveness Council are saying about this plan:

Brad McDearman, fellow and director of Metro Trade and Investment at Brookings said: “San Diego was selected to be part of the Global Cities Exchange due to its unique cross-border dynamic, Pacific Rim location, demonstrated regional collaboration, and commitment to being more intentional about positioning the region globally. San Diego is a region with tremendous potential in international markets.”

Councilmember Mark Kersey, City of San Diego, 5th District said: “Expanding trade opportunities for San Diego companies is critical to our binational economy. Although we currently have companies utilizing our regional opportunities for trade and commerce, there is a lot more potential. This initiative will provide businesses with concrete information to help them tap into the unique opportunities being a border region provides," said

Thella Bowens, president and CEO of San Diego County Regional Airport Authority said: “The Airport Authority is pleased to see the concrete steps laid out in this plan to improve our region’s export potential, based on the market assessment completed last spring. In terms of air passengers, air cargo and aviation infrastructure, San Diego International Airport plays a crucial role in our region’s export performance. We are committed to working with our partner agencies and the City of San Diego to enhance the export potential of the region”

Mark Cafferty, president and CEO or San Diego Regional EDC said: “We know companies that export not only pay their workforce higher wages, but also create more jobs. This plan is a solid foundation to not only boost employment, but to also start shaping the region’s distinct global identity. The good news is that we have room to grow.”

Brennon Crist, JPMorgan Chase market manager for Middle Market/Commercial Banking said: "Exports of goods and services represent a tremendous opportunity for San Diego businesses to grow and create jobs. The strategies outlined in this Export Plan will be instrumental to helping our region’s employers realize their export potential. The plan serves as a great example of the public-private sector collaboration that’s so critical to ensuring our region’s long-term economic success in a highly competitive global economy.”

Bob Nelson, chairman, Port of San Diego said: “Leaders throughout San Diego share a desire to improve our region’s competitiveness in global markets, which is driven in large part by our goods movement capacity at the Port of San Diego. With two marine cargo terminals, the Port of San Diego is a major player in our region’s export activity. The release of our Brookings Institution Metropolitan Export Plan signals that our San Diego region as a whole is serious about offering businesses a simpler, easier path to exporting – and that we’re willing to work together to get there.”

More statements can be found here.

TAGS
December 31, 2013
The story of the San Diego region is one of collaboration. This means when events take an unexpected turn, we can lean on one another to move the region forward. We have companies - that many would perceive as competitors - working together to secure San Diego’s cyber infrastructure. We have public/private collaborations working to increase the region’s global footprint. We have everyone from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies looking to invest in the region. And we have a strong group of universities that are working together to produce one of the most talented workforces in the nation.
 
 “Good News” is all around us. For the second year in a row, we've compiled a list of some of the greatest moments of the year. As 2013 draws to an end, let’s reflect on the remarkable accomplishments across our entire mega-region, and raise a toast (preferably a San Diego craft beer) to another year of positive headlines.
 
With unwavering appreciation,
Team EDC
 

 

Convention Center expansion is green lighted
In October, a coalition of local union members, business leaders and elected officials showed up at the California Coastal Commission hearing to advocate for a the expansion of the San Diego Convention Center. When the Coastal Commission voted unanimously to move forward with the expansion, they were not only voting for a larger facility with more waterfront access, but also to bring an additional $698 million in economic impact and 6,685 jobs in the region. The expansion of the Convention Center means we can make way for many of the mega-conventions, such as Comic-con, that had their San Diego presence threatened by lack of capacity

 

Unmanned Center of Excellence adds 300 jobs to economy
San Diego has emerged as an Unmanned Systems hub. Recognizing the talent and opportunities present in the region, Defense innovator Northrop Grumman designated San Diego its Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence. The designation meant 300 more jobs at the company's Rancho Bernardo location.

 

 

San Diego Central Library completed 
A great city needs a great library. With the completion of the San Diego Central Library, San Diego residents now have a library they are proud of. The new East Village location boasts local art installations, an expanded career center, a charter school, and more workspace, in in a visually stunning iconic building.

 

 

 


We live in the most inventive region in the U.S. 
Although we've tried not to focus on rankings, this is one we simply can't ignore. In July, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development released its ranking of the world's most inventive cities. Second on the list - right behind Eindoven, Netherlands - was San Diego. The city claims 8.9 patents for every 10,000 residents, thanks to companies such as Qualcomm. 

 

 

 

Cross Border terminal makes Mega-Region more accessible 
As the U.S. and Mexican governments launch a new initiative to build stronger business ties across the border, they are looking at San Diego's Cali Baja Bi-national Mega-Region as a model for finding ways that industry clusters in both countries can work together. Many examples show the strength of the mega-region, but it's the new cross border terminal that has grabbed headlines recently. Border infrastructure has been improving, and the new cross border terminal will allow travelers from San Diego and Tijuana to hop on flights out of the neighboring cities. 

 

 

San Diego Airport's Green Build takes off
Improvements at the airport have finally landed. The San Diego International Airport's Green Build expansion culminated in August ahead of schedule and under budget. The stunning new new terminal features 10 new gates, pet-friendly amenities, extensive public art displays and is infused with local dining favorites so travelers can get a taste of San Diego while they wait. 

 

 

 

Pivot to the Pacific sends resources to San Diego
The United States defense strategy has deemed that a Pivot to the Pacific, aligning defense resources with the Pacific Rim, is a crucial foreign policy strategy. Because of San Diego's location and existing military footprint, this meant the region was well-positioned, despite sequestration, to gain valuable resources. The USS Reagan and its 2,500 person crew returned to San Diego after a year in maintenance. The USS Vinson, and its 6,000 plus crew, also returned to its port in San Diego. According the SDMAC Military Economic Impact Study, the two aircraft carriers home ported here will each add about $500 million to the economy.

 

 

 

Kickstarter backed films puts San Diego on Hollywood's radar
San Diego may never be Hollywood (we're fine with owning technology and innovation), but a few features have put the region on the map. The year started with 'Inocente', a story about a homeless San Diego teen, becoming the first Kickstarter backed movie to win an Oscar. Fans turned to Kickstarter again to fund a film version of 'Veronica Mars,' a series that chronicles the life of a teenage San Diego detective. The trailer premiered at Comic-con in July. Although San Diego's favorite fictional news team may not have been backed by Kickstarter, with the release of Anchorman 2, the phrase "Stay Classy, San Diego" worked its way back into lexicon this year.

 

 

 

Intellect leads innovation economy
San Diego's top tier universities are essential for priming a talented workforce that helps push the economy forward. When President Obama announced his BRAIN initiative in April, UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. was invited to Washington. Given its strong cognitive sciences program, the university - which raked in more than $1 billion in research funding this past year - will be one of the academic institutions leading the charge. Cal State San Marcos welcomed its biggest class and held true to its 'vet' friendly reputation.  San Diego State University found itself among the nation's highest ranked universities in terms of affordability and ROI, which may be one of the reasons it recently announced a record number of applicants for 2014. Point Loma Nazarene has been identified as one of the best value private colleges in the U.S. University of San Diego's part time MBA programs broke the Top 20 on BusinessWeek's list. Online education pioneer Ashford University partnered with Forbes to create cutting-edge materials for its Forbes School of Business. National University, a leader in policy research, has partnered with EDC and other regional organizations on studies to quantify the sports and active lifestyle and cybersecurity clusters. 

Construction on desalination project begins

Construction on the largest desalination plant in the western hemisphere began in early 2013. The construction of the plant will provide more than 2,300 jobs and will sustain 575 jobs when it is completed in 2016. Not only does the Carlsbad facility employ ground-breaking local technologies, but it also promises to transform about 50 million gallons of seawater into drinking water each day, which will meet 7 to 10 percent of San Diego’s water needs.

 

 

 

Brookings lays framework for global competitiveness strategy
Last fall, San Diego was selected as one of eight U.S. cities to participate in the Brookings Metropolitan Exchange Initiative, a project that helps regions implement customized export plans. In May, a collaborative made up of representatives from the Port of San Diego, San Diego Regional Airport Authority, UC San Diego, JP Morgan Chase and others came together to release a market assessment, the first phase in delivering a plan. Since then, working groups have been addressing infrastructure, talent, small and medium-sized enterprises, and market diversity to come up with a plan to boost the region's exports. The collaborative will release the final export plan - which will help with the region's overall global competitiveness strategy - in early 2014.

Craft Beer powers regional economy
Look out Munich, we're nipping at your heels. The San Diego region, which is home to more than 70 craft breweries, is commanding a growing percent of the nation's craft beer production. The region embraced its craft beer culture, with places like the Airport integrating beer into in the region's identity. From Men's Journal to The New York Times, people worldwide are also catching wind of breweries such as Stone, Ballast Point, Karl Strauss. This year, the industry hosted its first "SD Craft Beer Hospitality and Tourism Summit" to talk about how San Diego can propel its image as a premier craft beer destination forward.