Finding Talent

Talent is the cornerstone of economic growth.

EDC’s talent initiatives leverage employer engagement, work-based learning, and unique company solutions to broaden the pool of diverse and qualified talent for San Diego companies. Through its flagship program Advancing San Diego, EDC and its partners paint a local, current, and reliable picture of labor market needs and develop a network of training programs and educational institutions best preparing San Diegans for the most critical jobs in the economy.

Advancing San Diego

Advancing San Diego is a collaborative effort to double the production of skilled workers each year, focusing on the inclusion of historically under-represented populations within the region’s innovation economy.


Verified Programs

Verified Programs are education providers recognized by San Diego employers for offering high-quality training suited to the most in-demand jobs across the county. These programs also have a vetted track record of proven accessibility for San Diego students.


Case Studies

EDC works together with companies and education institutions to drive connections and unique solutions to San Diego’s talent challenges. These solutions often involve Verified Programs and relevant community-based organizations to take a holistic approach to talent pipeline development.

see the work in action

Work-Based Learning

EDC’s Talent Initiatives team works to align paid work-based learning opportunities in high-demand industries with San Diego talent. If your company is looking to help strengthen its future workforce by offering hands-on experiences for local students, contact Olivia Jones to learn more.

Contact us to get involved:

Olivia Jones
Olivia Jones

Coordinator, Talent Initiatives

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How we got here 

For local employers to have the teams they need to compete on a global stage, San Diego must focus on developing local talent to meet the demands of the region.

  1. Brookings learning lab

    February 1, 2017

    San Diego is selected by the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program as one of three U.S. regions to participate in a learning lab focused on inclusive economic development. EDC works alongside the City of San Diego, the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, and UC San Diego Extension to develop a deeper understanding of specific barriers to economic inclusion impacting populations across the region.

  2. Confronting the brutal facts

    July 1, 2017

    With the help of the Brookings Institution, EDC creates a narrative making the business case for inclusive growth. Amid significant technological and demographic changes, inclusion is a competitiveness issue: The educational attainment gap in Black and Latino populations will exacerbate company workforce shortages in STEM fields; the small businesses that employ most San Diegans are not able to compete to grow; and more than half of San Diegans can’t make ends meet.

    Learn more

  3. Public launch

    February 15, 2018

    As the region’s innovation economy continues to grow, EDC incorporates lessons learned into its own strategic plan and publicly launches its Inclusive Growth Initiative. The plan is three-fold: 1) Diversify the regional talent pipeline,2) Equip small businesses to compete and, 3) Address the region’s affordability crisis.

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  4. Advancing San Diego

    April 18, 2019

    JPMorgan Chase announces San Diego as one of five cities to win a $3 million grant from the Advancing Cities Challenge. This grant will be used to fund a new program—Advancing San Diego—which will connect underrepresented San Diegans with high-demand jobs, while also providing small businesses access to diverse applicants.

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  5. Introducing Employer Working Groups

    September 2019

    Advancing San Diego organizes its first employer-led collaborative. The collaborative is the first of six Employer Working Groups that were funded through the initial JPMorgan Chase grant, aimed at identifying the skills and competencies needed for entry-level software engineering positions across various industries. The findings of the working group led to the release of the first Software Engineering Talent Demand Report.

  6. Goals for 2030

    October 29, 2019

    Changing skill requirements, a nationwide battle for talent, and a soaring cost of living are combining to form an unequivocal threat to regional competitiveness. If unaddressed, San Diego will no longer be an attractive place to live and do business. Endorsed by more than a dozen private sector employers, EDC announces three audacious goals to be accomplished by 2030 or the region’s economic strength may cease to exist: 1) 20,000 skilled workers per year by 2030, 2) 50,000 quality small business jobs by 2030, and 3) 75,000 newly thriving households by 2030.

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  7. Introducing Verified Programs of talent

    March 2020

    Educational programs around the region are invited to submit their curriculum to be vetted by employers for adequately training the skills and knowledge needed for entry-level software engineering openings. Through an employer-led process, EDC and Advancing San Diego announce the seven educational programs designated as the first Verified Programs of Software Talent, then called ‘Preferred Providers.’

    See who they were

  8. Student internships begin

    June 2020

    Thanks to JPMorgan Chase’s Advancing Cities grant, and despite setbacks from the COVID-19 shut downs, 53 students from across all seven designated programs are able to participate in paid internship opportunities. Students are placed in a virtual 240-hour paid internship at 22 small companies. This and more, were accomplished in the first year of the program.

  9. Advancing Cities funding sunsets

    May 2022

    In three successful years, Advancing San Diego released six Talent Demand Reports focused on Software, Engineering, Business, Manufacturing, Healthcare, and Life Sciences workforce needs. Through each industry cohort, Advancing San Diego afforded 167 students paid work-based learning opportunities at more than 68 small companies which received temporary staffing support at no cost.

  10. Advancing San Diego 2.0

    August 2022

    With the help of Boston Consulting Group, EDC and its partners built on the momentum of Advancing San Diego and paved a sustainable path for the program to continue work towards the 2030 Inclusive Growth goals. The creation of the Advancing San Diego Steering Committee, comprised of executives from the private and public sectors, academia, and philanthropy, established structure for input on continuous improvement of a talent pipeline development strategy.



  11. Enter the K-16 Collaborative

    September 2022

    San Diego and Imperial Counties won a competitive $18 million in state funding to continue this talent work. Advancing San Diego, in partnership with the Border Region Inclusive Talent Pipeline Collaborative, built upon the work of existing talent initiatives efforts by expanding into K-12 education, new industries, and new partnerships.

    Learn more

Ways to get involved

Calendar of Talent Pipeline Development

  • January – June: Employer Working Group
  • June – September: Summer K-16 internships
  • September – November: Verified Program designations

Current EDC engagement opportunities

share your work opportunities

Home to one of the most educated workforces in the country, EDC works to develop the right employees and grow local businesses. Find your next talent superstar today.

Employers: post your open positions

Students: find internships and entry-level openings

leverage talent attraction tools

A talent attraction campaign of EDC, San Diego: Life. Changing. highlights professionals and entrepreneurs who have upgraded their lives by moving to and working in San Diego. Whether you’re in HR, marketing, or sales, leverage these recruitment tools to help you ‘sell’ San Diego.

San Diego: Life. Changing. can help you recruit mid-level talent

underwriters of EDC talent Initiatives

Interested in learning more?

Taylor Dunne
Taylor Dunne

Director, Talent Initiatives