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The Big Picture San Diego Blog


November 2017

November 17, 2017

In 2016, executives from San Diego life sciences giants Illumina, Human Longevity, Inc., Thermo Fisher Scientific, ResMed and Dexcom approached EDC with a pressing need for a specific type of talent: bioinformatics professionals. Known among peers by their technical title, bioinformaticians develop and apply software tools to understand biological data sets. In San Diego, leaders in genomics and connected health are gathering incomprehensible amounts of data with the power to unlock the human genome, make personalized care a reality and enhance the way we live on a massive scale. Individuals skilled in bioinformatics, data science and computational biology are instrumental in deciphering such data sets – a task with stunning implications across pharma, biotech, healthcare, genomics and much more.

Even with impressive programs at UC San Diego and SDSU, the demand for bioinformatics professionals is simply too high for local universities to fill. As such, EDC launched the Life Sciences Trek to San Diego with the help of our economic development committee, to showcase local opportunities for Masters and PhD’s from across the country. The goal of the program: attract talent who can translate data into actionable results for application in healthcare and medicine. During the trek, the group would visit seven San Diego life sciences staples, presenting a range of career opportunities.

On November 9-10, we were joined by 27 students from across the U.S., representing UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, University of Michigan, Stanford, Arizona State, UC Riverside, University of Northern Carolina, University of Pittsburgh and Georgia Institute of Technology. Through company tours, presentations and a networking reception, students gained access to influential researchers and executives across many of San Diego's research institutions and fast growing companies including ResMed, Illumina, the Salk Institute, Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Human Longevity, Inc. From drug discovery to connected devices, genetic sequencing to direct patient care, the breadth of opportunities for bioinformaticians became apparent within San Diego’s diverse life sciences ecosystem.

Though a pilot program for EDC, the Life Sciences Trek to San Diego was largely a success. Providing an employer perspective, ResMed Lead Talent Acquisition Partner Amy Hernandez considered the trek a “fantastic employment branding opportunity” and a “great community event that highlighted San Diego as an attractive employment marketplace to a ripe generation of future leaders.” Additionally, the students were impressed. For one student, the trek displayed “tremendous opportunities to do biomedical research that directly impacts patient lives.” For another, the trek was a “fantastic opportunity and unique experience to get an inside look into companies and a career in Life sciences and in bioinformatics specifically,” saying “it was perfect timing in my last year of my PhD program.”

Looking ahead to 2018, EDC will continue to address the occupational demand for bioinformatics and other life sciences professionals in San Diego. EDC will play host second trek in 2018, and will emphasize the need for data science professionals as a part of the U.S. Chamber’s Talent Pipeline Management program, which takes an employer-focused approach to meeting talent needs.

EDC didn’t need to write talking points, as San Diego spoke for itself. The people we met, spaces we visited and stories we heard over the two days embodied the region’s life-changing identity. Surpassing expectation, the trek has left an undeniable impression on all who participated – students and locals alike.

See more at #SDLifeSciencesTrek.


 

November 17, 2017

Understanding our economy begins with strong data. Lucky for us, November means lots of it. 
 
A little about the research products released this week:
 

Economic Snapshot: San Diego added 16,100 jobs year-over-year

Following an increase in employment during Q2 2017, total nonfarm employment fell 5,800, or 0.4 percent, in Q3. Job gains in the private sector helped offset some of the losses seen in local and state government. Compared to a year ago, total nonfarm employment was up 16,100, or 1.1 percent. Meanwhile, San Diego’s unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage points in Q3, and remained 0.6 percentage points below California’s rate and was on par with the national rate.

Key findings from the snapshot:

  • San Diego closed Q3 with an unemployment rate of 4.1 percent, the 17th lowest among top U.S. metros and below the state rate of 4.7 percent.
  • With the holiday season approaching, retail trade recorded the largest gain, adding 1,400 jobs during the quarter. Healthcare and social assistance continued to grow, adding 1,200 jobs.
  • VC dollars in the region increased 25.1 percent compared to the previous quarter.

The Quarterly Economic Snapshot analyzes key economic indicators that are important to understanding the regional economy and the region’s standing relative to the 25 most populous metropolitan areas in the U.S. This releases includes data from July to September (Q3) 2017.

 

Economic Pulse:

Each month the California Employment Development Department (EDD) releases industry data for the prior month. This edition of San Diego’s Economic Pulse covers October 2017 data, including unemployment, new business establishments and job postings.

Key Findings from pulse:

  • The region’s unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent in October, from a revised 4.1 percent in September, and is a full percentage point below the October 2016 rate of 4.7 percent.
  • Nearly every jurisdiction in San Diego saw a decline in unemployment. Imperial Beach saw the largest decline for a second consecutive month.
  • Year-over-year, real estate, rental and leasing growth outpaced all other sectors, up 5.6 percent.

 

November 8, 2017

"Why San Diego leaders must forge international economic partnerships" was originally published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, authored by Nikia Clarke.
 
Did you know that the greatest public transportation systems in the world have a direct and important connection to San Diego? The ticketing systems for London, Chicago, Vancouver and Sydney have all been enhanced and modernized through the technologies of San Diego-based Cubic Transportation Systems. And joining this global lineup will be New York City following a $533 million contract awarded to Cubic on October 25, taking The Big Apple to the next level in modern transit payment.
 
This is just one of the many remarkable ways San Diego companies are connecting abroad to create jobs and opportunities here at home. World Trade Center San Diego — an affiliate of San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation — in conjunction with Congressman Scott Peters, led a delegation of San Diego companies and organizations to London and Cambridge, U.K. last week to strengthen economic ties with one of our region’s top markets for trade and investment......
 
Read the full op-ed here.