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The Big Picture San Diego Blog


October 2018

October 17, 2018

Learn from the best, they say. For the third straight year, East County-based guitar manufacturer Taylor Guitars generously played host to WTC San Diego and the 20 companies in this year’s MetroConnect program for a day-long export strategy workshop.

We kicked off the day with a tour of the company’s manufacturing operations, showcasing the craftsmanship that goes into the creation of every Taylor guitar. Then, the MetroConnect cohort was treated to lunch and an information session about global growth, IP protection and even corruption in the international marketplace. Taylor Guitars CFO Barbara Wight provided first-hand insight about how the company selects distributors and deals with IP issues. She described how the company effectively responds to inquiries and IP infringement, and helped the MetroConnect cohort think through how they might mitigate international risks for their companies. Taylor Guitars Director of Finance Bryan Bear then described the company's schema for prioritizing international markets and choosing an entrance strategy.

These workshops are among several support services provide to local SMEs as part the MetroConnect program.

 

October 17, 2018

Originally published on SDlifechanging.org.

Who has the best job in America, you ask? According to Glassdoordata scientists do. And lucky for them, there's plenty of data science gigs available at tech and life sciences companies in San Diego. With a median base salary of $110K and a 4.25/5 job satisfaction score, this growing profession is giving rise to leaders in the digital age.

It goes without saying that in a technology-driven world, the amount of available data will to continue to grow exponentially. And data scientists are exactly the types of people we’ll need to set up systems to digest and glean insight from all of that information.

Data scientists are deep thinkers, problem solvers, and interpreters, driven by seeing the result of their algorithms in action. And most of all, they are needed by companies across the world; most especially, in San Diego.

If you’re a data scientist interested in upgrading your life by living and working in San Diego, join us October 30 from 9am-12pm PST for a Virtual Career Fair with top employers: FICOResMedAnalytics Ventures Lab, and Booz Allen Hamilton.

The web-based fair will give participants (you?virtual access to recruiters from the companies just mentioned. These San Diego companies span defense, life sciences, and technology industries, providing a deep dive into all that a career in data science has to offer. You can explore company booths and chat with recruiters via instant-message or video call…and you don’t even need to leave your living room!

Apply and register for free here.

 

Data Science Virtual Career Fair from San Diego on Vimeo.

October 15, 2018

On October 5, America celebrated Manufacturing Day. This national day of recognition was created in 2012 by the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association to change negative perceptions across the United States regarding the modern manufacturing industry. Through coordinated events, manufacturers connect with consumers, students, job seekers, and media to address growing concerns such as the skilled labor shortage and career opportunities for younger generations.

Here in San Diego, the manufacturing industry employs more than 113,000 people, accounting for 7.7 percent of employment in San Diego. This number is up 3.7 percent from last year, exceeding the national growth of 2.2 percent.* To celebrate this local impact, countywide events were held throughout the first week of October.

The details:

  • October 2: East County EDC hosted its third annual Manufacturing Expo at Allen Airways Flying Museum, where more than 500 people explored 59 manufacturing and resource booths. This was East County EDC’s best turnout yet.
  • October 3: Viasat, Open Source Maker Labs, Hunter Industries, Mira Costa College, and more joined forces at CSU San Marcos to welcome busloads of students and teachers to North County’s manufacturer’s showcase. This event highlighted the manufacturers in North County curating scientific and technological solutions to global challenges.
  • October 3: San Diego City College’s Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) hosted its Educational and Resource Expo. This downtown event featured a startup panel,  job fair, tours, and a manufacturing expo. CACT provides training that help San Diegans get ahead in the manufacturing industry.
  • October 4: San Diego Regional EDC hosted a Manufacturing Day Reception in Liberty Station. Ten manufacturers from around the region showcased their work including Taylor Guitars, Chuao Chocolatiers, and Planck Aerosystems. We also heard from Congressman Scott Peters (52nd District) and Congresswoman Susan Davis (53rd District), who discussed trade opportunities for San Diego’s manufacturing industry.  We are proud to host the only MFG Day event in the country that celebrates the opportunities afforded by binational manufacturing.  For the past three years, Samsung has underwritten EDC’s MFG Day festivities along with sponsorship support from CMTC. We would also like to thank our other sponsors: Solar Turbines, San Diego County Water Authority, and San Diego City College. EDC also partnered with Junior Achievement to organize tours of manufacturing facilities for high schools from Vista all the way to Santee.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sponsor shout outs:

Located in Chula Vista, Samsung is a digital leader in TV & audio, computing and appliances. Samsung has maintained the number one position in the global television market for 10 consecutive years. The SAMEX plant is the largest maquiladora in Tijuana, manufacturing approximately one million televisions and monitors every month. With the success of its electronics business, Samsung now ranks as a top 10 global brand.

California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC), is a private nonprofit corporation. In 2016, The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology awarded CMTC a five-year agreement to be California’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center. This agreement makes CMTC the lead organization for delivering services to small and medium-sized manufacturers with support of partners throughout the state. CMTC helps enhance operational performance, new product development, market expansion, and technology adoption for manufacturers in both urban and rural centers.

We appreciate the support of our investors and partner organizations that help make events like Manufacturing Day possible. If you are interested in getting involved next year, please contact our Investor Relations Coordinator, Taylor Dunne, at td@sandiegobusiness.org.

Follow along with #MadeinSD all year long.

*Data sources: CA Employment Development Department, August 2018 (SD) and Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 2018 (U.S.)

October 9, 2018

With and through our investors, EDC works to maximize San Diego’s economic competitiveness. Learn how in our Q3 report, which is segmented by our key teams/initiatives below:

Regional Support

EDC convenes resources and stakeholder groups to help talent and a diversity of companies thrive in the San Diego mega-region.

In order to grow jobs, EDC dispatched the following company support tactics and events in Q3:
  • Unveiled 15 companies selected to participate in DIVx program
  • Hosted 26 PhD students from around the U.S. for Life Sciences Trek
  • Hosted VIP tour of SPAWAR
  • Learned best practices from peers in Indianapolis
  • Helped AI startup Aira sign deals with San Diego Regional Airport Authority and San Diego Convention Center
  • Engaged startup community in North County through Startup78

WTC San Diego

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

Amid increasing uncertainty over national trade policy, ensuring that local companies get the tools they need to be successful overseas is more important than ever. WTC deployed the following tactics in Q3:

SD: 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 showcased why San Diego is a hotspot for talent and investment with and through the following in Q3:

Research

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

Telling a data-driven and inclusive story of San Diego, EDC released the following economic reports in Q3:

This work would not be possible without the investment and support of EDC's members/partners. Thank you for allowing us to support the businesses that make this region truly #SDlifechanging.

October 5, 2018

Each year, EDC carefully selects a peer metro for our annual Best Practices Leadership Trip – a chance for EDC and a group of key partners and stakeholders to learn from another region facing challenges similar to our own. The decision to go to Indianapolis this year was not a hard one. We were drawn to Indy not just as a fellow participant in the Brookings Inclusive Economic Development Learning Lab last year, but because of its regional approach to inclusive growth that has catalyzed since. We were further intrigued by Indy’s unique talent attraction and retention programs and its many collaborative efforts across government, business, and philanthropy. Over three days, our group of nearly 30 San Diegans was welcomed by Indy’s civic leaders who highlighted local programs, projects, and initiatives. Ultimately, our goal of the Leadership Trip is to inspire fresh approaches to our own challenges and opportunities at home.

A two-sided economy: The Indy Chamber kicked-off our visit with an overview of the economic disparities facing Indianapolis. Similar to EDC, the Indy Chamber led its region through the Brookings Institution Inclusive Growth Learning Lab designed to help economic development organizations (EDOs) build a data-driven platform that articulates the economic case (and imperative) for inclusion. Since the lab, the Indy Chamber has disseminated the Indy narrative throughout town, with many civic leaders referencing its findings throughout our visit. While Indianapolis bodes well on measures affordability, job growth, and entrepreneurship, it is also the 6th most economically segregated region in the U.S., with limited opportunities for upward mobility for individuals born into poverty. The impacts of automation exacerbate economic segregation and poverty in Indianapolis, which lost more than 20 percent of its manufacturing workforce over the last decade. In facing these realities, civic leaders have enacted new measures to increase job preparedness, homeownership, and overall economic security for Indianapolis residents.

The Cook Medical “unicorn”: In a particularly moving presentation, Pete Yonkman, president of Cook Medical, shared an incredible benefit that his company offers employees who wish to advance their educational goals. With more than 12,000 employees worldwide, Cook is a privately-held medical device manufacturer headquartered in Indiana with facilities in six countries, including K-Tube Technologies in Poway. Through a program called “My Cook Pathway,” Cook eliminated its high school diploma requirement for entry-level manufacturing positions in 2017. High-potential individuals without a high school degree are hired to work at Cook in the mornings before spending the afternoon studying for their GED. During the seven weeks it takes to earn their high school equivalency (HSE), Cook pays employees full-time wages and associated fees. Furthermore, Cook has partnered with the local Ivy Tech Community College to expand the program for employees interested in AA degrees or certificate programs, fronting registration fees and associated expenses and providing guidance on the financial aid process. After overwhelming response from its employees, Cook has since expanded the program even further. Now, Cook employees can get an HSE through a Master’s degree leveraging the My Cook Pathway program. Before introducing this program, fewer than 65 employees took advantage of education reimbursement. Two years later, more than 1,000 employees are enrolled. By leveraging various state and federal funding streams that support employee education, Cook offers this benefit to its employees for less than $2,000 per employee. When Cook leadership eliminated its high school diploma requirement, they decided they wouldn’t sit back and wait for highly educated employees to show up at their door. Now, they are active participants in preparing Indiana’s future workforce, with resumes flooding their doors and employee retention rates on the rise.

Connecting Talent: Through its lauded statewide community college system and multiple universities, Indianapolis is well positioned to produce the workforce its economy needs, but the Midwestern city risks losing talent to the “lure of the coasts.” Jason Kloth, CEO of Ascend Indiana, is front and center on a statewide effort to retain talent by increasing employer access to qualified workers while supporting the residents of Indiana in their pursuit of a meaningful career. After serving in many leadership positions for Teach for America, Kloth led the City of Indianapolis Office of Education Innovation (OEI) as the deputy mayor of education under Mayor Greg Ballard. Kloth is the mastermind behind Ascend, a nonprofit focused on creating a stronger alignment between the supply of skilled talent and demand from employers in Central Indiana. Ascend has raised more than $10 million to support its work. The organization provides strategic consulting services to help high-growth companies identify, evaluate, and secure education partners to deliver a custom talent pipeline, usually in less than a year. In a recent project with medical device giant Roche, Ascend partnered with the University of Indianapolis to address the company’s shortage of technicians fueled by increased retirement turnover. The result was a work-ready pipeline of 25 skilled, entry-level professionals in less than 12 months. Ascend has also created a next-level, cloud-based platform called “the Ascend Network” that matches qualified talent from 14 higher education institutions to positions at more than 70 large companies. The platform has helped place more than 400 individuals in Indiana. Through its experienced team of recruiters and matching algorithms, Ascend ensures high quality candidates and speeds up the hiring process for both individuals and companies. Needless to say, our group was astonished.

Before returning home, many members of our San Diego group continued onto Washington D.C. for a day at the Brookings Institution. The group was welcomed by Amy Liu, vice president and director of the Brookings Metropolitan Program, before Brookings fellows facilitated a series of discussions on how and why other metros are approaching inclusive growth to help us think more broadly about strategies for succeeding in a rapidly-changing economy.

 San Diego’s Progress

After spending much of 2017 deepening our understanding of regional challenges facing San Diego, EDC has spent 2018 assembling an employer-led steering committee to build an inclusive growth agenda that benefits more people, companies and communities. Guided by the findings of a recent EDC study, EDC’s Inclusive Growth Steering Committee recently endorsed a regional goal to double the number of skilled workers produced in San Diego County to 20,000 per year by 2030. To support this goal, the committee developed recommendations around transparency, engagement, and investment for employers to adopt and implement within their own organizations. EDC continues to work with the steering committee to set goals and recommendations for employer engagement around our other two pillars of inclusive growth; small business competitiveness and addressing affordability.

Before Indy, we traveled to Nashville and Louisville, smaller regions confronting deeply entrenched histories of racial segregation and poverty. Indianapolis is home to one of the largest endowments in the country and would not be where it is today without the investment of the Lilly family. Each metro is unique in its history, resources, and politics, and will inevitably need to craft an inclusive economic development strategy that works for their community based on their particular circumstance. However, inclusive growth as both an economic and moral imperative is a sentiment that permeates among more and more leaders nationwide.

Regardless of how different our circumstance may be from Nashville, Louisville, or Indianapolis, the authenticity that is threaded throughout our visits each year encourages an honest dialogue among our San Diego delegation, leading to a heightened sense of unity in purpose and mission amongst our investors and newer partners. There is much to be done, but EDC and our stakeholders are committed to this work. It will remain driven by collaboration, coordination, and honesty. EDC’s mission is to maximize the region’s economic prosperity and global competitiveness. To live up to that mission, our economic development strategies must promote growth through inclusion.

Learn more at inclusiveSD.org.

October 3, 2018

San Diego Aira is changing how people see the world, literally. The EvoNexus graduate was formed by several Rady School of Management alumni that had a vision to help blind and visually impaired individuals have a higher quality of life. The company has created a wearable technology that a blind or vision impaired (BVI) person can wear, which better connects them to their surroundings via a live individual who sees exactly what they would. These navigators transcribe the visual world into an auditory one. From shopping, to reading ingredients and instructions, picking out an outfit to traveling or calling an uber, Aira helps BVI individuals live a more independent lives. Based in San Diego, the company now employs 50 people, developers and navigators, that help clients across the country. And Aira is just getting started. Partnering with institutions like UC San Diego and San Diego International Airport, Aira Enabled Zones are being stood up to ensure BVI individuals are able to access this assistance for free while at school, on travel, etc.

San Diego Regional EDC has been proud to support Aira in creating strategic partnerships via introductions to San Diego institutions and regional partners. EDC was able to leverage its existing network to open new doors for Aira at key San Diego business and organizations including the San Diego Convention Center, San Diego Tourism Authority, Petco, Viasat, BD, Cubic, Canadian Department of Commerce, Zero8Hundred, Seaworld, Tijuana EDC, and more.

The company was also recently named to WTC San Diego's export accelerator program, MetroConnect.

Aira truly is another example of a truly #SDlifechanging company in San Diego.