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Economic Development 101

April 4, 2018

Each year, EDC honors an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in addressing challenges and making significant contributions to improving our region. We are honored to announce Dr. Mary Walshok as the 2018 Honoree of the Herb Klein Civic Leadership Award

The Herb Klein Civic Leadership Award is presented by:

Dr. Mary Walshok is an author, educator, researcher, and Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Programs and Dean of Extension at the University of California San Diego. She is a thought leader on the topic of workforce development and its role in fueling regional economic prosperity. Dr. Walshok is the co-author of “Invention & Reinvention: The Evolution of San Diego’s Innovation Economy,” a book published by Stanford University Press that analyzes San Diego’s ever-changing sociological, political, and economic trends. In addition, she is the author of five other books and more than 100 articles and reports on regional innovation, the role of research institutions in regional economies and workforce development. Her work has led to a number of international engagements and awards in Sweden, the UK, Asia, and Latin America. 

Dr. Walshok oversees a $45 million, 200-employee division  in San Diego that annually serves more than 80,000 enrollees through innovative local and online programs, as well as provides access to a vast array of intellectual resources through the award-winning UCSD-TV and nationwide through UCTV, which reaches more than 6 million households and millions more around the globe via web. The Division also serves more than 3,000 foreign students annually.
 
Dr. Walshok was a co-founder of the internationally recognized CONNECT in 1984 on whose board she still serves and of the San Diego Dialogue in the 1990s, a program focused on opportunities in the San Diego-Tijuana region. She has chaired the Francis Parker School and The San Diego and International Community Foundation Boards and continues to sit on the boards of the La Jolla Playhouse, the Girard Foundation, and the Foundation for U.S./Mexico Science and Technology. 
 
Please join us at SeaWorld on May 31 to celebrate Dr. Mary Walshok and more. Register here.
 
 
March 5, 2018

This op-ed was first published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, authored by EDC's Mark Cafferty and Biocom's Joe Panetta.

Largely due to its recent marketing campaign, Qualcomm is recognized by San Diegans as the company that puts the “smart” in our smartphones. But behind the billboards, there is a deeper story about how this homegrown San Diego company became the world’s largest smartphone chipmaker while redefining corporate citizenship and putting our region on the map as a tech and life sciences powerhouse.

Qualcomm is the quintessential San Diego story, but to understand its true impact you need to understand its origin: In 1966, Irwin Jacobs came to San Diego to take a job at UC San Diego. Two years later, he founded Linkabit — a telecom company specializing in government contracts — that served as a precursor to Qualcomm. In 1985, Qualcomm was officially founded by five individuals in Jacobs’ La Jolla home.
 
Fast forward more than 32 years, and Qualcomm is San Diego’s largest publicly traded company, employing nearly 13,000 locally. As a global company, it has offices on nearly every continent, yet its headquarters has remained in San Diego.
 
A recent economic impact analysis conducted by San Diego Regional EDC found that Qualcomm added $4.9 billion in economic activity to the San Diego region in 2017 alone — the equivalent of hosting 35 San Diego Comic-Cons. Additionally, every job at Qualcomm supports an additional 1.8 jobs in the San Diego region.
 
Qualcomm has led by example, with its founder, leaders, employees and alumni creating new companies, teaching at our schools, hiring our local population, advocating for positive public policy steps, and accelerating the growth of San Diego’s innovation economy.
 
While Qualcomm is a wireless company, its focus on connected devices and the internet of things has impacted nearly every high tech industry, from healthcare to smart cities. Qualcomm/Linkabit alumni have gone on to start or sell their inventions to major companies including Viasat, Leap Wireless, Kyocera, Motorola, Ericsson and more. Qualcomm Ventures has proved a vital backer of San Diego startups including Edico Genome and Brain Corp., and is a key player in the rise of telemedicine. Today, San Diego stands as the third most patent-intense region in the U.S., not only due to the intellectual property the chipmaker has developed and the innovation it has catalyzed throughout the region but also due to its relentless advocacy for intellectual property rights for all industries.
 
Its work in the San Diego community starts long before one steps foot on Qualcomm’s campus. Spend one day at its Thinkabit Lab™ — a part art studio, part engineering lab that is introducing middle school students to careers in technology — and learn how it has transformed the way students from all backgrounds think about the world of work. The successful program has been expanded to schools in Chula Vista, San Diego and Vista.
 
Everyone has a story about how Qualcomm has affected our community. In fact, we kicked off the #QualCOMMUNITY campaign with the support of Mayor Kevin Faulconer, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and other business leaders so San Diegans can share their story about the company’s impact. From the Old Globe to the San Diego Symphony to the new Central Library to our world-class universities, Qualcomm’s impact can be seen and felt across our region.
 
Qualcomm has given San Diego an opportunity to reinvent itself. It has been an anchor as we have transformed from a military town to an innovation hub and one of the top biotech clusters in the world. Qualcommers go to bat for San Diego. As employees, they define the next frontier of invention. As residents, they spend money at our businesses and enliven our neighborhoods; and as philanthropists, they donate millions to our universities and causes.
 
While the specifics around the deal are in flux, most everyone is aware that the homegrown wireless giant has been in conversations with Broadcom, a competing telecommunications company, about a potential merger.
 
Shareholders and regulators will decide what happens next, but outside the boardroom, this culture of innovation, collaboration, and community will always remain core to the San Diego story.
 
It’s a story that many companies and people, in San Diego and beyond, can learn a lot from.
 
Cafferty is president & CEO of San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. Panetta is president & CEO of Biocom.
February 21, 2018

Recovering from a decrease in employment during Q3 2017, San Diego, and the overwhelming majority of the most populous metros, experienced an increase in employment during Q4 2017. The region’s total nonfarm employment grew 22,100, or 1.5 percent during the quarter. Compared to a year ago, nonfarm employment was up 21,100, or 1.5 percent.

Meanwhile, San Diego’s unemployment rate was 3.3 percent in Q4, the lowest the region has seen in the last 17 years and down from 4.1 percent in Q3.

Key findings from the Quarterly Economic Snapshot:

  • San Diego closed Q4 2017 with an unemployment rate of 3.3 percent, the 7th lowest among top U.S. metros and below the state rate of 4.2 percent.
  • With the holiday season in full bloom, the retail sector continued to grow, adding 7,500 jobs in Q4. Other strong contributors to the quarterly employment growth were professional, scientific, and technical services and state and local government, together adding 13,200 jobs.
  • The median home price rose slightly from the previous quarter, and is now up 7.4 percent compared to a year ago.
  • VC dollars in the region increased 33 percent compared to a year ago.

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 October to December (Q4) 2017.

Read it here, and see our research center for more.

January 22, 2018

More than 230 regional bids later, Seattle-based tech giant Amazon released the top 20 cities that will proceed in the battle for its second North American headquarters (HQ2). San Diego/Chula Vista did not make the cut.
 
In response, EDC president and CEO Mark Cafferty released the following statement:
 
“While disappointed San Diego/Chula Vista did not advance, we are not at all surprised. We knew that this would be a long-shot based on geography and incentive options, but we also know that as a region, San Diego can most definitely compete with others in terms of talent, entrepreneurship, innovation and quality of life.
 
We are proud of the fact that Amazon is already expanding in San Diego and will employ up to 500 developers and engineers in its UTC office. And we are proud of the partnership and collaborative spirit of the more than 20 organizations and municipalities that contributed to our regional proposal. We know that other positive things will come from this process and we continue to view 2018 with great excitement, optimism and focus.”
 
This and more from U.S. News, Business Insider, and Xconomy.
January 2, 2018

"Businesses need to act together to attract talent" was originally published in The Business Journals, authored by EDC president and CEO Mark Cafferty.

With U.S. unemployment hitting a 17-year low late last year, competition for talent has become increasingly fierce for businesses across the country. 
 
Part of a company's challenge in attracting talent, however, is working with the broader business community in its city, region or state to ensure that it is not only a place where people want to work, but also a place where people want to live.
 
While focusing internally to find and hire employees, companies must also work with each other — even with their competitors — and public or municipal entities to help foster a favorable quality of life and career mobility that will attract talented workers.
 
Companies must communicate with clear, consistent messaging in a united front to evoke authenticity and a sense of community that is appealing to today’s top talent. 
 
Improving perceptions to attract top talent 
Some cities and states have an abundance of career opportunities available but lack the public perception that these jobs exist. Often this divide boils down to a lack of available resources for businesses to tout their local economy.
 
Talent attraction has become about telling a region’s story, not just selling a company’s individual offerings. 
 
An influx of high-paying jobs in a region — especially at publicly-facing brands —must be met with the skilled talent required to fill them. Here in San Diego, the region has a high share of the nation’s life sciences and tech jobs, but research recently revealed many senior-level HR managers are struggling to find talent because of the perception of available opportunities in the area.
 
To address this issue, EDC has launched a campaign to communicate the region’s unique position in the global market, its lifestyle offerings and its community of people looking to change the world. 
 
The campaign — San Diego: Life. Changing. — serves to tell authentic stories of San Diegans who have discovered the region as not only as a great place to live, but also a place with ample career opportunity, most especially at impact-driven companies and organizations. Through a related work-live-play website, SDlifechanging.org, individuals curious about the region have access to information on its top industries and growing companies, lifestyle amenities and more....
 
Read the full byline online here.

 

December 22, 2017

Economic development is about more than just ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings. It involves long-term, strategic support of companies large and small, often over the course of several years.

And while everything can't be packaged into neat headlines, we wanted to take you behind the scenes for a look at the work that goes on along the way.

Click the link below for an interactive look at EDC's 2017 in review. Thank you and happy holidays to those who make this work possible: our partners, investors and friends.

Here's to 2018, and a prosperous San Diego economy in the new year.

December 12, 2017


 


Propel San Diego is a federal grant - awarded to the city of San Diego - to boost the San Diego region's defense resiliency. The timeline below describes how we worked with and through partners, on the Propel San Diego initative.

  • 2012 - OPERATION SAN DIEGO COALESCES
     Amid discussions around the potential impact of sequestration, EDC and the San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC) co-create the Operation San Diego initiative. Operation San Diego is a strategic plan to support the region's military and defense footprint – a key driver of the regional economy.
  • SEPTEMBER 2014 - EDC EXPLORES COLLABORATION WITH OEA
    Home to the largest concentration of military assets in the world, San Diego was a prime candidate for funding from the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA), which had already been funding similar programs in other defense-heavy clusters across the country. The Office of Economic Adjustment urged San Diego to apply for the program, which would help boost San Diego’s defense resiliency.  
  • JANUARY 2015 - RESEARCH PROVES ELIGIBILITY FOR OEA FUNDING
    As a way to prove eligibility for the grant, EDC conducts an analysis of defense-related workforce trends. The research concludes that many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are dependent on military and defense funding. An OEA grant would help develop programming to diversify revenue streams. Now, EDC and SDMAC  must get the right regional partners onboard. 
  • AUGUST 2015 - CITY OF SAN DIEGO SPEARHEADS GRANT PROPOSAL 
    Recognizing the need to diversify our economy, the City of San Diego agreed to spearhead the grant proposal and act as the fiscal agent.
  • JULY 2016 - SAN DIEGO WINS $1.6M GRANT
    After a lengthy application, the City of San Diego, EDC and additional regional partners receive notification of a $1.6 million grant award for Phase I of the OEA project. Phase I of the project includes a defense industry survey and research report, overhaul of the SDMAC website and the creation of a regional asset map.
  • SEPTEMBER 2016 - PROPEL SAN DIEGO DEVELOPED AS ENTITY 
    The partners in charge of executing the OEA grant officially name the initiative Propel San Diego, and develop a logo and other supporting materials.
  • JANUARY 2017 - PROPEL SD RESEARCH IDENTIFIES DEFENSE ECOSYSTEM
    Research finds that small businesses often derive a large portion of their revenue from defense-related contracts, meaning downward adjustments in military spending at the federal level can have catastrophic impacts on the longevity of military-reliant small businesses. 
  • SEPTEMBER 2017 - PROPEL SD AWARDED $1.7M FOR PHASE II OF OEA GRANT
    Due to the success of the Phase I OEA work, Propel San Diego was granted $1.7 million to execute Phase II, which will begin in 2018. As part of the Propel San Diego deliverable, EDC and World Trade Center San Diego will run a MetroConnect defense cohort for defense-reliant companies looking to export and diversify their sales portfolio.
     

And we're just getting started. In 2018, we'll release our defense visualization tool. Stay tuned for updates from Propel SD.

In addition to San Diego Regional EDC, Propel SD partners include: 

 

 

December 8, 2017

"Congressional action needed to replace San Diego’s aging airport terminal" was originally published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, authored by Mark Cafferty and Joe Terzi.

When you think about the region’s economic prosperity — today and tomorrow — all roads lead to San Diego International Airport. Tourism, business, global trade, the innovation economy, even the defense sector all depend on it.
 
Last year, our airport served almost 21 million passengers. Terminal 2, expanded several years ago, is a welcoming stage for San Diego. Yet Terminal 1 — now 50 years old and used by Southwest, Frontier and Alaska Airlines — not so much.
 
That is why the Airport Authority is refining the Airport Development Plan, which includes replacing Terminal 1. But there is a catch — paying for it. Right now, congressional action to lift the cap on the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) is being debated — again — and it is essential for our airport and for our region.
 
The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority is the airport owner and operator, and it has been busy making a stream of improvements over the past decade. These include the expansion of Terminal 2, a central receiving and distribution center, new general aviation facility, new rental car center using a new on-airport roadway to access the terminals, a parking structure and new international arrivals facility under construction, and much more....
 
Read the full op-ed online here.
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December 1, 2017

The California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC) is an income tax credit program available to businesses expanding in or relocating to California. Created in 2014 by the California legislature and overseen by Governor Jerry Brown’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), Cal Competes offers variable amounts of tax credits to companies based on commitments to hire full time employees over a span of five years. In 2017, 293 California companies were awarded more than $210 million in tax credits.

Since the CCTC program inception, more than 110 San Diego companies have received $61.1 million in tax credits tied to the creation of more than 8,433 jobs. San Diego consistently ranks among the top three metros in the state for tax credit distribution, with 2017 as no exception. This year, 37 San Diego companies were awarded nearly $24 million (11.35 percent of total) in tax credits in exchange for the creation of 2,000 new jobs, $200 million capital investments and $500 million in wages paid over the next five years. San Diego received the third highest percentage of credits in the state, behind only Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Credit recipients span the region from Oceanside down to Chula Vista, representing businesses large and small across a variety of industries including biotech, software development, manufacturing, defense and more. Of all 37 San Diego companies in 2017, medical device manufacturer NuVasive was awarded the largest credit of $3 million for its commitment to create 245 new jobs over the next five years. Additional recipients in 2017 include Ballast Point spin out Cutwater Spirits ($2M credit for 64 jobs); game developer Psyonix ($1.2M credit for 69 jobs) and LED manufacturer Hyperikon ($975K credit for 75 jobs).

During the CCTC application process, companies are classified as either large or small. Throughout the 2017 rounds, San Diego small companies performed particularly well compared to other metros. Of all credits distributed in the small business category in 2017, 21.2 percent came to San Diego firms – the second highest of all California metros. San Diego small businesses received nearly $8 million in credits, with plans to create 400 jobs in the region over the next five years.

San Diego’s large companies performed admirably as well, receiving $16 million – or 9.2 percent – of the total credits awarded in the large business category, coming in third for highest percent of credits within the category.

The next application round will look to award $100 million in credits and will open January 2, 2018 and close January 22, 2018. Just before the round opens, GO-Biz host a free workshop hosted on Friday, December 8. Businesses interested in applying can register to attend any of the workshops and receive customized technical assistance from GO-Biz staff.

For additional questions about how to complete a competitive application, please feel free to contact Jesse Gipe at jg@sandiegobusiness.org.

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.