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Mega-Region

August 6, 2018

Originally published on sdfoundation.org.

The second most populous county in California, San Diego County is a center of entrepreneurship and innovation with one of the most highly educated workforces in the world.
 
However, changing skill requirements, a nationwide battle for talent, and a soaring cost of living are threatening our regional competitiveness.
 
According to the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC), San Diego’s Hispanic population is our fastest growing group and will become our region’s largest by 2030. However, Hispanics and other underserved populations are dramatically underrepresented in our region’s innovation occupations and possess lower rates of educational attainment.
 
For the region to remain competitive, proactive measures to promote economic inclusion must be taken.
 
THE CASE FOR ECONOMIC INCLUSION
The San Diego Foundation Science & Technology Program nonprofit partners are working to close demographic gaps in educational attainment and strengthen our regional resilience by building an inclusive economy.
 
Since 1999, the Science & Technology Program has granted more than $8 million to support scientists and engineers in San Diego, and most recently granted $632,934 to 10 programs aiming to  increase opportunities for those who work and learn in our region.
 
Grantees such as California State University San Marcos and Access Inc. support San Diego’s innovation economy by creating and expanding a pipeline of young adults underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields to college and career opportunities for inclusive growth.
 
Inclusive growth is crucial to sustain a successful, regional economy, especially for our innovation sector, which accounts for more than 25 percent of San Diego’s economic activity.
 
PREPARING OUR REGION’S WORKFORCE OF THE FUTURE
The San Diego Foundation Director of Community Impact Katie Rast recently discussed how we can grow an inclusive, regional economy with key stakeholders: President & CEO of San Diego Regional EDC Mark Cafferty, Vice President of Youth Programs at Access Inc. Roshawn Brady, and Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at Cal State San Marcos Dr. Julie Jameson.
 
Watch the recording below of the Facebook Live conversation to learn why preparing our region’s workforce of the future means ensuring our underserved communities are competitive and how visionary organizations are making an impact in the lives of young, underrepresented adults.

June 28, 2018

In an effort to maximize the region’s global competitiveness via talent attraction, EDC launched the San Diego: Life. Changing. brand campaign last year. The campaign serves to raise San Diego’s profile by telling real stories of the people and companies that call San Diego home. By bringing light to San Diego’s robust innovation ecosystem and vibrant entrepreneurial community, EDC aims to eliminate the stigma that there aren’t jobs in San Diego.

Most people around the world know San Diego as a vacation destination, rather than a place where they actually live and grow their careers. Part of this could be attributed to a ‘too good to be true’ mentality, with San Diego’s impeccable weather, endless outdoor activities, and friendly easy-going residents. It doesn’t seem possible to get both one’s dream job and the top-tier quality of life that San Diego offers. But those who have made the move to San Diego know that is, in fact, not the case. San Diego may not be a headquarters town, but the mission-driven companies located here are making huge, ‘life-changing’ impacts in both the tech and life sciences industries. And better yet, they’re hiring.

As part of the campaign’s latest web developments, there is now an interactive company map that showcases top tech, life sciences, and lifestyle companies in San Diego. This allows people to easily compare and contrast the different companies located here at a high-level, so they can get a holistic view of San Diego’s career offerings.

If you are part of a San Diego company that meets this criteria and would like to be added to the map, simply sign up for the online recruitment toolkit and select ‘I’d like to also add a profile for my company.’

From Illumina’s human genome sequencing technology to Aira’s software for the visually impaired, San Diego companies are quite literally changing the world. Visit the San Diego: Life. Changing. company map to see other top companies that are fueling global innovation from right in our backyard.

 

June 25, 2018

After Thermo Fisher Scientific opened its software development center of excellence in September 2016, the technical capabilities of Tijuana’s workforce have caught the attention of numerous San Diego companies. One of those companies is Red Door Interactive (RDI), a San Diego-based digital marketing firm poised for rapid growth. Rather than growing its team in Indonesia, RDI approached EDC with a preference to expand closer to its headquarters in downtown San Diego. EDC worked with RDI over the proceeding months to assess the company’s needs and get leadership acquainted with the Tijuana market.  

RDI’s leadership was encouraged by the success of Thermo Fisher’s software center, which grew from 40 to more than 250 employees over two years. However, Thermo Fisher’s line of work ranges greatly from RDI’s, which is focused on SEO optimization, web development, and data analytics. The digital marketing industry is highly competitive, and subject to cost pressures and workload fluctuations. To keep with demand, RDI needed a solution that allowed it to increase agility and scale its staffing capability without greatly increasing overhead.  

After meeting with RDI’s leadership, EDC organized a site visit to showcase numerous software development operations in Tijuana. Alongside EDC, the company toured examples of different operational models including BIT Center, MindHub Tech Incubator, and Thermo Fisher. These companies shared insight on talent availability and resources. RDI’s leadership left the site visit impressed and ready to move ahead. To move quickly on an expansion, EDC and Tijuana EDC facilitated an introduction between RDI and IVEMSA, a Tijuana shelter company that works with U.S. companies to simplify the process of establishing an operation in Mexico.

Soon thereafter, RDI and IVEMSA toured through several available office locations, ultimately selecting one to begin operations. RDI is currently opening their Tijuana operation, investing more than $40,000 and achieving an immediate three percent growth in employment, with projections for growth up to 15 percent.

"Thanks to the EDC, Red Door Interactive is now expanding our footprint in the broader San Diego-Tijuana region. EDC made the daunting process incredibly approachable by walking us through the process every step of the way,” said Reid Carr, CEO, Red Door Interactive. “They facilitated site exploration and establishment via critical and vetted introductions and they provided valuable information to support our decisions. We can now capitalize this diverse regional asset to complement our established presence in San Diego.”

 

June 4, 2018

Well, that was fun.

Thank you to those who joined us at EDC's 52nd Annual Dinner, underwritten by Point Loma Nazarene University. This event continues to remind us how lucky we are to call San Diego home - we are a region that lifts each other up and celebrates all the life-changing people and innovation around us.

We were honored to celebrate Dr. Mary Walshok with the Herb Klein Civic Leadership Award presented by Alexandria Real Estate, and Sempra Energy with the Duane Roth Renaissance Award presented by Carrier Johnson + CULTURE. And, we welcomed EDC's new board chair, Janice Brown, founder of Brown Law Group.

Janice laid out a big vision for EDC and San Diego. And many of you have asked us how you can help make this a reality. Here are two quick things you can do that will make a big difference to us:

  • Sign up for the San Diego: Life. Changing. recruitment toolkit. In it, you will find free resources to help us all project one, cohesive image of San Diego to the world and the talent that should be here. 
  • Nominate a small business for the Inner City Capital Connections program. The program is coming to San Diego this fall and is completely free thanks to Kaiser Permanente. Learn more about this truly life-changing program and please send us a note if you have any suggestions

Like Janice eloquently said, we must continue to embrace change to fuel progress in our region and beyond. Thanks for pushing and helping us to do this work.
 

Download pictures from the event here. We'll be adding more as we receive them so check back soon.

EDC's Annual Dinner from San Diego on Vimeo.

May 10, 2018

With a continued commitment to growing San Diego’s reputation as a hub for innovation, the City of San Diego, City of Chula Vista and San Diego Regional EDC announced that San Diego has been selected to participate in a new program by the U.S. Department of Transportation to advance the testing of unmanned aircraft technology, grow the innovation economy and create jobs.

“From wireless technology to human genomes, San Diego is renowned for its innovative spirit and talent that can’t be matched anywhere else,” Mayor Faulconer said. “This designation brings together some of our brightest minds in local government and private industry to develop cutting-edge technologies that are going to take robotic and aerial innovations to the next level.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s “Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program” is an opportunity for state, local and tribal governments to partner with private sector innovators, operators and manufacturers to accelerate the development of drone technology. 

“The City of Chula Vista is proud to be a regional partner with the City of San Diego and the industry leaders that support the innovation around Unmanned Aircraft Systems deployment,” said Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas. “This unique opportunity will help the City design, develop and test drones to support police officers and fire fighters during emergencies.”  

The program will inform the Department of Transportation about the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in our skies. Key objectives of the program include:

  • Working closely with private sector partners to advance commercial unmanned aircraft system operations and applications for technology
  • Obtaining expedited Federal Aviation Administration approval for airspace authorizations
  • Demonstrating operational solutions that reduce the need for waivers
  • Incorporating community participation for meaningful dialogue for unmanned aircraft systems operations

San Diego’s local program will include projects like flying medical specimens from UC San Diego for expedited results and cost savings, testing food delivery from restaurants to consumers using Uber, enhancing public safety by deploying drones to incident scenes in advance of first responders and testing the integration and communication between driverless cars and unmanned aircraft systems.

“This announcement proves San Diego companies, organizations, academics, government and non-profits are exceptionally well-positioned to advance the adoption into the national airspace,” said Lauree Sahba, Chief Operating Officer for the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. “Not only does this program elevate San Diego as a research and development hub, but it also brings enormous potential to our economically diverse region.”

The City of San Diego’s Homeland Security Department was the lead program applicant, with more than 20 regional organizations signing on to support the submission, including EDC. The full list of partners:

  • San Diego Regional EDC
  • Qualcomm
  • City of Chula Vista
  • AT&T
  • Palomar College
  • California Governor’s Military Council
  • California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz)
  • Uber
  • Intel
  • Coleman University
  • GE Ventures
  • UC San Diego Health
  • Port of San Diego
  • Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International
  • San Diego Law Enforcement Coordination Center
  • Verdego Aero – Provides urban transportation market with safe, clean and quiet hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft that can fly piloted or autonomously.
  • Airmap – Connects airspace authorities with drones to provide safe and efficient drone operations
  • Cape – Offers a cloud-based system for drone telepresence and data management
  • Matternet - Provides drone technology and ground infrastructure to help healthcare systems transport blood and pathology samples between hospital facilities
  • Avitas Systems – A GE Ventures-affiliated company that offers robotic-based autonomous inspections and data analytics focused increasing safety and efficiency
  • Infragard San Diego – FBI-affiliated nonprofit focused on mitigating criminal and terrorist threats to protect regional infrastructure

This collaboration led to San Diego being among only 10 agencies nationwide chosen to participate, including the states of Kansas, Virginia, Alaska and North Dakota and the cities of Reno and Memphis.

“We are eager to work with our partners and the U.S. Department of Transportation to promote nationwide Unmanned Aircraft Systems innovation and integration,” said John Valencia, the City’s Homeland Security Director. “This pioneering program will foster capabilities that will greatly enhance the safety and security of San Diego residents, particularly in the areas of effective Unmanned Aircraft System operations by public safety organizations, and resilient communications during emergencies and in times of crisis.”

This announcement follows a similar designation by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which selected the San Diego region as one of 10 autonomous vehicle testing sites in the nation in 2017. The designated testing sites form a national community that share information and collaborate with the private sector to advance the safe development of unmanned vehicles.

“We are looking forward to helping today’s winners unlock the enormous potential of drone operations, which will create new services and jobs in their local communities,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

 

April 24, 2018

 

San Diego is among 15 cities being considered for the Army Futures Command, a new major command for the United States Army that will incubate emerging technology and innovations. San Diego Regional EDC will be submitting a joint response with the City of San Diego to the Army’s request for additional information on the City. 

 “San Diego easily checks all the boxes for the Army Futures Command. We have a community that embraces its innovation economy, an unparalleled workforce, and top-tier universities,” said Mark Cafferty, president & CEO of San Diego Regional EDC. “But beyond that, San Diego has a long history of collaborating with the military to spur innovation and protect national security.” 

The new Army Futures Command will employ both a military and civilian workforce, creating nearly 500 jobs. 

The City of San Diego was informed of its candidacy in a letter sent to Mayor Kevin Faulconer on April 17, 2018.

Your city appears to have a combination of talent, commercial, and academic innovation, and quality of life that we are looking for in locating the command,” said Under Secretary of the United States Army Ryan D. McCarthy in a letter. The document also states that the Army favors locations with a growing technical workforce and is looking for a concentration of occupations including engineers (biomedical, chemical, computer, electrical), as well as software developers.

SAN DIEGO'S COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

In early 2018, Robert Half staffing company named San Diego the number one city for tech job growth in the first half of 2018. Additionally, STEM jobs are 34 percent more concentrated in San Diego than the U.S. average, based on a San Diego Regional EDC analysis of EMSI data.

According to the San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC), the San Diego region is currently home to the largest concentration of military in the world. The military generates one out of every five jobs in the San Diego region. While the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard have a significant presence in the region, the Army Futures Command would establish a new military branch in San Diego.

San Diego is also the headquarters of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), which is responsible for supplying the U.S. Navy with innovative technologies. According to a separate SDMAC study, SPAWAR pumped $1.77 billion into the regional economy in 2014 alone.

 “Like San Diego, many cities in the running offer a strong quality of life and skilled workforce. However, San Diego’s legacy of military innovation sets us apart,” said Jesse Gipe, senior manager of economic development at San Diego Regional EDC who handles the organization’s military portfolio. “If the Army views a long history of collaboration with military personnel, a focus on commercializing military technologies and a highly-skilled workforce with security clearances as an asset, then San Diego has a competitive chance of becoming the new Army Futures Command headquarters.”

The other cities being considered include Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Raleigh, San Francisco and Seattle.

EDC and the City of San Diego will send in the requested information by the May 10, 2018 deadline. 

 

 

 

 

April 20, 2018

Each month the California Employment Development Department (EDD) releases industry data for the prior month. This edition of San Diego’s Economic Pulse covers March 2018 data, including unemployment, new business establishments, and job postings.

Highlights include:

  • The region’s unemployment rate was 3.2 percent in March, down 0.3 percentage points from February’s revised rate of 3.5, and 1.0 percentage point lower than a year ago.
  • Every jurisdiction saw a decrease in the unemployment rate from the month prior.
  • The labor force contracted slightly, shedding 8,700 workers during the month. The labor force is now up 1,800 compared to a year ago.
  • The largest job increases in March came from education and health services, up 1,200 jobs. Retail saw the largest decline during the month, losing 1,000 jobs.

Get the details in the full Economic Pulse here.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 18, 2018

EDC's San Diego: Life. Changing. campaign is all about telling San Diego’s authentic story. Besides our impressive new technologies and literally life-changing scientific breakthroughs, there’s nothing more innately San Diego than our delicious craft beer.
 
EDC has partnered with Ballast Point to create a special Made in San Diego craft brew, exclusively available in San Diego County. Just like our campaign, this beer is made for San Diego, by San Diego.
 
Ballast Point has been an integral part of the San Diego community for more than 20 years. It was founded here in 1996 as a home brew shop, and with the support of its community, Ballast Point has grown into the global craft beer giant that it is today. As a way to give back to its hometown that has given it so much, Ballast Point will donate a portion of every case sold to a new fund created by EDC’s foundation, to support local entrepreneurs that share the same dream of growing their business right here in San Diego.
 
The Made in San Diego beer features the same level of innovation, quality, and flavor that embody San Diego and Ballast Point. With packaging that pays homage to the vibrant cities and neighborhoods across the San Diego region, it's an easy-drinking Kolsch that features toasted bread aroma and flavor from Munich malt and a soft bitterness from Cascade and Mosaic hops. The beer cans also feature the San Diego: Life. Changing. brand mark, as a proud partner of our campaign.
 
Made in San Diego beer will be available on draft throughout San Diego County later this month, with six-pack 12 oz. cans rolling out region-wide at the end of May.

Raise a glass with us, and visit MadeinSD.com to learn more about this #SDlifechanging partnership.

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 16, 2018

This op-ed was first published in the San Diego Business Journal, authored by EDC's Dr. Nikia Clarke, Brown Law Group's founder and owner and incoming EDC Board Chair Janice Brown, and Brookings Institution's Amy Liu. 

San Diego is poised to become an unstoppable force in the global economy. The region is home to 34 percent more STEM workers than the national average, ranks third in the U.S. for patent intensity and has the sixth highest rate of income mobility.
 
While the rise of the innovation economy has created wealth and opportunity, it has also left many residents behind. This is leading to wide economic inequalities that, if left unaddressed, will cause San Diego to lose employees and companies to other regions.
 
San Diego Regional EDC and the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program have collaborated over several years to make San Diego a prosperous global city. Last year, San Diego joined Brookings in a learning lab focused on inclusive economic growth. Here is what we learned:
 
According to the Center on Policy Initiatives, more than one million residents cannot afford to live in San Diego. Driven by wage increases in the innovation economy and constraints on the supply of housing, the region now has the fourth highest cost of living in the country.
 
San Diegans are spending an increasingly greater proportion of incomes on housing. These pressures are already impacting some of San Diego’s largest employers, as prospective talent opts for competing regions with lower costs of living.
 
In San Diego, more than 98 percent of the region’s employers are small businesses (less than 100 employees), which have less capital available to pay competitive wages. Employees of small businesses typically earn up to 20 percent lower wages than their peers at larger corporations. Because of this dynamic, the region’s small businesses struggle to compete with larger companies for skilled talent.
 
And this all comes at a time when workforce demographics are rapidly changing. Brookings research has shown that 59 percent of millennials and 67 percent of post-millennials in San Diego are racial and ethnic minorities. By 2030, Hispanics will become San Diego’s largest demographic group, and yet 85 percent currently do not hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.
 
Achievement Gap
 
Unless all San Diegans are willing to invest in closing this minority achievement gap, we will continue to constrain the region’s ability to compete in the global market. Employers cannot simply rely on the in-migration of workers. The real opportunity lies within our local talent pool. 
 
With the compounded impact of a high cost of living, low educational attainment in our fastest growing population and a small business-centric economy that struggles to pay competitive wages, San Diego has a problem that cannot be ignored. They point to an economic imperative for change. We must recognize that the roots of exclusion are economic, and must be systematically addressed by employers and policymakers, not left to philanthropy.
 
Calls to Action
 
Over the next year, a regional Steering Committee will be releasing research and recommendations to address these challenges that together create a platform for inclusive growth.
 
If leaders do not take measures to promote economic inclusion, San Diego will find itself unable to compete in a global economy that is increasingly unforgiving to businesses and regions that cannot adapt. If San Diego tackles these challenges head-on, it will position itself as a national leader among metro areas in building an innovative economy that works for all.
 
San Diego has evolved from border town, to military hub, to tech and innovation powerhouse. With the will, leadership and a healthy dose of experimentation and collaboration, San Diego can build an economy that reaches and includes all of its residents and employers.
 
Janice Brown is president of Brown Law Group. Nikia Clarke is executive director of World Trade Center San Diego. Amy Liu is director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution.

 

 

 

 

 

March 27, 2018

"Why Economic Inclusion is Crucial To San Diego," was originally published on GlobeSt.com. Reporter Carrie Rossenfeld interviewed Cynthia Curiel of Northrop Grumman.

It’s vital that San Diego employers act to close the minority-achievement gap, equip small businesses to compete and address the affordability crisis, Northrop Grumman’s Cynthia Curiel tells GlobeSt.com.
 
San Diego Regional EDC recently launched a data-driven initiative to drive economic growth and inclusion in the region. Catalyzed by San Diego’s participation in the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program learning lab in 2017, EDC released research that highlights the region’s economic pain points and necessity for an employer-led approach to tackling inclusivity issues. Simultaneously, the organization held a program called “Future of Growth: the economic case for inclusion,” with keynote remarks by Amy Liu, Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program.
 
“Despite record-low unemployment and a renowned innovation ecosystem, San Diego has an inclusion problem that cannot be ignored,” said Mark Cafferty, president and CEO of San Diego Regional EDC, in a prepared statement. “Small businesses cannot compete with larger corporations, while one million people cannot afford to live here. This initiative is a call to action for San Diego’s employers – we must come together to bridge the gaps in our economy.”
 
Convened by EDC, a steering committee of local employers will work to create an actionable platform to achieve three goals: close the minority achievement gap; equip small businesses to compete; and address the affordability crisis. The committee consists of nearly 40 local employers including Northrop Grumman, Solar Turbines, Sempra, Thermo Fisher Scientific, San Diego Padres and more.
 
We spoke with Curiel about why economic inclusion is so vital for our region, what some of the best practices for inclusion are and advice she would give to other companies about inclusivity.
 
GlobeSt.com: Why is economic inclusion imperative for growth internally and across the region?
 
Curiel: Our nation is facing record-low unemployment rates. At face value, this is good news—it means people are working and the economy is producing, but it also means that employers and regions are facing intense competition for skilled talent. While it is important to ramp up talent-attraction efforts, we also must look to incubate a local talent pool. However, when looking at our current economic realities, this is a difficult feat for San Diego to accomplish. For starters, San Diego is an expensive place to live, with the fourth-highest cost of living in the nation.
 
Secondly, small businesses are the backbone of San Diego’s economy. More than 98% of our businesses are small businesses (under 100 workers). On average, small businesses pay 20% lower wages than their peers, making it more difficult to compete for talent. Lastly, although there may be an abundance of jobs in the innovation economy, there is a shortage of skilled workers to occupy them. Hispanics are the largest and fastest-growing demographic population in San Diego, yet are statistically the least prepared for high-skilled, high-wage careers, with only 15% holding at least a bachelor’s degree.
 
The compounded impact of a high cost of living, small businesses that cannot afford to pay competitive wages and low educational achievement in our fastest-growing population have created a problem that if ignored, will undermine San Diego’s regional competitiveness. While the answer is not easy or straightforward, it’s vital that San Diego employers act to close the minority achievement gap, equip small businesses to compete and address the affordability crisis.
 
GlobeSt.com: What are some best practices for inclusion in this sense?
 
Curiel: Simply put, the face of our workforce needs to reflect the face of our nation. At Northrop Grumman, we believe that fostering diversity and inclusion in our workforce and workplace is pivotal to promoting innovation and increasing productivity and profitability.
 
We offer a wide range of programs and activities turning our leadership focus on diversity and inclusion into tangible reality for our people from programs that cover education, employee-resource groups and work/life balance assistance, to name just a few.
 
We believe that a diverse workforce is a stronger and higher-performing workforce that results in more-engaged employees, which drives greater creativity and innovation into our business, resulting in more-impactful outcomes for our customers.
 
We want our employees to be comfortable bringing their authentic selves to work every day, which ultimately makes our company stronger, more resilient and more unified when faced with challenges in a rapidly changing and competitive world where we need everybody pulling together.
 
We also hire and mentor our nation’s wounded warriors through Operation Impact. By investing in underrepresented groups, we are not only enabling individuals to reach their full potential, we’re also leveraging untapped resources full of unique experiences, ideas, knowledge and skills to make our company, our culture and our products better.
 
We also know that in order to grow and diversify the talent pipeline, we need to inspire STEM- curious minds at an early age and that’s where our work starts. We partner with school districts and non-profit organizations in a deliberate effort to reach K-12 students from underrepresented communities throughout San Diego County. Some of our strategies include bringing kids on campus for hands-on STEM activities and high school internships, sending our engineers into the community to talk about their careers and providing direct financial support to public schools and non-profit organizations with engineering and technology-based programs.
 
Through the Northrop Grumman Foundation, we are able to expand our reach as we work to connect youth to STEM careers and provide professional development resources for their teachers. Each year we send students and educators from local school districts to Space Camp in Huntsville, AL. Through the Foundation’s Fab School Lab program, Harriet Tubman Charter and the Del Dios Academy of Arts & Science both received $100,000 grants to build state-of-the-art science labs at their schools. For the past few summers, we have hosted local middle-school teachers with a focus on science and technology at our sites in San Diego for a two-week externship where they develop lesson plans based on “real world” applications of STEM principles. In addition, to extend our pipeline of talent through college, graduation and into the workforce, we have robust programs in place where we build direct relationships with some of the most talented engineering students in the country. We are focused on a number of target colleges, including those right here in San Diego, such as San Diego State University and University of California San Diego. This ensures that we are harnessing the strength of our local talent; we are hopeful that by engaging with students at a younger age, they will be inspired and excited by the broad range of opportunities that Northrop Grumman and other local companies offer once they enter the workforce.
 
GlobeSt.com: What advice would you give to other companies that are looking to be more inclusive?
 
Curiel: An investment in your community is an investment in your company. It’s no secret that San Diego is home to some of the brightest minds in the world, especially given the life-changing technology and life-sciences developments taking place. But just think of how many more brilliant minds there would be in our local talent pool if employers embraced diversity and provided the same resources and opportunities to San Diegans in disadvantaged parts of our region. Creating training programs and educational opportunities in these communities is just one way to promote inclusion, develop local talent and create lifetime advocates for your company. So, take a look around. Your next top engineer or scientist could be waiting for you to give them the tools to help them get there.
 
GlobeSt.com: What else should our readers know about the EDC’s recent inclusive- growth event?
 
Curiel: We must recognize that the issue of inclusion is, in fact, an economic imperative and must be systematically addressed by employers and policy makers—not simply left to philanthropy. As San Diego employers, it is our job to embrace the different pathways and experiences of this diverse workforce and use it to our advantage. The Inclusive Growth event included a keynote from the Brookings Institute’s Amy Liu, San Diego Regional EDC’s Nikia Clarke and various members of this initiative’s steering Committee, of which I am very proud to be a part. Over the next year, we will be releasing research and recommendations that together create a platform for inclusive economic growth.
 
It’s not just about creating more jobs; it’s about creating a trajectory of higher growth that comes from increasing the productivity of our local workforce. This won’t happen overnight, but I believe that together we will overcome these challenges head-on and create a better San Diego in which all can thrive. And we will be a better San Diego because of it. Follow along at #inclusiveSD and sandiegobusiness.org/inclusivegrowth.