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The Big Picture San Diego Blog


Talent and Universities

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.
 
 
February 28, 2018

By Kate Gallagher, economic development coordinator 

With the largest concentration of military assets in the world and the largest federal military workforce in the country, it’s no surprise that San Diego has the 3rd highest population of veterans in the United States.

Each year, more than 20,000 Sailors and Marines stationed in San Diego leave military service, a third of whom are expected to stay in the San Diego community. Individuals transitioning to civilian life are trained, team oriented, and hardworking, but can also face challenges adjusting to life outside the military structure and regime. According to the National Veterans Transition Service Inc. (NVTSI), “81 percent of transitioning military personnel do not feel fully prepared for the process of entering the job market.”

There are countless support services to help veterans through their transition, but navigating the programs and resources can be a daunting challenge. To provide a fresh perspective and tackle the transition experience through an educational lens, the University of San Diego, in partnership with EDC, hosted its third annual Military Transition Conference. The USD Military Transition Conference focused on translating military experience into skills and knowledge applicable to a wide variety of industries, and addressed key questions military personnel and veterans have around educational benefits, job hunting, and more.

Attended by more than 75 veterans and their dependents, the conference showcased opportunities for veterans to continue meaningful, innovation-driven work in San Diego. The day kicked off with a keynote address by Maurice Wilson, president and executive director of NVTSI and creator of REBOOT, a cohort-based program designed for transitioning military to develop skills necessary for successful reintegration into civilian life. Following the keynote were a series of breakout sessions where participants could get their resumes reviewed, speak one-on-one with industry representatives, or get coached on job search strategies. Finally, a panel of veterans – representing Bank of America, SONY, Intuit, TaylorMade Golf, and Sentek Global – wrapped up the conference by sharing their transition stories into successful careers across tech, finance, and manufacturing.

With veterans representing nearly 10 percent of San Diego’s population, the development of this important pool of talent is pertinent to San Diego’s economic success. EDC will continue to support the veteran ecosystem, helping to elevate local opportunities for transitioning military. 

 

December 18, 2017

People: How we attract and retain talent

Talent drives corporate decision making and galvanizes innovation. In 2017, EDC developed programming – to complement San Diego: Life. Changing. – to attract and retain talent throughout the San Diego region.

Some of these were piloted for the first time and some were about taking an existing program to the next level. See more in our timeline below:
 
  • 2013 - BRINGING CAREER OPPORTUNITIES TO STUDENTS
    It started with research. After conducting an economic impact study on the sports and active lifestyle industry, EDC wanted to put the data into action. Together with UC San Diego, EDC created itrends in sport and active lifestyle – a series that brought sports and brand leaders to campus to talk about career opportunities in the field. The panels were open to students in any major or school, illuminating numerous opportunities – from marketing to engineering to logistics – to work in the sports and active lifestyle industry in San Diego.  
  • 2014 - EXPANDING TO ADDITIONAL INDUSTRIES
    After the success of the itrends in sports and active lifestyle, EDC partnered with UC San Diego to host two additional industry-themed events around life sciences and cybersecurity. Based on preliminary feedback, students indicated they were more likely to explore career opportunities in San Diego after graduation after attending itrends.
  • JANUARY 2015 - TRENDS BECOME LINK2 SAN DIEGO
    Other universities started to take notice. EDC renamed the program “Link2 San Diego” and expanded out its list of schools to include San Diego State University, Cal State San Marcos and University of San Diego.
  • OCTOBER 2015 - LINK2 GOES TO SD HACKS
    EDC partnered with UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering to host a Link2 panel at SD Hacks, a hackathon attended by more than 1,000 students throughout the state. Hackathon attendees took a break from their 36 hours of coding to learn more about career opportunities in San Diego. After the success of the first SD Hacks in 2015, EDC hosted an additional Link2 at SD Hacks in October 2016.
  • JANUARY 2016 - PROGRAM EXPANDS TO REACH MORE STUDENT POPULATIONS
    EDC wanted to ensure it was reaching younger students who had not yet determined their career pathways. Partnering with Junior Achievement, EDC worked to expand programming to include high school and community college students.
  • APRIL 2016 - LINK2 HEADS TO DT SAN DIEGO
    in 2016, EDC partnered with the San Diego Downtown Partnership to take students off campus and into the workplace. Together, Link2 Downtown brought more than 30 UC San Diego students to downtown employers to learn about specific companies - including Red Door Interactive, Zeeto Media and others - first hand. Relive it with us.
  • OCTOBER 3, 2017 - LINK2 HITS THE ROAD
    Three years later, it was time to test our luck outside the region. So we took Link2 to a California university and hub for STEM talent – Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. More than 40 students showed up to learn about career opportunities in San Diego from ViaSat, Intuit, Takeda, Solar Turbines and MindBody.

Stay tuned for more from Link2 - which we're renaming "Link to" - in 2018.

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.


 

September 29, 2017

This week, EDC took its Link2 San Diego program on the road, setting up shop at Cal Poly SLO’s Computing Career Fair where CS and engineering students came to connect with the biggest names in tech from around the country. The best news: we weren’t the only San Diego representation in the room. Among the sea of 35+ company booths were locals ViaSat, Booz Allen Hamiliton and Intuit.

EDC’s booth, themed San Diego: Life. Changing., served as the information hotspot for students looking to relocate after graduation. Of the 70 students we spoke with, most expressed interest in staying in California, and many were considering San Diego for post-grad. Confirming a common misconception, many students thought of San Diego as only a vacation beach-town and were unaware that the region is home to tech powerhouses Google, GoPro, Amazon, Intuit, FitBit and many more. We took this opportunity to garner student interest in the Link2 San Diego event taking place on SLO’s campus the week following (October 3), where students could network in a more casual, informational setting with local companies ViaSat, Intuit, Takeda, Solar Turbines and MindBody.

Our giveaways served to drive the San Diego reality home. The San Diego: Life. Changing. pocket guide and company map highlighted the industry opportunity available in San Diego, while our bottle openers (the fan favorite) alluded to our leading craft beer scene.

The purpose of the Link2 San Diego program is to highlight the career opportunity available in San Diego. We’ve done this locally, at SDSU, UC San Diego, USD and more. And now, with the Cal Poly Computing Career Fair, we’ve taken these efforts on the road – attracting students and soon-to-be grads into our region.  

September 21, 2017

EDC officially launched San Diego: Life. Changing., a campaign to raise San Diego’s profile and attract and retain top STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) talent in the region. SDlifechanging.org includes information about living and working in the San Diego region, and will soon include a digital toolkit to assist companies in their recruitment efforts.                          

The campaign was launched at a specially-themed San Diego: Life. Changing Night at the Padres game on September 19, with more than 15,000 in attendance.

San Diego: Life. Changing. communicates San Diego’s evolving value proposition, driven by companies and people looking to change the world and upgrade their quality of life.                                                                                                               

“We’re not Boston, New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles. And we don’t want to be,” said Mark Cafferty, president & CEO, San Diego Regional EDC. “This campaign was developed by San Diego…and for San Diego to communicate the unique opportunities and experiences our region offers to companies and employees alike.”

Extensive research proves that talent fuels economic growth, drives corporate decision-making and fuels entrepreneurship. If San Diego wants to remain economically competitive, it must continue to attract a talent pool that appeals to global companies.

The launch of the campaign is the culmination of Phase I of a year-long effort to refine a cohesive identity to attract and retain STEAM talent in the region. Hailing from life sciences and tech industries, nearly 100 companies with a San Diego presence have joined the “San Diego Brand Alliance” including Illumina, Human Longevity, Inc., SONY, ViaSat, Intuit – as well as many startups – and have provided feedback on potential recruiting tools and other San Diego assets.

“San Diego holds such tremendous opportunities for candidates, yet when recruiting top talent from outside of the region we still encounter the false perception that career options here are somewhat limited,” said Melinda Del Toro, senior vice president of People & Culture, ViaSat and vice-chair, San Diego Brand Alliance. “The San Diego: Life. Changing. campaign reinforces the message we’ve been telling candidates for years: San Diego is a dynamic, rich environment with incredible opportunities to have both the career and life you want, that you just don't find in other regions.”

Over the next two years, San Diego: Life. Changing. will continue to build out SDlifechanging.org to include full company profiles, a video library and additional recruiting tools for companies. In 2018, EDC will look to partner with local organizations to deploy the campaign in specific markets across the country.

Learn more at SDlifechanging.org and follow along at #SDlifechanging. San Diego-based companies can request access to the recruiting toolkit online here.

 

Please see press kit and FAQs for additional information about the campaign. 

August 14, 2017

We're taking San Diego's story into our own hands and launching San Diego: Life. Changing.: a campaign celebrating the smart and innovative companies and people that call San Diego home.

Before we go live at the Padres Game on September 19, we wanted to show the San Diego community what we've been up to. Cue: the Masters of Change event, August 10.

This was a night of good local food and drinks, a sneak peek of the campaign and remarks from San Diego's number one pitchman himself, Bill Walton. We even mingled with San Diego's very own celebrity chef, Brian Malarkey.

Special thanks to the folks at Alexandria Real Estate for throwing us the party of the century.

Look how much fun we had:

And it's only the beginning...

July 11, 2017

Read the full profile here.

May 21, 2017

This spring, EDC continued its Link2 San Diego series – partnering with local colleges and universities to bridge the gap between young talent and the region’s growing industries. The spring series brought together 368 students, 18 companies, 13 high schools and three colleges. The forums provide an opportunity for students to network with and learn from local executives – with discussion around market trends, innovative technologies, entrepreneurship, sustainability of businesses, workforce requirements and more. Students across the spectrum, from high school to post-grad with diverse backgrounds and degree focuses, attended these free events to explore career options and make valuable connections with industry leaders. The details:

In April, EDC partnered with Cleantech San Diego on two events focused on topics including sustainability, climate action, electric and autonomous vehicles and more. Link2 Clean Transportation and Link2 Cleantech were both held on local community college campuses, hosting 250 students. The panel discussions and networking sessions featured representatives from SANDAG, SDG&E, ChargePoint, Green Charge, Lumeo and Mossy Toyota.

In May, EDC partnered with the UC San Diego Design Lab to host Link2 Game Design – an event focused on the growing alternate and virtual reality industry. The panel discussion featured game design experts from Daybreak Games, Tsunami VR, ThoughtSTEM, Jam City and VAVi Sport & Social Club. After the panel, more than 100 students participated in hands-on virtual reality demos and networked with industry representatives during the three-hour event at UC San Diego.

 

April 19, 2017

The technology cluster along the San Diego region’s 78 Corridor spans 70 different industries and 200 unique occupations. Encompassing the North County cities Carlsbad, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos and Vista, this well-established and diverse tech cluster is expected to grow by 5 percent over the next five years, according to a study released by Innovate78 today.

Study highlights include:

  • The 78 Corridor’s tech cluster has a $6.1 billion total economic impact annually, representing nearly 25,000 jobs.
  • North County’s technology cluster has a competitive advantage in precision manufacturing – specializing in the production of biomedical devices, telecommunications equipment and defense-related products.
  • The 78 Corridor’s tech cluster is 1.4 times more concentrated than the nation.
  • Biotech and biomed devices has been the fastest growing segment in the tech cluster, with a 9 percent increase in employment since 2011.


Read the executive summary and full study here.