San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC) mobilizes the business community around key initiatives to maximize the global competitiveness of our bi-national mega-region, and the economic prosperity of four economic drivers – Innovation, Military, Tourism and Local. Below are representative examples of our diverse economic development programs.
Go Global San Diego
Now housed within San Diego Regional EDC, with input and guidance from stakeholders throughout the bi-national region, World Trade Center San Diego (WTCSD) will drive our global competitiveness agenda. Over the past year, more than 30 organizations and 400+ executives have engaged in developing a strategy to maximize San Diego’s economic competitiveness and prosperity through increased global engagement. The strategy works to accomplish three goals. First, drive job growth through expanding foreign direct investment and international exports. Second, deepen economic ties between the bi-national region and strategic markets. And finally, enhance the region’s global identity to increase its global fluency and competitiveness. The strategy stems from San Diego’s involvement in The Brookings Institution’s Global Cities Initiative, a joint project between Brookings and JP Morgan Chase & Co. that aims to help leaders in U.S. metropolitan areas reorient their economies toward greater engagement in world markets. For more information, please contact Drew Garrison.
Global Identity Strategy
San Diego’s global identity plays an important role in driving exports, drawing foreign investment and attracting the workforce needed to compete in the global marketplace. In order to elevate San Diego’s international positioning, EDC has developed a multifaceted strategy that leverages a partnership with the Brookings Institution, as well as the voices of local thought leaders. For example, EDC organized a series of meetings in New York City at major media outlets for San Diego Mayor Faulconer to promote regional assets and attributes. EDC and regional partners leveraged the National Geographic World’s Smartest Cities documentary about San Diego by previewing it for c-level audiences in London and Tokyo while on business missions in these key markets. The documentary, which highlights San Diego’s technology sector, local innovators, green practices, smart public planning and an unparalleled quality of life was shown in 61 countries to more than 300,000 viewers worldwide. EDC executives have spoken about San Diego’s strengths on platforms internationally and domestically provided by Brookings. Genomics pioneer Craig Venter and EDC President and CEO Mark Cafferty were also featured in Politico’s “What Works” series, which discusses how cities such as San Diego are driving the next wave of global economic growth. For more information, please contact Sarah Lubeck.
Workforce Talent Attraction and Retention
San Diego’s well-educated and highly-skilled workforce is one of our greatest assets. Attracting and retaining top talent is a major priority. EDC is spearheading a talent attraction campaign to ensure the region showcases its robust career opportunities, unique neighborhoods and unparalleled lifestyle to highly-mobile, 22- to 32-year-olds – the so-called millennial population. In early 2016, EDC released “Talent: Where San Diego Stands,” a comprehensive study that contextualized San Diego’s standing in talent growth and retention with regard to highly-skilled engineering, science and tech talent in nine peer metros including Austin, Denver and San Francisco. By analyzing key factors for firms and site selectors and comparing key characteristics that attract talent, San Diego is enabled to maintain its competitive edge. Ensuring that university graduates stay in the region is also a priority. EDC has deployed a campus engagement strategy called Link2 putting executives from specific industries on panels for students on campuses to discuss dynamic career opportunities across multiple sectors. Continually, EDC and UC San Diego have partnered with SD Hacks to orchestrate San Diego’s largest collegiate Hackathon, which exposes more than 2,000 students from around the globe to career opportunities and innovation in San Diego. For more information, please contact Ashley Swartout.
Operation San Diego
EDC coleads Operation San Diego with the San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC). Operation San Diego is a strategic plan to support the region's military, which includes 16 bases and related infrastructure as well as our defense industrial base. EDC and SDMAC, along with nearly a dozen other partners, are working to defend, maintain and grow the $45 billion economic impact of the military. We achieve this mission by focusing on advocacy at the local, state and federal level; specific assistance to defense contractors and providing support to military installations leveraging the resources of partners across the region. Operation San Diego also seeks to leverage state partners like the Governor Brown’s Military Council, where San Diego leaders are playing a pivotal role in the implementation of a statewide strategy for protecting and expanding California’s military presence. The effective implementation and coordination of the Operation San Diego strategy is increasingly important as implementation of the Pacific Rebalance and discussion about a Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) create unique opportunities and challenges for the region. With an application led by Operation San Diego and the city of San Diego in 2016, the region was awarded a $1.6 million grant from the Department of Defense (DoD) to develop programs to enhance the resiliency of the region’s defense industrial base. For more information, please contact Jesse Gipe.
EDC is playing a key role in implementing Innovate78, a comprehensive marketing and economic development initiative of five North County cities – Carlsbad, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos and Vista. Along the 78 Corridor, elected leaders, city staff, businesses and educational institutions are working to leverage the area’s collective strengths and assets – speaking with one voice to retain, expand and attract talent, companies and investment. For more information, please contact Matthew Sanford.
EDC produces research products and studies that tell a data-driven regional story. We maintain profiles on major industry clusters in the region and produce economic impact studies on fast-growing and impactful sectors like aerospace, sports and active lifestyle and cybersecurity. Our Quarterly Economic Snapshot series contains data and analysis on unemployment, industry employment, and real estate and venture capital trends. EDC’s Economic Dashboard tracks the region’s standing among the 25 most populous U.S. metropolitan areas. Every month, EDC releases the Manpower Monthly Employment report that analyzes key trends and observations on monthly industry data. EDC also offers responses to special requests for information and analysis on a variety of topics that impact the region. For more information, please contact Kirby Brady.
EDC works with companies across a variety of industry sectors inside and outside the region to encourage their growth in the San Diego region. We explore and resolve a variety of issues with our networks, including workforce needs, facility needs, connection to civic leadership and other business issues. in 2016, our team provided assistance to more than 120 companies. With and through our board of directors, committee and community leaders, EDC triages issues for companies at risk of leaving the region, as well as assembles appropriate resources to help companies with expansion and investment interests. For more information, please contact Sean Barr.