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Current Initiatives

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.


Summary of Current Initiatives

World Trade Center San Diego

As an affiliate of San Diego Regional EDC, with input and guidance from stakeholders throughout the bi-national region, World Trade Center San Diego (WTC) drives our global competitiveness agenda. Through the Global Cities Initiative, more than 30 local organizations and 400 executives engaged in developing a strategy that seeks to maximize San Diego’s economic competitiveness and prosperity through increased global engagement. WTC now works to implement this strategy through its main work streams: cultivate a pipeline of export ready local firms, maximize foreign investment opportunities and enhance San Diego’s reputation and visibility nationally and globally. For more information, please contact Lucas Coleman.


Global Identity / Brand Alliance

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. Since August 2016, EDC has been developing a regional marketing campaign, San Diego: Life. Changing. – with the input from more than 90 regional stakeholders called the 'Brand Alliance' – to help create an authentic, data-driven brand that speaks to people across the globe. Using market research, we have created a live-work-play website ( and are continuing to build out a toolkit to help attract talent and investment from around the world. EDC is also working to tell San Diego’s “innovation + quality of life” story to top-tier national and international outlets. Since April 2016, we have secured coverage in more than 40 national publications including Forbes, The New York Times, Worth, Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal and others covering local topics including smart cities technology, veteran entrepreneurs and more. 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 the highly-mobile, 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 among our top priorities. EDC has deployed a campus engagement strategy called Link to San Diego, which places executives on panels for students on campuses and at companies to discuss dynamic career opportunities across multiple industries. Continually, EDC and UC San Diego partnered with SD Hacks in 2015 and 2016 to orchestrate San Diego’s largest collegiate Hackathon, which exposed more than 3,000 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 are working to defend, maintain and grow the $50 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 OEA 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 industries like technology, aerospace, genomics, research institutions 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 San Diego's Economic Pulse that analyzes key trends and observations on monthly industry data, including new business establishments and job postings. 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.


Corporate Support

EDC works with companies across a variety of industries inside and outside the region to encourage their growth in San Diego. 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 130 companies and supported more than 8,200 jobs. With and through our board of directors, committees 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 Kate Gallagher.