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The Big Picture San Diego Blog


July 2019

July 19, 2019

Each month the California Employment Development Department (EDD) releases employment data for the prior month. This edition of San Diego's Economic Pulse covers June 2019. Check out EDC's research bureau for more data and stats about San Diego's economy. 

This report is sponsored by Manpower San Diego.

Highlights include:

San Diego's Economic Pulse: July 2019 from San Diego Regional EDC on Vimeo.

  • The region’s unemployment rate was 3.3 percent in June, up from a revised 2.7 percent in May 2019, and below the year-ago estimate of 3.6 percent
  • The region’s unemployment rate remains lower than both the state and national unemployment rates of 4.1 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively
  • Between May 2019 and June 2019, total nonfarm employment increased from 1,510,200 to 1,517,300, adding 7,100 jobs
  • Between June 2018 and June 2019, total nonfarm employment increased from 1,491,600 to 1,517,600, adding 25,700 jobs
  • Between June 2018 and June 2019, professional and business services led the year-over gain, adding 8,000 jobs and mostly driven by growth in professional, scientific, and technical services (up 7,100).

 

July 19, 2019

If you've ever hopped on the tube in London or swiped your MTA card to take the L from Brooklyn into Manhattan, you have San Diego innovation to thank for it. Cubic's Transportation division is helping move millions of people throughout the world's most dynamic cities, including Sydney, London, New York, and more. Though Cubic is a global company, it is headquartered right here, in San Diego.

This week, the company reaffirmed its commitment to San Diego by breaking ground on a new campus. The two 125,000 square-foot, three-story buildings, developed in partnership with Cisterra Development, will bring its San Diego-based workforce together onto one centralized location in Kearny Mesa.

A long history in San Diego

In 1951, Walter J. Zable opened a small electronics company operating out of a modest storefront. Today, Cubic has 6,000 employees globally and three primary business units that do everything from increase mass transit efficiencies to train and protect our armed forces. Along the way, the company has developed a lot of "firsts"; from the world's first electronic scoreboard for a stadium to the first wholly contactless fare system in the U.S., meaning you can swipe a card (and in some cities, a smartphone) instead of scrounging for change to buy a bus ticket.

Since the beginning, San Diego has been a crucial part of Cubic's story. As the company began to win new contracts and bring innovations to market, it added new employees to keep up with the demands. However, these employees were spread throughout a few buildings in San Diego.

One Cubic headquarters

Cubic's new home base seeks to change that.

"Our culture is driven by One Cubic, which emphasizes collaboration across our businesses to share ideas, strategies, and expertise. We are thrilled our new campus will bring together our San Diego employees onto one centralized location where we can continue to achieve excellence through teamwork,” said Bradley H. Feldmann, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Cubic Corporation. If you're looking for jobs in San Diego, you might want to visit Cubic's career site.

This isn't Cisterra Development's first time working on a project of this magnitude. In San Diego and beyond, the developer has made a name for itself for creating cutting-edge space for San Diego strongholds including Sempra Energy (and it's downtown headquarters) as well as  Diamond View Tower, which houses numerous San Diego startups.

The new campus will also contain new landscaped common areas for employees, including a basketball court and open lawn, as well as a new café and fitness center.

With assistance from EDC, Cubic secured a CalCompetes Tax Credit worth $8.5 million. Locally, Cubic was also able to secure expedited processes through the City of San Diego, in addition to a Business Incentive Program and Business Cooperation Program award. In total, the incentives and expedited processes provided gave Cubic the necessary offsets and timeline confidence to commit to redeveloping its Kearny Mesa headquarters, and keeping San Diego as its home for decades to follow.

And not to be overlooked, Cubic's new campus will also provide access to one of San Diego's overlooked neighborhoods - Kearny Mesa. As Councilmember Chris Cate, who represents the city of San Diego's 6th district, said, "Kearny Mesa is going to be the hottest neighborhood in San Diego."

And we can thank Cubic for being (one of) the impetuses of this. The new campus is expected to be online by December 2020.

 

July 9, 2019

Since 2013, the U.S. Department of Commerce hosts its annual SelectUSA Investment Summit, making it the country’s largest trade show for foreign direct investment (FDI). This year, in partnership with the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) International Affairs and Business Development team, WTC San Diego and San Diego Regional EDC staff attended the event to promote California and San Diego.

Garnering more than 2,000 attendees and an impressive slew of speakers, the conference featured keynotes from Secretary Wilbur Ross, Larry Kudlow, and Ivanka Trump, alongside dozens of technical presentations. US Ambassadors from all over the world brought delegations of companies set on expanding into the US from their respective countries to learn about the competitive advantages of each state. At the conference, economic development representatives from nearly all 50 states vie for the attention of these companies by demonstrating why their state is best suited to support international expansion. While some states resort to fun, unique antics like utilizing a Captain America outfit to draw in crowds, the delegates from California drew attention to the immense academic investment and corporate strengths of the fifth largest economy in the world.

In the span of two days, WTC staff met with more than a dozen companies from across the globe – Israel to China and UK to Japan – specifically discussing each country’s interest in San Diego. As states and regions compete to attract foreign investment, increased coordination and collaboration across California is necessary to help combat any negative narratives, and ultimately, highlight the success of the entire state’s economy.

With Bud Colligan as Sr. Advisor for International Affairs and Trade for California, there's been an increased call for California to develop more robust trade and FDI strategy. According to SelectUSA, majority-foreign-owned companies support 769,20 jobs in California, placing the state in a distant first with Texas coming in second by supporting 596,900 jobs.

If you are interested in WTC San Diego’s approach to creating a statewide strategy for foreign direct investment, contact Director of World Trade Center San Diego, Jesse Gipe at jg@sandiegobusiness.org.

July 9, 2019

The Integrated Pilot Program (IPP) reached a large benchmark on the food delivery mission, which included a successful test flight with Uber Eats on San Diego State University campus. Starting this summer, Uber will be using specially crafted drones developed by its flight arm, Uber Elevate, to grow the company's food delivery program. Giving way for Uber Eats to operate in the region's airspace, San Diego Office of Homeland Security has been integral in this initiative with coordination from EDC, in order to obtain the necessary waivers and certifications from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) through the IPP. Read more about this program here

The IPP is rapidly moving forward on the first-ever international Unamnned Aircraft Systems (UAS) flight, which is made possible in coordination with EDC's partners at CAPE Aerial Telepresence and the City of Tijuana. The project has also been working diligently with Matternet, the medical delivery operators, to determine the route for the first blood sample test delivery.

Next up: EDC, in partnership with Booz Allen Hamilton, is planning the process for a drone conference, which is slated to take place in February 2020. The themes include San Diego as a center of excellence in the emerging technologies industry, inclusivity, and deep dives into the unique challenges of UAS integration. A planning committee is being formed, involving possible participation from local government partners, local industry leaders, nonprofit stakeholders, and higher education institutions. Expect more details on the conference coming soon. 

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July 9, 2019

Now in its fourth year, MetroConnect is World Trade Center San Diego’s flagship export assistance program, underwritten by JPMorgan Chase. Following a competitive application process, 15 to 20 export-ready, small and medium-sized businesses receive a $10,000 challenge grant and programmatic services to aid their international expansion efforts. During the course of one year, participating companies get access to complimentary services and preferred rates from program partners, as well as technical assistance trainings in areas such as data privacy, export compliance, supply chain, IP protection, and more.

For the fourth and final workshop of the program period, WTC partnered with MetroConnect sponsor SYSTRAN and consultant JAS Forwarding to host a two-part workshop focused on language translation and supply chain solutions. The first portion of the workshop titled, “The Language Traps of Going Global,” focused on the importance of selling in the local language and the contemporary software solutions available to small businesses. Ken Behan, vice president of sales and marketing, and Philip Staiger, technical account manager at SYSTRAN demoed SYSTRAN’s pure neural server and took questions from the companies in attendance.

The latter half of the workshop, presented by JAS Forwarding Worldwide, focused on “Freight Forwarding & Supply Chain Solutions.” Matt Halpin, business development manager at JAS Forwarding, and Tyler Sullivan, senior national account director at JAS Government & Defense, provided a synopsis of the logistics behind exporting/importing goods to and from the San Diego region.

The 2019 MetroConnect Grand Prize Pitchfest will take place on November 13, 2019 at The Alexandria. The top four performing companies from this year’s cohort will compete for an additional $35,000 in funding to accelerate their international expansion efforts.

 

July 9, 2019

Serving the defense and transportation industries, Cubic Corporation is a global company with clients on nearly every continent. The company has called Kearny Mesa home for 50 years, currently based in an aging set of buildings that have not kept pace with the company's. Its facilities were divided onto two major campuses in the Kearny Mesa area, creating a lack of cohesion among its business units.

With competition for tech talent at an all-time high, Cubic’s leadership was concerned its outdated facilities would discourage potential hires. Cubic needed to modernize and redevelop its campus to help attract talent, while also providing adequate facilities for the next 50 years. Despite its long history as a San Diego company, Cubic was experiencing pressure to build its headquarters in a lower-cost state such Tennessee, Alabama, orFlorida, where Cubic had other growing operations. As a result, EDC worked hand-in-hand with Cubic’s team to secure the necessary incentives to keep San Diego a competitive option, despite pressure to relocate its facilities out-of-state.

Utilizing both state and local programs, EDC was able to leverage its expertise in incentives consulting in order to help this 50-year-old staple company stay in California. EDC developed a strategy to capture a number of incentive programs, which offset the cost of rebuilding its headquarters in San Diego. Additionally, EDC worked as an intermediary to both the City and State departments on behalf of cubic to ensure processes were staying on track and that the campus redevelopment was seen as a priority by all parties.

Cubic secured a CalCompetes Tax Credit worth $8.5 million. Locally, Cubic was able to secure expedited processes through the City of San Diego, in addition to a Business Incentive Program and Business Cooperation Program award. In total, the incentives and expedited processes provided gave Cubic the necessary offsets and timeline confidence to commit to redeveloping its Kearny Mesa headquarters, and keeping San Diego as its home for decades to follow.

ABOUT CUBIC CORPORATION: Cubic is an American public corporation providing diversified systems and services to the transportation and defense markets worldwide. Cubic Corporation is the parent company of three major divisions: Cubic Transportation Systems, Cubic Mission Solutions and Cubic Global Defense. cubic.com

 

July 9, 2019

Real Dog Box, a small startup that manufactures dog treats, was reaching capacity at its current location, and risked closing if they did not find a new warehouse by June 2019. Real Dog Box reached out to EDC asking for assistance in finding a new site under one roof that could accommodate the manufacturing company's joint operation for light industrial manufacturing and a commercial business.

EDC leveraged its connections and reached out to the City of San Diego’s Economic Development Department for more information and assistance on the specific zoning regulations that the company could use to locate a new site. Using a property selection database, EDC provided a list of potential locations that met Real Dog Box’s requirements for property characteristics and complied with the City’s industrial and commercial zoning regulations.

In May 2019, Real Dog Box was able to re-locate to a new 13,000 sq. ft. site in Barrio Logan within the City of San Diego’s Promise Zone. Thanks to its expansion efforts, Real Dog Box hired three new employees within the first few weeks of moving. In addition to providing a list of potential properties, EDC created a list business resources related to incentive support for the City of San Diego's Storefront Improvement Program, Business Incentive Program and Business Cooperation Program. EDC also provided additional information on San Diego Workforce Partnership’s programs for On-The-Job-Training, Customized Training and made introductions to CDC Small Business Financing.

“We were in a real pinch to find a new location for our manufacturing facility. EDC helped narrow down our search for properties that fit our needs and their contacts at the city's zoning office saved us A LOT of time. In our initial meeting with EDC, the team was able to recommend quite a few incentives offered by the city and state specific to our business model and needs that I had never heard of. I wish I'd known sooner what a great resource they are.” -Ruby Alexis Balaram, Founder and COO, Real Dog Box

ABOUT REAL DOG BOX: Real Dog Box was a small startup launched in 2016 transforming the way people feed their dogs. Real Dog Box offers a monthly box of nutritiously diverse dog treats and chews shipped across the U.S. real.dog