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The Big Picture San Diego Blog


Advancing Cities Challenge 2019

April 18, 2019

Today, JPMorgan Chase has announced that San Diego is one of five cities to win a $3 million grant from the AdvancingCities Challenge. Launched in 2018, the inaugural competition is a $500 million, five-year initiative to drive inclusive growth and create greater economic opportunity in cities across the United States. This grant will be used to fund a new collaborative program—Advancing San Diego.

“The Advancing San Diego program is going to be a game-changer and will provide resources to underserved communities that need it most,” said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “It’s going to lift up our small businesses, prepare San Diegans for skilled jobs and make a real difference in people’s lives. It’s also going to level the playing field so that no matter where you grow up in San Diego, you have access to opportunity. I want to thank JPMorgan Chase for choosing San Diego, as well as the San Diego Regional EDC and all of the participating agencies who supported our proposal.”        

JPMorgan Chase received more than 250 applications from 143 communities. Among the four other winning cities in the U.S.—Chicago, IL; Louisville, KY; Miami, FL; and Syracuse, NY—San Diego was selected because its proposal successfully outlined local coalitions of elected, business, and nonprofit leaders who will work together to address major social and economic challenges such as employment barriers, financial insecurity, and neighborhood disinvestment.

Through Advancing San Diego, EDC and its partners will collectively work to double the production of skilled workers by 2030 and enhance relationships between local employers and the region’s education systems. The concept incorporates a demand-driven, employer-led strategy to both connect underrepresented residents with high-demand jobs, while also providing small business access to diverse talent applicants. More specifically, these efforts focus on elevating San Diego’s Hispanic population, who is projected to be San Diego’s largest demographic group by 2030. Currently, 84 percent of Hispanics do not hold a bachelor’s degree and are drastically underrepresented in the region’s innovation economy.

With unemployment rates at multiyear lows, companies need to compete for talent like never before. The good news is that our future talent poolthe engineers, scientists, data analystswill be homegrown,” said Janice Brown, Board Chair, San Diego Regional EDC. “EDC has embarked on Advancing San Diegoa collaborative effort between business, nonprofit, philanthropy and academia, aimed to increase degree and credential completions required for high demand jobs and support the small businesses that drive our economy forward.”

The San Diego of tomorrow is going to look very different than the San Diego of today. With the AdvancingCities Challenge, EDC is able to support its existing inclusive growth efforts, which aim to build a strong local talent pipeline, equip small businesses to compete, and address the affordability crisis. Together with San Diego Workforce Partnership, San Diego and Imperial Counties Community College Association (SDICCCA), United Way of San Diego County, and City of San Diego, San Diego Regional EDC is leading a region wide approach to sustain growth throughout San Diego County.

To learn more about AdvancingCities and the other AdvancingCities Challenge Winners, visit jpmorganchase.com/advancingcities.

Join us in Advancing San Diego. For more information about EDC’s inclusive growth efforts, visit sandiegobusiness.org/inclusivegrowth

*Read the full press release.*