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The Big Picture San Diego Blog


Regional Support Q1 2019

April 10, 2019

From surveying land after natural disasters to delivering packages, drones offer a world of possibilities to advance society and unlock economic potential. However, in order for this type of drone work to become a reality, they must be able to operate beyond a visual line of site(BVLOS). At the moment, no one is allowed to fly BVLOS in U.S. airspace without obtaining a special, hard-to-get waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Chula Vista Police Department is the exception. As part of the FAA's Integration Pilot Program (IPP), San Diego is one of only 10 agencies nationwide selected to partner with private sector entities to accelerate safe UAS integration and innovation both regionally and nationally. In October, the Chula Vista Police Department announced a new test program to deploy drones as first responders. Now, thanks to the support of CAPE, Airmap and, Skyfire, the Chula Vista PD has become the first public safety agency within the 10 IPP destinations to receive a beyond visual line of sight waiver. This waiver will help Chula Vista continue to expand its Drone as First Responders program across the city providing faster responses and better services to the community.

San Diego's IPP is comprised of the city of Chula Vista, the city of San Diego, and San Diego Regional EDC. Recognizing the potential of drone technology for the regional economy, EDC plays a key role in driving the IPP work and supporting the cities of Chula Vista and San Diego with successful integration.

 

April 10, 2019

With the largest concentration of military assets in the world and the largest federal military workforce in the country, San Diego has the third 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 these individuals, who are  often highly trained, team oriented, and hardworking,  are expected to stay in the San Diego community when transitioning to civilian life. However, adjusting to life outside the military structure and regime comes with its own challenges. 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.

With such high volume of transitioning military personnel comes countless local support services for veterans. Navigating the programs and resources can be a daunting process that leaves many feeling discouraged. Now in its fourth year, the Military Transition Conference, hosted at USD in partnership with EDC, was created to provide a holistic, fresh perspective on the transition experience through the lens of education. Content 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.

More than 40 veterans and their dependents received personalized coaching on how to continue meaningful work in San Diego. The day kicked off with a keynote address by Justin McAnear, former exec of J&J, Apple, and Tesla, Naval Academy grad, navy aviator, with an MBA from USD. 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 accomplished veterans from Petco, Intuit, Cubic, and Teradata wrapped up the conference by sharing their honest transition stories and how they ended up in successful careers across tech, law, and retail.

Supporting our veterans in San Diego means expanding access to education, training, and opportunities that catalyze a smooth transition. Representing nearly 10 percent of San Diego’s population, veterans are an important pool of talent helping drive San Diego’s economic success. EDC will continue to support the veteran ecosystem by elevating local opportunities for transitioning military. 

April 9, 2019

From inclusive growth to San Diego: Life. Changing., many of EDC's most high profile initiatives have a similar origin story: they started with bringing the right people around the table. Looking to spur similar programs and initiatives on the 78 Corridor, Innovate78, a program funded by the five cities along the 78 Corridor (Carlsbad, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos, and Vista) and managed by EDC, hosted its first Innovator Dinner in March 2019.

 The Innovators Dinner Series is designed to bring together a diversity of people, engaging in meaningful conversations about how we can all grow and build a more prosperous North County. Bringing together 25 individuals from every corner of the 78 corridor, the wide range of industries represented—from technology to manufacturing to brewing to life sciences—reflected the strength of the corridor.

As the event got underway, the conversation gravitated toward natural themes of mentorship, access to capital, the viability of the local talent pool and more. The idea around remote work came up as well. With North County's strong quality of life and abundance of coworking spaces, many have noted a rise in remote employees based in North County. However, one entrepreneur at the Innovators Dinner bucked that trend. Although his company is located on the 78 corridor, many of his employees are remote, and live as far away as the Midwest. 

April 9, 2019

Launched in September 2018, Defense Innovation Voucher Program (DIV) is a comprehensive business initiative designed to build resiliency in small, local defense companies and help find pathways to diversify its revenues. Since the beginning of the program, Propel San Diego partners—guided by the San Diego Regional EDC—have provided hands-on services to assist 15 San Diego-based companies.

Continuing these efforts, in Q1 2019, EDC hosted three executive education boot camps for cohort companies. Collectively, these boot camps had more than50 people in attendance and covered topics including branding and marketing, small business contracting at SPAWAR, and cybersecurity standards.

Each session brought in regional experts and gave companies a chance to ask specific questions about their businesses. Presenters included Mark McLain the Director of Small Business Program at SPAWAR, James Sly the Vice President of the East County EDC, with organizations including California Manufacturing and Technology Consultants (CMTC), National Defense Industrial Association, Raindrop Marketing, and Seer Interactive also participating.  

On May 23, five DIV companies, chosen by an independent judging panel and EDC staff, will have the opportunity to compete for a $25,000 Grand Prize at the inaugural DIV Pitchfest. Be a judge at this first-ever event, where attendees will be voting on the innovative defense company that’s most deserving of additional funding! Learn more and reserve your ticket to DIV Pitchfest here

DIV is made possible through the generous support of presenting sponsor Booz Allen Hamilton along with Community Economic Adjustment Assistance for Reductions in Defense Industry Employment funds provided by the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment to the City of San Diego.

April 9, 2019

The Broken Token, a company that has permeated the board game market, creates custom gaming accessories and kits. While the manufacturer's products are distributed globally, its 8,000 sq. ft. headquarters is located in Escondido. Since The Broken Token's venture into tabletop gaming in 2013, the company has grown to 30 employees. And with more employees, comes a need for more space.

 

Now, the company has the potential to anchor the craft manufacturing sector in Escondido. The Broken Token is looking to expand into a larger building that would spark new life into the western edge of downtown Escondido. Additionally, the company is a key workforce development asset in North County. It provides opportunities for entry-level skill jobs where workers can develop new hands-on skills.

 

Through a referral from the City of Escondido, EDC guided the company through the process of applying for a $150,000 tax credit through the California Competes Tax Credit Program. Granted by the State of California, if approved, this credit will offset the company's tax liability for the hiring of 14 new employees and investment of $350,000 over the next five years. Additionally, with the potential lease of a larger city-owned building on the horizon, EDC provided an introduction to CDC Small Business Finance, so the firm can arrange financing to complete necessary renovation on its potential future Escondido home.