Talent Dividend Work

Transitioning veterans, training tech talent for diverse economies

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San Diego is in the unique position of being the heart of several markedly different yet equally prominent economies. The San Diego region's key economies include innovation, military, and tourism, and regional partnerships between nonprofits, workforce training groups, and major employers and universities work together to enhance the region's ability to develop, attract and retain highly sought-after professionals and hone its talent pipeline to find the skilled employees it needs to thrive.
The region is home to a growing innovation economy (recently ranked second in Life Sciences). Software and information technology is an example of a sub-sector where regional and industry stakeholders are collaborating to ensure the demand for a qualified workforce is met. Groups including San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, Software San Diego, and regional universities are working to address gaps in training that may prevent industry growth. As part of this collaboration, they have created an open dialogue to ensure that local graduates have the skills needed to fill these vacancies. Not only does this help smaller start-ups compete with bigger companies for top-tier talent, it also works to keep and attract sought after college graduates in the region. 
As home to the highest concentration of military personnel in the world, another cornerstone of San Diego's talent strategy is supporting transitioning service members. Veterans leave the military with security clearances, high-tech training and the desired interpersonal skills that help feed the high-tech industry and the plethora of military contractors. Certain companies, including Qualcomm and Life Technologies, have launched specific initiatives to recruit military talent and support the transition of troops into civilian jobs.
Lastly, collaborators acknowledge that attracting talent is about much more than education and workforce development. In response, the region has broadened its talent lens, choosing to also focus on innovative development projects such as the I.D.E.A. District, a 93-acre mixed-use development that is driven by a design services job cluster that fosters creative and collaborative energy in innovation, design, education, and the arts. A commitment to arts funding also further upholds the quality of life the region is known for, and in turn further feeds the strong tourism industry of southern California.

Source: Sarah Lubeck, San Diego Regional Development Corporation
Writer: Nicole Rupersburg
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