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City of San Diego Awarded $1.6M Federal Grant to Promote Growth of Local Defense Industry

Department of Defense Funds Enable County-Wide Effort to Support Key San Diego Industry

Friday, March 17, 2017 - NEWS RELEASE

San Diego – Today Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer announced that the City of San Diego has been awarded a $1.6 million grant from the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment to support the resiliency and growth of local defense contractors.

The City of San Diego and key partners, including the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, County of San Diego, San Diego Military Advisory Council, East County Economic Development Corporation and South County Economic Development Corporation – collectively named Propel San Diego – will deploy programs to support the region’s defense ecosystem.

“San Diego is proud of its military roots and our defense industry plays an integral role in our local economy,” Mayor Faulconer said. “This grant will help support our local defense contractors so they can keep creating the kind of good-paying jobs San Diegans deserve.”

Leveraging the grant, the Propel San Diego team will concentrate on economic development strategies for companies expanding in or at risk of leaving the region. As part of this work, Propel San Diego will create a database of all defense firms in San Diego County and deploy an interactive tool to explain and model changes in defense spending activity.

Home to the largest concentration of military assets in the world, San Diego’s economy is inextricably linked to the national defense ecosystem.  According to SDMAC, the total economic impact of the defense industry is nearly $45 billion.

Defense-related organizations are as diverse as San Diego’s key industries and include companies specializing in aerospace, maritime, unmanned vehicles, robotics, autonomous systems, cybersecurity, advanced manufacturing and more.

Leveraging Department of Defense support and the grant, Propel San Diego programs aim to help San Diego retain highly-skilled talent and create increased stability for defense companies in an increasingly uncertain defense budget world. 

“From Qualcomm’s mobile technology to Cubic’s smart card systems and ViaSat’s broadband satellites, some of the world’s most game-changing technology is rooted in San Diego’s defense industry. Supporting the commercialization and visibility of the region’s defense-related firms, small and large, is critical to economic growth. The OEA grant and Propel San Diego collaborative enables us to do just that,” said Mark Cafferty, president and CEO of San Diego Regional EDC.

“The Propel San Diego initiative and OEA funding will enable a complete technology refresh of East County Economic Development Council‘s Connectory.com Network, an online resource that contains detailed capabilities profiles of industrial and technology companies across all industries,” said Joe Mackey, chair of the East County EDC board and CEO of XL Staffing and XL Security. “An upgraded Connectory that takes advantage of big data analytics will allow Propel San Diego to understand and track the wide, deep and diverse defense supply chain resident in the San Diego region, now and into the future.”

“The federal grant and Propel San Diego are welcome news for our region because they will help our critical defense industry stay strong in a fast-changing economy. It’s a big boost for our military, local businesses and our communities,” said San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob.

“Similar to the Maritime Action Plan we developed, the OEA grant will allow us the opportunity to strategize with defense contractors and subcontractors to develop an action to strengthen the aerospace and aviation industries in our region,” said South County Economic Development Council president and CEO, Cindy Gompper-Graves.

“SDMAC is honored and excited to be a recipient of the OEA grant. We look forward to playing a key role in facilitating the exchange of contractual information that will keep business in the San Diego region,” said Randy Bogle, executive director of San Diego Military Advisory Council.

For more information, visit OEA.gov.

CONTACT: Jen Lebron at (619) 384-5289 or [email protected]

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