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SoCal Manufacturing Designation Progress

By April 29, 2015 No Comments

Nearly a year ago, Southern California was designated a manufacturing community by the federal government with a focus on the aerospace and defense industry (also known as the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership of Southern California, or AMP SoCal).  This has allowed an improved infrastructure for those of us in the counties of Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange and San Diego to work together in an unprecedented fashion to support the industry here.  While numerous efforts have unfolded from this that you will be hearing about shortly—such as targeted workforce development programs and partnerships; technological innovations; etc.—the economic development organizations throughout the region have really come together to tell the story of job attraction and retention efforts.  After all, that’s what we’re focused on: ensuring we grow, attract, and retain businesses, jobs and investment.  We have a lot of great initiatives and efforts we’re kicking off in the next few months to further our efforts, but see below for a snapshot of what we’ve been working on as of late!

From July 2014 – December 2014, we had the following efforts reported:

  • 123 aerospace and defense businesses engaged
  • 1,478 aerospace and defense jobs retained
  • 1,028 aerospace and defense jobs created
  • Total of 2,506 aerospace and defense jobs created or retained in Southern California

Aside from what we can quantify, it’s also helpful to look at the other activities that we’ve collectively been working on to grow aerospace and defense in SoCal (I’ve included these by organization):

San Diego Regional EDC

  • West 2015 – San Diego Regional EDC (SDREDC) supported West 2015 conference held in San Diego by promoting the event to EDC members and key defense contractors from the region.
  • Global Cities Initiative: SDREDC has planned several national and international trips to highlight the regional strengths within the innovation cluster, in particular our Aerospace and Defense Companies.
    • March 11th is the Global Summit Event which rolls out several new key initiatives to support SME’s in San Diego County as they look to export their goods and services around the world. Leveraging this program to support Aerospace suppliers in the region is an important element of the project.
  • SDREDC coordinated meetings for the San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence with key universities from the region. The purpose of these meetings was to help local universities identify curriculum that meets the qualifications needed to be successful with regional cyber security firms many of which are primarily defense companies or do much of their work with the DOD.
    • The result of these meetings is that test curriculum, is being explored at each of major universities with both short and long term deliverables.  Long run being a Cyber Security major and or masters. The short run being curriculum designed for extended studies programs throughout San Diego County.
  • Cal Competes Application– San Diego Regional EDC has supported several key NAVY Ship builders in pursing the Cal Competes application with the potential to support hundreds of jobs for the regions Maritime industry.
    • SDREDC is also working with the NDIA and SDMAC to spread the word to our aerospace and defense companies about the opportunities that exist for them in this program.


  • Most Innovative Products Awards Ceremony, Dec. 4, 2014 – 9 A&D supply chain companies were finalists in 4 categories.
  • CONNECT provided access to capital sources to our A&D and supply chain startups via a Roadshow to the Silicon Valley and a Deal Network at a high net worth individual’s home.
  • Four finalists won Most Innovative Product Awards: Companies were connected to angel investors, high net worth individuals and venture capitalists that are looking to invest.

East County EDC

  • Cal Competes Tax Credits made to two East San Diego County Manufacturers operating in the Aerospace & Defense arena. ECEDC alerted both manufacturers to the opportunity to apply for Cal Competes tax credits, assured they had input from the Governor’s GoBiz office, and provided support to the application process. Neither of these manufacturers was aware of Cal Competes before ECEDC provided information.  State investment in tax credits of $1.83M from two (2) of the eight (8) Cal Competes awardees from San Diego County. Total of 289 net jobs increased. Combined private investment of $13.5M leveraged.
  • Performance On/Release of San Diego Workforce Partnership Advanced Partnered with UCSD Extension on two workforce studies:  One for Advanced Manufacturing sector and one for the Aerospace sector. Advanced Manufacturing was one of five Priority Sector studies released on October 2, 2014. The Aerospace Workforce Study was delivered in July 2014, but the Workforce Partnership intends to release it early in 2015. Current plans are to present this study at the Aerospace & Defense Forum San Diego Chapter meeting in March 2015.
  • United Way Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Pipeline – December 9, 2014 – Convened a roundtable of 10 advanced manufacturers, 80 percent of which are active in aerospace and/or defense, to discuss specific requirements for their workforce. After the roundtable, followed up for a request for information on specific skills, aptitudes, work experience, and credentials that workers require to enter their workforce and/or advance along a career path.

Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation:

  • LAEDC launched the website, which consolidates information about the Southern California region.
  • LAEDC and San Diego Regional EDC partnered on the launch of the iDEA Hub—an official state-designated innovation hub that focuses on defense, energy and aerospace.
  • LAEDC and San Diego Regional EDC partnered on the establishment of a scope of work to launch the first-ever, in depth Southern California aerospace and defense study, which is set to begin work in a few short months.
  • LAEDC convened a small group of the economic development organizations, municipalities and elected officials in the region to discuss issues related to delivery of red carpet services.  The group meets via conference call once a month.
  • The SoCal Jobs Defense Council continues to meet twice a month to discuss strategy on moving the industry forward in the greater Southern California region.
  • The LAEDC submitted an LA Ready to Work grant application that focused on H1B Visa occupations in aero-space and defense, biomedical, and professional and business services. Unfortunately this application was not successful.
  • The Jobs Defense Council has been working with Boeing, UAW, and PGWIN on transitioning for the Boeing C-17 workforce through a variety of job fairs and training programs.
  • The SoCal Jobs Defense Council actively supported both AB 2389 and SB 718, which created an incentive package to attract the advanced strategic aircraft program (ASAP) or commonly referred to as the “new bomber” program. Both were passed and became law.
  • The SoCal Jobs Defense Council created the Business Advantage Guide, which features targeted incentive programs and financing options in Los Angeles County and throughout the state.
  • The SoCal Jobs Defense Council issued a letter to urge the permanency of the federal research and development tax credit. The program was extended for calendar year 2014 only.
  • The LAEDC hosted a webinar on the basics of exporting for companies.
  • The LAEDC and the SoCal Jobs Defense Council actively promoted programs hosted by the Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and others to enable export-readiness at local firms—many of these pro-grams were specifically tailored to aerospace and defense.
  • The SoCal Jobs Defense Council actively supported and advocated for the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. The Bank received authorization through June 2015.
  • The LAEDC has been actively meeting with members of Congress to discuss the importance of the aero-space and defense industry and to integrate them into our efforts. To-date, the LAEDC has met with Congress-members Cardenas, Waxman, Negrete-McLeod, Lowenthal, Roybal-Allard, Linda Sanchez, Sherman, and Hahn. We have also met with the State Controller and BOE Member George Runner.
  • The LAEDC was active in the FAA Center of Excellence application for unmanned aerial systems. We are still awaiting a decision from the FAA on this effort.
  • The LAEDC attracted the SpeedNews 2015 Manufacturing Conference to Los Angeles with the help of several other organizations. LA County will be the title sponsor at this event.
  • The LAEDC secured presence at the SpaceTech Expo in 2015.
  • The LAEDC held an event with CalPoly Pomona titled “Connecting the Dots in Unmanned Aerial Systems and Cyber Security” with over 150 attendees.
  • The LAEDC held an event with Loyola Marymount University for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation:

  • 27 Aerospace and Defense companies toured B&B Manufacturing Co. on August 21st, 2014 and participated in a panel discussion focused on workforce development.
  • 7 Aerospace and Defense companies attended a Board of Equalization event focused on the accessing the new sales tax exemption program on December 10, 2014
  • Santa Clarita Valley Manufacturing Day 2014: 2 Aerospace and Defense companies spoke to 70 educators, students and parents about modern manufacturing on October 2nd, 2014; and 4 Aerospace and Defense Companies hosted approximately 50 high school students at their facility to introduce them to modern manufacturing and give a tour on October 3rd, 2014.

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