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South County Seeks Business Opportunities

Report: Forum Fleshes Out Ideas to Attract Good Jobs

John Cox, SAN DIEGO BUSINESS JOURNAL

Thursday, October 6, 2016

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   Speaking to hundreds gathered for the South County Economic Development Council's 26th annual economic summit, the president of the National University System Institute for Policy Research, Erik Bruvold, said local leaders should consider making a gift of up to 1.5  million square feet of unspoiled industrial space in return for development of, for example, unmanned aerial aircraft.

   Bruvold presented federal data showing South County lost much ground between 2010 and 2014 in professional, scientific, tech and military employment, even as it gained health care, social assistance, food service and finance-related jobs. By the of that period, he noted, the representing just 3.9 percent of San Diego County's land area generated 9.9 percent of its gross regional product and accounted for 10.4 percent of its jobs. That's not good enough, he said, emphasizing Sounty County holds anestimated 18.6 percent of the county's population.

   Organic economic growth to bridge that gap is "great," he said, elaborating for a reporter after his presentation, "and I don't want to preclude that." But if the area were going to catch up with the rest of the county's innovation sector, it would have done so during the recent expansion, he said, hence the need for a real estate incentive to attract an anchor tenant.