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October 5, 2015

The South County Economic Development Council (SCEDC) hosted its 25th annual Economic Summit on October 2 at the San Diego Convention Center. More than 400 business and community leaders attended this year’s event.

The summit kicked off with a panel discussion featuring an economic outlook for South County and the San Diego region. Panelists included Peter Callstrom, CEO of the San Diego Workforce Partnership; Kelly Cunningham, economist for the National University System Institute for Policy Research; Marney Cox, Chief Economist at SANDAG; and Phil Blair, Executive Officer at Manpower West.

Callstrom presented on the state of workforce development in San Diego County, touching on efforts such as Reentry Works, CONNECT2Careers and a new program aimed to serve the long-term unemployed. Callstrom also shared the San Diego Priority Sector posters going up in schools across the county, noting the importance of displaying these in-demand career paths. “We have to be able to inform youth so that they can get into these really good careers available right here in our region,” said Callstrom.

The summit also included a powerhouse panel of local public officials from both sides of the border. Panelists included Marty Block, State Senator; Ben Hueso, State Senator; Lorena Gonzalez, California Assembly Member; Laura Torres, Baja California Assembly Member; Greg Cox, County Supervisor; Dan Malcolm, Port of San Diego Commissioner; Ron Morrison, Mayor of National City; Silvano Abarca, Mayor of Rosarito Beach; Serge Dedina, Mayor of Imperial Beach; Richard Bailey, Coronado Councilmember; and Pamela Bensoussan, Chula Vista Councilmember.

The program concluded with a luncheon where keynote speakers Chris Van Gorder, President and CEO at Scripps Health, and Derica W. Rice, Eli Lilly and Company’s Executive Vice President of Global Services and Chief Financial Officer, addressed the crowd. Rice discussed the recently announced expansion of Lilly’s research center in La Jolla, which builds on the company’s longstanding partnership with San Diego as a major research hub.

For more information on the SCEDC, visit

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