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March 12, 2024

Sdpic Hero

The Policy & Innovation Center (PIC) is a think tank and social-impact incubator founded in partnership with the Brookings Institution, County of San Diego, and the San Diego Foundation. We conduct research and policy analysis to identify creative solutions to the region’s biggest problems, and we build cross-sector, multi-jurisdictional partnerships to advance those solutions. We spoke with their chief economist, Daniel Enemark about how their collaborative efforts are making an impact in San Diego.

Can you talk about some of the challenges our community faces and how you’re working to overcome them? 

Economic Mobility. We partner with the San Diego Workforce Partnership, local community colleges, and others to design and evaluate community-informed and data-driven programs to help folks get access to economic opportunity through training for high-paying, high-quality jobs. We worked with Southwestern College and the City of Chula Vista to help expand higher-education offerings in South County and course offerings to prepare residents for high-paying, in-demand jobs. 

Climate Resilience is a priority in San Diego as global temperatures rise and natural disasters increase. With our partners at the Brookings institution, we assess climate risks at a granular level throughout the county to help local leaders target sustainable development. We created a tool to help leaders navigate the breadth of technologies, policies, and practices that could help manage stormwater, deal with wastewater, improve water use efficiency, provide clean drinking water, and more. We are also working on a workforce development roadmap for green jobs to ensure that the local population benefits from efforts to mitigate climate change impacts. 

Equity gaps in opportunities and outcomes continue to affect the region. To catalyze change, we helped the county conduct its first-ever comprehensive equity assessment to monitor progress over time. We also wrote a report to help local philanthropy focus on critical gaps and we convene leaders in the region to collaborate on key issues like housing, education, and economic development. 

How would you like to see San Diego change for the better?

PIC is focused on three guiding principles: 

  • Everyone should live in a safe, thriving, and inclusive society
  • Everyone should have the opportunity for economic advancement
  • Everyone should have access to a clean and sustainable environment

We want this for everyone, and we begin by making San Diego a leader on these fronts. Practically speaking, this means affordable housing, and equitable career pathways, especially those that support the green transition. 

Why is workforce development important to your organization’s mission?

One of our biggest ambitions is to foster equal opportunity for economic advancement in the region. Workforce development represents an opportunity to reduce barriers to high-wage, high-demand jobs for those most in need.

What else do you want the community to know about PIC?

Our success as an organization is built on collaboration. There are so many people working diligently to make San Diego better. Our mission of building enduring collaboration is all about aligning those efforts and finding more resources to power them!

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