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December 4, 2013

San Diego Workforce Partnership is on a mission to save jobs in San Diego County. 

From January 2009 to present, SDWP has received a total of 387 layoff notices from employers, with 34,156 positions laid off in San Diego.

With so many San Diegans losing their jobs, SDWP decided to invest in the prevention of layoffs. SDWP recently initiated its pilot program called Layoff Aversion Services (LAS), which provides intervention services to small and medium-sized businesses that are at risk of laying off ten or more employees. To accomplish this, California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC)–SDWP’s LAS contractor–assesses companies’ needs and provides services on a case by case basis. CMTC provides free business process improvement services, which assists companies to meet their financial obligations and, in return, these businesses must retain employees who were originally at-risk of losing their jobs. In addition, CMTC provides services which may include support with marketing, sales, achieving industry specific certifications, and much more, designed to help businesses be more competitive.

So why small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)? Tina Ngo, SDWP’s Research Manager and project lead explains: “Large employers typically explore other options before resorting to layoffs. A few thousand dollars from SDWP may not make a difference for a large employer, but this investment can go a long way for SMEs struggling to meet payroll. We think that Layoff Aversion Services will help our region retain existing jobs and allow the many SMEs in San Diego to gain the competitive skills they need to thrive.”

CMTC has a history of providing Layoff Aversion Services to other Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) in California. In the past three years, CMTC has served over 170 companies with Workforce Investment Act (WIA) funds and retained over 2,170 jobs. Not only did these companies retain jobs, but they also created over 630 more jobs as a result of these services. The United States Government Accountability Office identified LAS as one of the best practices and uses of WIA funds. In San Bernardino County, for example, the local WIB’s LAS program saved 15 businesses, increased their total sales by more than $3.3 million–adding $5.7 million to the local economy–and saved 426 jobs in a 12-month period*. SDWP hopes that CMTC and the LAS program will have a similar positive effect in San Diego for employers and workers alike.

What companies would most benefit from LAS? 

SDWP analyzed layoff notices sent from employers in various industries. The results showed that since 2009 manufacturing was the hardest hit industry in the San Diego region, which is in line with national layoff statistics. 

Layoffs 2009-2013

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the manufacturing sector accounted for 21 percent of the mass layoffs and 28 percent of the initial unemployment claims from the private sector in February 2013**. Manufacturing is a supporting industry, which creates goods for many industries (e.g. medical devices, construction, telecommunication, specialty foods, microbreweries, etc.). By addressing manufacturing layoffs, SDWP can help prevent layoffs across many other sectors.

For more information about California Manufacturing Technology Consulting, visit their website.


*United States Government Accountability Office. Report to Congressional Committees. GAO-12-97.“Innovative Collaborations between Workforce Boards and Employers Helped Meet Local Needs.” January 2012.

**U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Economic News Release: Mass Layoffs Summary.” March 2013.


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