Retail Mimi and Red clothing boutique North Park

August, 16, 2019

Through The Aspen Institute’s Reimagine Retail Initiative, the San Diego Workforce Partnership undertook a research project to understand the social, economic, and regulatory forces driving change in San Diego County’s retail sector. We focused specifically on the impact of changes in technology, cross-border purchasing and employment patterns, rising minimum wage, and racial disparities. This research has helped the Workforce Partnership develop new approaches to its work with retail employers and workers to support their resiliency in the face of a changing sector. Below are a few products of this research.


With support from the Walmart Foundation, in 2016 the Aspen Institute’s Economic Opportunities Program launched Reimagine Retail, a project to explore ways to enhance stability and improve mobility for the retail workforce. The San Diego Workforce Partnership would like to thank The Aspen Institute and Corporation for a Skilled Workforce for their support in producing this study. We would also like to thank the retail workers and employers and workforce professionals who contributed their perspectives through interviews and focus groups. This study could not have been produced without their support.

  • Amy Blair, Amanda Newman, Jenny Weissbourd — The Aspen Institute
  • Jeannine LaPrad, Nancy Snyder, Megan Williams — Corporation for a Skilled Workforce
  • Sarah Burns, Daniel Enemark — San Diego Workforce Partnership