CITD Takes Southern California Suppliers on a Tour of Baja California Manufacturers

The San Diego CITD, in collaboration with the Secretariat of Economic Development for the State of Baja California (SEDECO) and California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC), led a tour of several manufacturing facilities for small businesses in the Southern California region interested in business opportunities in Baja California’s growing manufacturing sector. More than 20 participants—which included business owners & representatives, as well as trade specialists and economic development professionals—boarded a bus provided by Temarry Recycling and participated in the tour that began with a visit to the Hisense manufacturing plant in Rosarito, Baja California.  Hisense is a China-based manufacturer of electronics and appliances, including televisions, refrigerators, portable air conditioners, and dehumidifiers, among other products. The company’s Rosarito plant manufacturers high definition televisions for the North American market. During the tour of the facilities—which included the opportunity to see a portion of the company’s automated manufacturing processes in action—Hisense Mexico’s VP, Marco Esponda, provided participants with an overview of the company and its current need for regional suppliers for a variety of components and services.

Once the tour of the Hisense plant concluded, the group departed to Hotel Calafia—a landmark hotel in Rosarito situated on the ocean’s edge—to enjoy a lunch buffet hosted by SEDECO and the Economic Development and Tourism Department of the City of Playas de Rosarito (DETUR). During the lunch, Conrado Acevedo, Director of DETUR welcomed the group on behalf of the City’s Mayor, Mirna Cecilia Rincón, and talked about the City’s initiatives to spur investment and grow the local economy. Additional speakers at the lunch included José López Castellanos, SEDECO’s Undersecretary for Investment Promotion, San Diego CITD Director, Victor Castillo, Andres Campos, Director of the Economic Development Commission of Ensenada, Irlanda Gil, Business Development Specialist for the Tijuana EDC, and Gilberto Macías, Northwest Regional Director for ProMéxico.

After lunch, the tour continued on to Tecate, Baja California with a visit to Temarry Recycling, an industrial waste recycling plant. Temarry is the only company serving the Western U.S. authorized by the EPA to export hazardous waste for recycling to Mexico. Teresa Ruiz, legal representative for Temarry, guided the group on tour of the facility which through its recycling processes recovers reusable solvents from industrial waste and can completely eliminate hazardous waste using a thermal treatment system.

The tour concluded with a visit to Formula Plastics, a plastic injection molding company that does work for customers in the consumer, medical device, automotive, telecommunications, and technology sectors among others. Some of these customers include Bosch, Sanyo, Philips, and Panasonic. Sales Director for Formula Plastics, José Mora Cornejo, discussed the company’s high-precision molding capabilities and provided the group with a glimpse of their manufacturing operations which include 55 molding machines, a Class 8 clean room, a state-of-the-art metrology lab, IQMS quality and production management system, and a private freight and trucking delivery service.

The San Diego CITD coordinates these activities as part of its Supplier Export Program, which helps small and medium-sized businesses increase their sales through international trade by matching them with the manufacturers that are looking to source services, components, raw materials, and other commodities regionally. Several of the companies that participated in the tour identified potential business opportunities with the manufacturers that were visited and expressed an interest in participating in future industrial tours and trade missions.

Students Participate in Networking Event with Supply Chain Management Professionals

The San Diego CITD and DSN for Global Trade & Logistics (DSNGTL) participated in the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) San Diego/Baja Roundtable‘s  Supply Chain Student-Executive Speed Networking event hosted at National University. The CITD/DSNGTL was part of the organizing committee for the event, which in addition to CSCMP San Diego/Baja Rountable representatives,  included faculty and administrators from other educational institutions with Supply Chain Management programs including National University, CSU San Marcos, and USD. The event was geared toward students and young professionals interested in careers in the supply chain management field. Prior to the start of the event, the CITD’s Program Specialist and CSCMP SCPro Fundamentals Certification Program Coordinator, Desiree Dolores, presented on the SCPro Fundamentals supply chain certifications and Southwestern College’s International Logistics and Transportation Program.

Among the more than fifty students in attendance from the participating educational institutions, three Southwestern College students were sponsored by the San Diego CITD/DSNGTL. During the event, students were broken up into small groups and were able to have rotating 10 minute meetings with Supply Chain Management Professionals from companies which included: DJO Global, Stone Brewing, Bumble Bee, Grupo Logistics, and Quest Nutrition.

The event provided a great opportunity for students to network and ask employers specific questions about careers in supply chain management and what it takes to be successful in the field.

CITD and DSN for Global Trade and Logistics Participate in Manufacturing Week Events

The San Diego CITD and Deputy Sector Navigator for Global Trade & Logistics (DSNGTL) participated in a series of events leading up to Manufacturing Day, a national celebration of modern manufacturing. Manufacturing Day is an annual event, celebrated nationally during the first week of October and includes tours of manufacturing plants, presentations to students, and competitions, among other activities. On October 4th, the San Diego CITD and DSNGTL participated in San Diego City College’s Manufacturing Day Educational Resource Fair, which featured representatives from local manufacturers as well as resource partners. The purpose of the event was to provide high school and community college students with information on the career opportunities in the manufacturing sector, as well as the educational programs available to help prepare them for these careers. With manufacturing closely linked to global trade, logistics, and supply chain management, the San Diego CITD and DSNGTL promoted its supply chain management certification program and educational programs in these areas available at regional community colleges.

On October 5th, the San Diego CITD and DSNGTL, in collaboration with Southwestern College and the South County EDC, coordinated a presentation and demonstration by Action Drone for the college’s students. Action Drone is a Chula Vista based manufacturer of drones for commercial use. The presentation, which included a demonstration of one of Action Drone’s indoor drones, was geared toward college students interested in STEM fields and took place at Southwestern College’s Chula Vista campus.

Additionally, the San Diego CITD and DSNGTL helped to coordinate a tour of Neyenesch Printers, Inc., a San Diego commercial printer and CITD client. The week’s events culminated in a Manufacturing Day breakfast event, hosted by the San Diego Regional EDC, which featured a panel discussion on the manufacturing industry with representatives from local manufacturers.

Southwestern College Foundation Grant Helps Students Earn Industry-Recognized Certifications in Supply Chain Management

Earlier this year, the San Diego Center for International Trade Development (CITD) and DSN for Global Trade and Logistics (DSNGTL) was awarded a grant from the Southwestern College Foundation to respond to the educational and training needs of Southwestern College students interested in careers in global trade, logistics, and supply chain management. The funding provided a cohort of students with the opportunity to access one of eight certification tracks of the SCPro™ Fundamentals Certification Program, offered through the Center for Supply Chain Education at Broward College, and coordinated locally by the CITD/DSNGTL. Students covered under the grant were provided access to the “Supply Chain Management Principles” online course and given the opportunity to take the exam on September 12th to earn a certification for that track. Six students successfully passed the exam and earned an industry-recognized certificate, which prepares them for entry to mid-level career opportunities in the field. The SCPro™ Fundamentals program and certifications are backed by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), a leading global association dedicated to the advancement of supply chain management professionals. Two of those students, Aranzazu Galvan Santana and Nylza Lujan (pictured above), are also completing internships with the CITD.

Without funding from the Southwestern College Foundation grant, students would have had to pay over $200 for the certification track and exam. The CITD/DSGTL is seeking additional funding opportunities that would allow these students, and others throughout the San Diego region, to access additional certification tracks at no cost to them. Students who pass the exams for all eight certification tracks in the program earn a special SCPro™ Fundamentals Comprehensive Certificate.



CITD Participates in South Bay Union Elementary School District Connect to Business Event

The South County EDC, in collaboration with the South Bay Union Elementary School District, organized an event for teachers to learn about important industry sectors in the region and how they can prepare students for future opportunities in these sectors. The event featured a panel discussion with representatives from Samsung, Action Drone, BAE Systems, Scripps, and Southwestern College’s Crown Cove Aquatic Center, representing key industries including: advanced manufacturing, aerospace, maritime, healthcare, and tourism. The San Diego CITD and DSN for Global Trade & Logistics participated in the event with a table to promote career and education opportunities in global trade, logistics, and supply chain management, as well as Career Technical Education programs at the community colleges related to the industry sectors represented at the event.

More than 100 teachers participated in the event, held in preparation of San Diego Manufacturing Week—which runs Monday, Oct. 2 through Friday, Oct. 6.—and focused on opportunities in the industry; conveying changes occurring or projected to occur; sharing what skills, education and employee traits, characteristics, attitudes are necessary; and what teachers can do to prepare their students for the future.

California STEP Offering Opportunity for California Small Businesses to Sell Their Products Directly to Chinese Consumers

California STEP, in collaboration with JD.Com, is offering a unique opportunity for small California-based consumer products companies to sell directly to Chinese consumers. JD.Com—which is China’s largest retailer and the 3rd largest internet company in the world by revenue—and the California STEP program are working to identify, screen, and support California small businesses to gain a foothold in the world’s largest e-retail market.

California companies that meet the small business eligibility requirements will have the opportunity to submit their products for PRIORITY consideration by JD.Com through the California STEP registration. The California STEP program will pay for the first product listing (a $1,000 registration fee) for the companies selected. California STEP will also provide ongoing support for selected companies through an e-retail dedicated blog and helpline. Companies selected will become a part of the JD U.S. Select Store incubator program which will include an online store at JD.Com with access to over 236 million active users in China, free marketing resources on JD’s platform, daily maintenance of your online store and transactions, as well as integrated export consignment shipping and customs service.

Product categories which are being recruited for the JD.Com include:

  • Health and beauty (cosmetics, hair care, nail care, skin care), vitamins and other health supplements
  • Healthy food products (non-perishable)
  • Pet products
  • Baby products
  • Other “California Lifestyle” products – this is a broader category that includes products that have an association with California (including but not limited to fashion, household goods, sporting goods, surf, entertainment, environmentally conscious, etc.)

For additional information about this opportunity and to apply, click here.

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Small Businesses Learn About Export Sales Techniques and Port/Airport Services at Last Session of Export University

The San Diego CITD, in collaboration with the Port of Los AngelesPort of San DiegoU.S. Small Business Administration San Diego District OfficeU.S. Commercial ServiceSan Diego & Imperial District Export Council, and the World Trade Center San Diego, hosted the 6th  and final workshop in a series of workshops called, Export University, geared toward helping small and medium-sized companies optimize their export potential and grow globally. This session of the series, titled “Export Sales Techniques/Port & Airport Services” was held on August 16th at the Mission Valley Campus of Point Loma Nazarene University and provided participants with information on how to work with foreign distributors and the various services available to exporters through regional sea and air ports.

After brief welcome remarks by San Diego CITD Director, Victor Castillo, and Cynthia Harris, Economic Development Specialist with the San Diego District Office of the SBA, the workshop began with a presentation by Jim MacLellan, Director of Trade Development for the Port of Los Angeles, who provided a detailed overview of an export sales agreement and considerations when determining export pricing. Mr. MacLellan also talked about the market trends he sees as Director of Trade Development for the Port of Los Angeles, including top markets for goods passing through the L.A. Customs District. Miguel Reyes, Manager of Maritime Trade Development for the Port of San Diego, followed up with an overview of the Port’s maritime operations, including a planned modernization of a portion of the Port’s facilities to expand its capabilities. When products need to get to foreign customers faster than ocean freight, exporters can choose to transport their cargo via air freight. To that end, Eric Podnieks, Program Manager with the San Diego Regional Airport Authority, talked about how the Airport works with air carriers, such as UPS and FEDEX, to facilitate air export services.

During each of the sessions of the Export University series, participants were provided with an export business plan template and offered assistance with developing their plan as well as an opportunity to present it during the last session.  KG Golly of Bokosso Export, who participated in most of the Export University sessions, volunteered to present his export business plan—which entails exporting vehicles and vehicle parts to Africa—to his fellow workshop participants and the invited speakers, who provided constructive feedback.

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World Trade Center San Diego Presents 2017 MetroConnect Cohort

The World Trade Center (WTC) San Diego introduced the 15 local companies that were selected to participate in the MetroConnect Program for 2017 at an event held at the University Club in Downtown San Diego. The MetroConnect Program, sponsored by JPMorgan Chase, is a support program developed to help local companies accelerate their international growth. The event also featured an expo of global service providers, including the San Diego CITD, which had the opportunity to promote its programs and services designed to help small businesses grow globally.

(Photo Courtesy of World Trade Center San Diego)

World Trade Center San Diego Executive Director, Nikia Clarke, kicked off the event, after which San Diego Mayor, Kevin Faulconer, spoke about San Diego’s innovative businesses and the importance of connecting them to global markets. San Diego CITD client and MetroConnect 2016 Grand Prize winner, Jeff Silver, owner of Rough Draft Brewing then spoke about how the program has helped his company reach new markets before the 2017 cohort was announced.  The companies in this year’s cohort include: Coronado Brewing Company, CP Global Manufacturing, CureMatch, Del Mal Oceanographic, Dermala, Envision Solar International, FoxFury, Guru, Julian Hard Cider, Optimized Fuel Technologies, Performa Learning, Planck AeroSystems, Tioga Research, Tunnel Vision, and Urban Translations.

Each of the companies participating in the MetroConnect Program will receive $10,000 in funding to help with their exporting efforts. These funds can be used for a variety for global services including travel (to and from target markets), participation in trade shows, establishment of a foreign subsidiary, foreign language translation of marketing materials and more. Additionally, participating companies will be able to compete for an additional $35,000 in funding during the MetroConnect Program Grand Prize Pitchfest, which will be held in May 2018.

CITD Participates in SBA Day & Lender Fair

The San Diego CITD participated in the SBA San Diego District Office‘s SBA Day & Lender Fair on July 26th. The event, hosted in collaboration with the Vista Chamber of Commerce was held at the Vista Civic Center and featured presentations on topics including: What You Need to Know About the IRS for Your Small Business, Legal Aspects of Being in Business, Overview of the I-9 Form and Filing Procedures, All About Small Business Insurance, How Resource Partners May Help You Succeed in Your Business, and How Local Lenders May Help You Finance Your Business. San Diego CITD Director, Victor Castillo, presented an overview of CITD programs and services. In addition to the presentations by resource partners, the event featured Special Guest Speaker, Eric Reece Jones, SBA Deputy Chief of Staff who stressed the importance of the contributions small businesses make to the growth of our economy and pledged continued support from Washington, D.C. for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

After the presentations, participants had the opportunity to network with other small business owners, engage with lenders at the Lender Fair, and take advantage of one-on-one counseling with resource partners and technical assistance providers.

Export University Workshop Participants Learn How to Finance Their Export Transactions

The San Diego CITD, in collaboration with the Port of Los AngelesPort of San DiegoU.S. Small Business Administration San Diego District OfficeU.S. Commercial ServiceSan Diego & Imperial District Export Council, and the World Trade Center San Diego, hosted the 5th in a series of workshops called, Export University, geared toward helping small and medium-sized companies optimize their export potential and grow globally. This session of the series, titled “Export Trade Finance & Insurance” was held on July 19th at the Mission Valley Campus of Point Loma Nazarene University and provided participants with information on how to finance export transactions.

After brief welcome remarks by San Diego CITD Director, Victor Castillo, and Maria Hughes, Lead Lender Relations Specialist with the San Diego District Office of the SBA, the workshop began with a presentation by Martin Selander, International Trade Specialist with the SBA, who provided an overview of the trade-focused financing programs backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, including the SBA’s Export Express, Export Working Capital, and International Trade Loan programs. The SBA does not provide direct loans under these programs, instead, they provide loan guarantees for qualified borrowers which can make it easier to qualify for financing through banks and other lenders. Sandra Donzella, Deputy Managing Director for the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. (EXIM) – Western Region, followed up with an overview of export credit solutions available through EXIM Bank. Similar to the SBA, EXIM provides loan guarantees and also export credit insurance, which can help protect U.S. exporters from non-payment by their foreign customers. The workshop program concluded with a presentation by Debbie Gelbach, First Vice President with Banner Bank, who explained the various international payment options, potential risks associated with these options, and how exporters can determine the best payment option for their export transactions.

There is only one workshop left in the Export University series, which will cover:

During the last session in the series, participants will have the opportunity to discuss their export plan with a panel of trade professionals. Additionally, those who attend at least three of the sessions will be given a certificate of participation. For additional information on the Export University workshop series, go to