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, launched a series of workshops geared toward helping companies optimize their export potential and grow globally. The series, called Export University, will feature one three-hour workshop per month on important topics related to finding customers in foreign markets and successfully conducting export transactions. The first session of the series, titled “Is Exporting for Me?”, was held on March 15th at Southwestern College’s Higher Education Center in National City and provided an overview of the export process, potential benefits, costs, and risks, and resources available to help companies develop export markets.

After brief welcome remarks, the workshop began with an introduction to U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) programs and resources by Cynthia Harris, Economic Development Specialist with the San Diego District Office of the SBA. San Diego CITD Director, Victor Castillo, then presented on how companies can assess their export potential and develop an export plan. Jim MacLellan, Director of Trade Development for the Port of Los Angeles, gave an overview of top export markets for Southern California, strategic advantages of the region, and practical steps to reduce risk when exporting. The workshop concluded with a presentation by Philip Finiello, Foreign Service Commercial Officer with the U.S. Department of Commerce, on services and resources available through the U.S. Commercial Service to help U.S. companies access business opportunities around the world.

Additional workshops in the series will cover topics including:

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 www.sandiegocitd.org/exportu.