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Daily Business Report/Nov. 21, 2016

Daily Business Report/Nov. 21, 2016

Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node (TERN) program. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

Tests Scheduled for Northrop Grumman’s

Unmanned Air System Prototype


The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the U.S. Navy‘s Office of Naval Research aim to begin ground-based and at-sea flight tests of a Northrop Grumman-built prototype unmanned air system in 2018 as part of the Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node program.

DARPA said  its joint Tern project with ONR seeks to utilize forward-deployed small-deck ships such as destroyers and frigates as mobile launch and recovery sites for UAS.

Northrop was awarded an initial $93.1 million “other transaction” agreement in December 2015  to build a UAS demonstrator under the third phase of the Tern project and another $17.8 million OTA modification in June 2016  to develop a second demonstrator platform.

The program has completed the wing fabrication of UAS for small-deck ships as well as engine tests on a General Electric-made engine and software integration of simulation tools that will support rapid testing of aircraft control.

“We’re making substantial progress toward our scheduled flight tests, with much of the hardware already fabricated and software development and integration in full swing,” said Brad Tousley, director of DARPA’s tactical technology office.

DARPA and ONR plan to begin Tern integrated propulsion system testing in 2017, then proceed with ground-based testing and a series of at-sea flight tests in 2018.




San Diego Jobless Rate Rises

To 4.8 Percent in October

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) reported a slight increase in San Diego’s unemployment rate from 4.7 percent in September to 4.8 percent in October, remaining below the year-ago estimate of 5.1 percent.

“Seasonal hiring is enthusiastically kicking in and employers are anxious to hire,” says Phil Blair, president and CEO of Manpower Staffing/San Diego.  “People are jumping back into the job market and are confident there are opportunities for them. The interesting question is how the new administration will impact employment in the beginning of the year. Typically, the uncertainty keeps hiring flat through the first quarter.”

“Hiring trends reported for this month are consistent with previous years,” says Tina Ngo Bartel, director of business programs and research for the San Diego Workforce Partnership. “Between September and October, we typically see increases in Educational & Health Services and Government, while Leisure & Hospitality decreases. In previous years, this trend continues on until January.”

The 4.8 percent unemployment rate falls below the highest October unemployment rate (10.7 percent in 2010) but remains higher than the lowest October unemployment rate experienced in the region over the last 10 years (3.8 percent in 2006).

Between September and October:

Total nonfarm employment increased from 1,422,800 to 1,431,700, a gain of 8,900 jobs. Agricultural employment decreased by 300 jobs, or 3.3 percent.

  • The largest over-the-month increase was reported in government (up 6,700 jobs). Employment growth was bolstered in large part by seasonal gains in local government education (up 3,300 jobs), and state government education (up 3,100 jobs), as classes continued to resume following summer breaks.
  • Educational and health services added 2,400 jobs, led by advances in educational services (up 1,700 jobs).
  • Trade, transportation and utilities grew by 2,000 jobs. Retail trade added 2,500 jobs, with losses in transportation and warehousing being offset by most other sectors. Wholesale trade employment fell by 100 jobs.
  • Other industries reporting payroll employment growth included construction (up 1,900 jobs), financial activities (up 1,100 jobs), and other services (up 700 jobs).
  • Leisure and hospitality noted the largest overall employment decrease (down 5,300 jobs), as the summer tourist season came to a close.

Between October 2015 and October 2016:

Total nonfarm employment increased by 29,500 jobs, or 2.1 percent.

  • Agricultural employment declined by 400 jobs, or 4.3 percent.
  • Educational and health services recorded the largest year-over gain with the addition of 6,400 jobs. Healthcare and social assistance accounted for over 87 percent of the increase (up 5,600 jobs), while educational services contributed 800 jobs to the growth.
  • Government employment grew by 6,200 jobs, led by advances in local government (up 4,100 jobs).
  • Other sectors with over-the-year job gains included leisure and hospitality (up 5,300 jobs), professional and business services (up 5,000 jobs), construction (up 1,900 jobs), financial activities (up 1,800 jobs), trade, transportation and utilities (up 1,300 jobs), other services (up 1,300 jobs), and information (up 300 jobs).


The hacienda-style property is located across the street from the University of California San Diego.

The hacienda-style property is located across the street from the University of California San Diego.

Park West Companies Awarded Landscape

Contract for Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa

Park West Companies has been awarded the landscape management services for the AAA four-diamond Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa boutique resort in La Jolla.

The hacienda-style property is located across the street from the University of California San Diego. The property has 10 acres of gardens, courtyards, adobe fireplaces and winding pathways.

Park West installed the original landscaping for the resort along with maintenance. The project featured early use of a “water-smart” plant palette, which has become a standard in the industry. Estancia has now re-engaged Park West for comprehensive landscape management and maintenance services including garden plantings, irrigation, water management, color and tree care.

“We were very proud to have created an environmentally friendly and cost-effective plant selection that was quite innovative at the time,” said Dustin Kemmerer. “And it’s a real pleasure to be returning with the opportunity to apply the latest best practices for this beautiful property.”


San Diego Landscape Architects Chapter

Names Nathaniel Magnusson as President

The San Diego chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects has named Nathaniel Magnusson as its new president for 2016–2017.

Nathaniel Magnusson

Nathaniel Magnusson

Magnusson is a senior project manager with Schmidt Design Group Inc., where he is currently managing the Civita Park project which includes nearly 17 acres of parks and over 40 acres of open space.

His experience includes numerous public and private projects throughout Southern California such as the Lake Skinner Recreation Area, Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, Ariva Apartments, and the Maple Street Pedestrian Plaza in Escondido.

A graduate of Arizona State University with a bachelor of science in landscape architecture, Magnusson has over a decade of experience in landscape architecture.

He has been active in ASLA for the past six years, including serving as vice president on the Community Outreach Committee. In addition to being affiliated with ASLA, Magnusson is an active member of the American Public Works Association and the U.S. Green Building Council.

“Our focus for ASLA in 2017 will be to continue promoting our profession in the local community through outreach, events, and thought leadership,” said Magnusson. “We want to encourage San Diegans to get outside and enjoy our greatest assets — our parks and open-spaces. Not only do we have some of the best outdoor recreational areas in the country, but these places also provide our residents with a healthy lifestyle and connect them to their communities— something we can all take pride in.”


Rough Draft Brewing Awarded

MetroConnect Grand Prize for 2016

Rough Draft Brewing, a family-owned craft brewery that is taking its San Diego-made beer into the Canadian, Spanish and Chinese markets, has been awarded the MetroConnect Grand Prize of $35,000. Managed by WTC Sann Diego and presented by JPMorgan Chase, the grand prize is awarded to one of 15 companies to aid in its foreign market expansion.

With the network, funding and programmatic support provided by MetroConnect, Rough Draft has increased its sales, hired new talent and connected with the Port of San Diego and Dole to fill empty container ships on backhaul to Latin America.

According to the Brookings Institution, companies that are global pay their employees higher wages, are less likely to go out of business and spur more efficient development of technology and R&D.

The MetroConnect Program was announced to incentivize small and medium-sized enterprises to pursue these foreign markets. Now in its second year, MetroConnect has emerged as the region’s premier export assistance program.

Led by WTC San Diego, 15 companies are selected on an annual basis and equipped with a suite of programmatic and financial resources to help them in their plans to go global.


Cubic Awarded $40.3 Contract

Extension from New York Transit

Cubic Transportation Systems has received a $40.3 million contract extension from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority New York City Transit for software programming and maintenance support for the agency’s MetroCard Automated Fare Collection system on an as-needed basis until the system is decommissioned, which is expected to occlur in 2022.

Cubic designed and delivered the MetroCard system to the New York MTA in 2003.


Salk Institute Ranked No. 2 in World

For Life Sciences Collaborations

The Salk Institute ranks second in the world for high-quality, high-impact scientific collaborations in the life sciences, and in the top 50 for both overall collaboration and bilateral collaboration, according to a new report by Nature Research.

The data, publishing Nov. 16 as a supplement to Nature in a report called Nature Index 2016 Collaborations, use a series of metrics related to papers published between Jan. 1, 2012 and Dec. 31, 2015, to evaluate over 8,500 scientific institutions across the globe. The index, designed to be a tool for assessing research performance, charts which countries and institutions are the most efficient at producing high-quality results based on publications in top-tier journals.

“The strength of the Salk Institute’s collaborations in the life sciences is commendable. The institute placed second in the world in the table of top collaborators in that field,” said Richard Hughes, publishing director of Nature Research. “This performance follows a marked increase in the institute’s output of high-quality papers between 2012 and 2015, which saw it listed as one of Nature Index’s 25 ‘rising stars’ in North America this year.”

Salk was ranked second worldwide, behind only Harvard, in a list of the top 50 overall collaborators to the life sciences based on a ratio of collaborations to institution size. Salk also ranked number 47 on the list of the top 100 bilateral contributors, and number 50 on the list of top 100 overall collaborators worldwide.


Mission Hills-Hillcrest Public Library rendering

Mission Hills-Hillcrest Public Library rendering

Construction to Start on New

Mission Hills-Hillcrest Public Library

San Diego city officials and community members will kick off the construction phase of the new Mission Hills-Hillcrest Public Library at noon today at the corner of West Washington Street and Front Street.

The library will be known as the Mission Hills-Hillcrest Harley and Bessie Knox Branch Library.

Originally opened in 1961, the Mission Hills-Hillcrest library is being reconstructed to better serve the growing populations of the Uptown neighborhoods, which include Bankers Hill, Hillcrest, Middletown, Mission Hills, and University Heights. Speakers will provide specifics as to the project’s scope, schedule, and community benefits as well as unveil a new banner at the library site. The total project cost is estimated at $20 million with $10 million in private donations.


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We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

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