If you would like to see more jobs in the San Diego area, why not just envision it?
A vision plan, led by the San Diego Foundation, is being put together to map out our region's future, including a look at jobs in the next decades.
Rita Kreig still has a year left of graduate school, but she is already starting her job search in San Diego.
"Right now, I'm trying to do my research and be as proactive as possible because I know it's not going to be easy," said Kreig.
Robert Clark has been plenty active in his job search since he was laid off more than two years ago from a job with the city of Poway.
"I didn't know how to look for a job. I do now," said Clark.
Jobs remain elusive in a tight labor market, and in the years ahead, more job seekers are expected.
In the next four decades, San Diego County's population is projected to grow by 1.3 million people. An estimated 500,000 jobs will be needed to keep up with that growth, according to a group leading the Our Greater San Diego Vision project.
"I'm an optimist in our region," said Duane Roth, CEO of CONNECT.
CONNECT is a nonprofit that has helped create more than 3,000 businesses in the San Diego area and is part of the Vision project, which will help map out a plan for future jobs.
Roth said the keys are the so-called competitive economies -- military, tourism and innovation -- that compete successfully against other regions.
"We are fortunate we have three competitive economies; most people have one," said Roth.
According to Roth, creating one job in a competitive economy translates into two jobs for the local economy, from attorneys to contractors to nurses. Roth believes a competitive edge in those competitive economies could become critical.
On the military front, a drawdown is looming, but Roth believes investment in technology could actually grow jobs.
For tourism, he said fostering the convention business is essential.
On the innovation side, support is a key to the area's major research sector, including algae fuels and inventions like wireless medical monitoring.
The big question: Should a regional job plan look at all three industries, favor one or look for new industries?
"You have to have a plan or you're planning to fail," said Roth.
It is a plan, which will be heavily influenced by public input, for a vision about to come into focus.
Project leaders said if the public makes its voice heard, elected officials will pay attention.
For more information on how you can weigh in, visit ourgreatersandiegovision.org
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