Efforts just launched to bring more jobs to San Diego.
And if they're successful, better paychecks could be coming too.
Jose Muratalla went from fixing roofs to manufacturing reverse osmosis water purifying systems
"I like to do this because I like to build things," he said.
And while roofs stay in place, the systems Jose builds for Vista based Applied Membranes are exported to 100 countries.
"They go around the world, India, a lot of places,” he said.
The latest shipment of reverse osmosis systems is getting sent off to China. If Applied Membranes can sell more of them across the globe, it could mean more jobs here in San Diego.
And those jobs come with bigger paychecks.
The Brookings Institution says companies that export, pay 17 percent better than those that only sell locally.
"These are more skilled jobs, you can see the type of products that we're making,” said Mike Faulkner, sales director of Applied Membranes.
Some companies will train people, but there are apprentice programs available through the community college district to help others get the needed skills.
Now, there are renewed efforts to try to get more San Diego companies to export.
The nonprofit World Trade Center San Diego just re-launched with new leadership after a revolving door of directors.
Its goal is to get San Diego companies to sell globally, so they'll hire locally.
"Where the World Trade Center is important is in just creating linkages, between firms, between governments, between markets, between resources, to link companies up to the resources they need in order to go abroad,” said Nikia Clarke, World Trade Center San Diego’s new director.
And if companies find customers abroad, workers like Jose Murtalla can reap the benefits at home.
"I feel really good, because we make big systems,” he said.
Big systems for a big world, filled with customers.