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Defense spending leading to more San Diego jobs

Posted at 6:12 PM, Nov 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-01 22:35:34-04

SAN DIEGO - Billions of dollars are flowing into San Diego every year because of the region's large military presence, and about one in 5 jobs in the county tie back to the military.

Mike Haire just got a job with San Diego-based defense contractor Cubic, and he just moved his entire family from Jacksonville, Florida, to America's Finest City.

"It's a beautiful town," said Haire, who was recruited by Cubic to help with cyber security.

"It's an excellent career move," Haire added.

Many in San Diego are making similar moves. Haire is one of the more than 300,000 people in San Diego who hold a job that is a result of the military's large local presence.

A report released Tuesday by the San Diego Military Advisory Council says direct defense-related spending accounted for more than $23 billion last fiscal year -- a 2.6 percent annual increase. It projects the amount to hit nearly $24 billion this fiscal year, and it all means jobs now.

"We are usually always hiring," said Mike Collier, general manager of Cubic's ground live division. "Matter of fact, I'm hiring right now. We just hired a few engineers. We hire software engineers, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, program managers."

But those aren't the only opportunities. The report also says the defense industry brings in $150 million tourist dollars every year, leading to more jobs in hotels, restaurants and local hot spots.

Haire, a retired senior chief in the Navy, said he already feels at home in San Diego.

"I love the community's embracement of the military, and [I] want to serve my country after the fact of serving in the military," he said.