Daily Business Report: Monday, Oct. 3, 2022 – San Diego Metropolitan


Newsom signs bills making family leave
affordable to more California workers

By Jeanne Kuang | CalMatters

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a family leave bill today that will enable lower-income workers to recoup up to 90 percent of their income when they take time off to care for a new child or a sick family member.

That will be a boost from the current program and will apply to those who make as much as $57, 000 a year.   The boost, outlined in  SB 951 , will begin in 2025, and higher earning Californians will pay for it through larger contributions from their paychecks.

“California created the first Paid Family Leave program in the nation 20 years ago, ” Newsom said in a  statement . “Today we’re taking an important step to ensure more low-wage workers, many of them women and people of color, can access the time off they’ve earned while still providing for their family. ”

Advocates for the legislation — a coalition of gender equity, child and maternal health and anti-poverty groups — say the program has fallen behind other states and California doesn’t provide enough to allow low-income workers to take the leave. Research shows paid family leave is linked to  improved maternal health   and kid development.  

Photo: Katie Duberg (left) and Jennifer Richard, chief of staff for state Sen. Maria Durazo (right), embrace in front of the state Capitol after hearing that Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a paid family members leave bill on the last day for the governor to act, Sept. 30, 2022. (Photo by Fred Greaves for CalMatters)

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Liberty National acquires Downtown San Diego
property for 37-story apartment, retail project

Residential developer Liberty Nationwide Corporation has completed the purchase of a 15, 000-square-foot site in Downtown  North park, and announced its plans to develop “SkyLine West. ”  The mixed-use tower at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Ash Street will offer luxury apartment homes as well as retail/restaurants.  

Liberty National purchased the property from Nellis Corporation, a private investment company with a portfolio of commercial real estate properties across the United States.   Liberty National has developed and owns a number of apartment communities throughout the Southwest region, and has several urban high-rises in development.  

The 37-story SkyLine West tower will be approximately 380 feet high.   It will feature over 250 luxury apartments in one-, two-, and three-bedroom designs, ranging from 550 square feet to 1, 600 square ft. Shared amenities will include a fitness center, swimming pool, spa, lounge, conference rooms, business center, library, pet grooming room, billiards, and more.   All homes will have energy-efficient appliances, private balconies, and high-end finishes.   The advancement will also feature sustainable components and be built using LEED standards.

The company anticipates submitting development plans to the  City of San Diego  by the summer of 2023, with construction commencement targeted with regard to summer of 2024.  

Pay for City of Hillcrest employees to jump
from $15 an hour to $16. 30 one hour next year

City of San Diego employees  who perform at least two hours of work in one or more calendar weeks of the year will receive a minimum wage increase from $15 to $16. 30 an hour or so beginning on New Year’s Day 2023. The change is in accordance with the city’s Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance, approved in 2016.  

Since 2019, the minimum wage in the city has gone up annually by an amount corresponding to the prior year’s increase, if any, in the cost of living. The Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Ordinance is applicable to all industries plus businesses and there are no exceptions. Tips and gratuities do not count toward payment of minimum wage.

Updated notices for employers to post in their workplaces are available on the City’s Minimum Wage Program  webpage . Employers are required to post these notices in a conspicuous place at any workplace or job site in the City of San Diego.  

California to speed graduation, offer
debt cancellation at community colleges

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation to boost graduation and transfer rates and offer debt cancellation at community colleges.   The bills will:

• Ensure that students attending California Community Colleges enroll directly into transfer-level math and English courses, if their program requires it or they are seeking to transfer.

• Expand supervised tutoring offered for foundational skills and transfer-level courses.

• Offer debt termination to encourage students to re-enroll and enroll at community colleges, building on budget appropriations.

“California is increasing resources, adding services, and advancing equity to boost graduation and transfer rates throughout our higher education systems, ” said Newsom. “Thanks to the Legislature’s leadership, we’re building on my administration’s efforts to ensure all of our students are well-equipped to succeed and prepared for California’s future. ”

City of North park grant report shows 62 
percent funding increase over fiscal 2021

The City of San Diego was awarded a total of 59 grants with a combined total value of $259. 5 million — A 62 percent increase over fiscal year 2021, according to the city’s 2022 citywide grants report.

The federal, state, regional and private grants fund a wide variety of city priorities plus activities such as projects to enhance water reliability, economic growth, emergency response preparedness, homeless services, road and bridge repair, and public safety.

Since the inaugural grant statement in 2019, the city has seen continued success inside securing grant funding to support and enhance essential city services and capital projects. For the fourth consecutive year, the total value of citywide grant applications submitted, and awards received, has increased year-over-year, along with FY 2022 showing the largest one-year increase to date.

Award seeks to boost diversity in craft beer industry

By Tim Grenda

SDSU Global Campus and the Coronado Brewing Company have again partnered on an award to support diversity, equity and inclusion in the craft brewing industry.  

The honor, first offered at San Diego State University in 2021, covers tuition for the

Professional Certificate in the Business of Craft Beer program each year for one student from a group that is historically underrepresented in the brewing business. The recipient also will be offered an internship with the brewing company. Gifts associated with $6, 562 per year will be awarded each December through 2025.

Applications for the 2022 award opened Sept. 1 . The award recipient is going to be announced in December.

Kassandra Fierro, taproom manager and cellar person for the Latinx-owned Atrevida Beer Company in Colorado Springs, Colorado, received the inaugural award.

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Governor signs affordable housing bill
for California local community colleges

Efforts to provide California community colleges employees with more affordable housing options recently got a boost when Gov. Gavin Newsom authorized into law Assembly Bill 1719, the Community College Faculty and Employee Housing Act of 2022.

Authored by Assemblymember Chris Ward (D-San Diego), AB 1719 makes community college districts eligible for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) to build affordable rental housing for employees.

According to SDCCD Chancellor Carlos O. Cortez, AB 1719 will benefit efforts to build more affordable employee housing across the Ca Community Colleges system, which employs approximately 92, 500 across 73 districts. “We’ve all witnessed skyrocketing housing costs which have priced many employees out of the market, ” Cortez said. “This is an important new tool for neighborhood college districts to do their part in addressing California’s affordable housing crisis. ”

The Jacobs Institute at USD appoints new executive director

The particular Jacobs Institute at the University of San Diego has appointed Perla Myers as executive director of the Jacobs Company for Innovation in Education.   The Jacobs Institute is a non-profit, university-based research center focused on advancing innovation and equity in K-20 education by engaging in pioneering research and evaluation, developing innovative curriculum and technologies, and supporting professional learning grounded in the learning sciences.

Myers is a professor of mathematics in the College associated with Arts and Sciences in the University of San Diego, where she has been on the faculty since 1999. Myers is usually passionate about achieving equity in education and diversifying the particular Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) fields. Some of her most recent initiatives include the STEAM Academy regarding middle and high school students, the STEAM Youth and Community Conference for all ages, plus Project Mathigami, which takes advantage of folding to explore mathematics.

Erkki Ruoslahti wins America’s
top biomedical study award
Erkki Ruoslahti

Distinguished Professor Emeritus Erkki Ruoslahti, M. D., has been announced as one of three winners from the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, the most prestigious American award for biomedical research, for his transformational research leading to the discovery of the cell adhesion receptors now known as integrins.

“Winning the Lasker Award is the dream of many American researchers working in biomedicine, ” says Ruoslahti. “I am honored to have been recognized by the particular Lasker Foundation for my work and thankful for Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute for supporting me throughout much of my scientific career. ”

Ruoslahti shares the award with Richard O. Hynes from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Timothy A. Springer from Boston Children’s Hospital plus Harvard Medical School, for his or her independent discovery of the integrins.

The award presentation is viewable at   laskerfoundation. org .

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National University awarded $6. 5 million to develop
teacher residency program in Chula Vista

National University’s Sanford College of Education has been awarded a $6. five million grant from the U. S. Department of Schooling to address teacher shortages in Chula Vista. Through its five-year project titled “Advancing Student Progress through an Innovative Residency Experience, ” Nationwide University will establish a teacher residency partnership that will prepare 100 residents to become multiple-subject or single-subject certified teachers in the high-need schools within Chula Vista Elementary School District, where teacher attrition remains high.

Over the next five years, National University’s Sanford College of Education and learning and the College of Letters and Sciences will collaborate with district and community partners to create an integrated, comprehensive system of teacher recruitment, preparation, and induction with two years of teacher mentoring to aid teacher development and retention. By the end of the grant, this program will have prepared 100 educators with diverse backgrounds to teach in Chula Vista.

MTS bumps up starting pay
of bus operators in order to $22. 71 per hour

Metropolitan Transit System is bumping up starting pay for bus drivers by more than $2 per hour — from $20. 21 to $22. 71. Tiered pay increases intended for existing bus operators also will be implemented to keep pace and provide incentive to stay long-term with the agency.

MTS will certainly continue offering a $5, 000 sign-on bonus to get newly hired bus operators and is actively recruiting for a wide range of jobs to support the system’s growth. This includes dozens of positions for Trolley providers, bus operators, electro-mechanics, station ambassadors, administrative positions, and more.  

The pay increases and bonuses are part of a larger strategy to hire and retain workers needed for critical frontline positions.  

“Like many businesses in the service sector, MTS is managing its way through a workforce shortage, ” said Sharon Cooney, MTS chief executive officer. “Bus operator is one of the most important jobs at MTS. These pay increases and sign-on bonuses serve as an incentive for those seeking a career path in transportation and help MTS continue operating a great system for our region. ”

Mayor, WTCSD strengthen EU economic ties

Mayor Todd Gloria and World Trade Center San Diego, an affiliate of SanDiego Regional EDC, led a trade delegation to the Netherlands to foster vital global business relationships plus promote San Diego’s key businesses. During the mission, the particular delegation cut the ribbon on Qualcomm’s new Amsterdam AI hub, toured ASML’s headquarters in Veldhoven, and supported small San Diego businesses in their pitches for Dutch investment.

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Illumina launches DNA
sequencers that map genomes for $200

Illumina has launched its next-generation NovaSeqx systems, which can sequence up to 20, 000 full human genomes each year in $200 per genome. Lowering the cost of sequencing gemomes, which usually initially took tens of millions of dollars and 13 years of analysis in 2003, enable faster, more precise data pertaining to diagnosing and treating cancer and rare diseases.

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Pacific Surliner service temporarily
suspended south of Irvine station

The  Los Angeles  –  San Diego  –  San Luis Obispo  (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency, which manages the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner service, has temporarily suspended service south of  Irvine  until further notice meant for emergency track repairs. Consultations with geologists, geotechnical engineers, and surveyors revealed that there may be a safety concern along a portion of track within the  San Clemente  area. The LOSSAN Agency made the decision to immediately stop support to ensure passenger and crew safety.

During the closure, the San Clemente Pier plus San Juan Capistrano stations will remain closed while the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), who owns that portion of the particular track, conducts emergency maintenance to stabilize the right-of-way.

County fire rating reaffirmed by    insurance office

The Independent Insurance Services Office (ISO), Verisk, has reaffirmed the strong rating of County Fire to respond to structure fires in its service region. County Fire and CAL FIRE now rank in the top 20 percent nationally in its capability to fight structure fires.

Verisk assesses the particular capabilities of fire agencies across the country.   After a comprehensive, months-long process, the company issued County Fire a Public Protection Classification, or ranking of 3/3x, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 representing an exemplary fire suppression program and 10 indicating the program does not meet minimum criteria.   Given the high fire danger, the vast service area and lack of accessible water sources, County Fire’s ability to maintain the 3/3x is a tremendous accomplishment.

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