About  Propel  San Diego

Propel San Diego is a grant funded program from the Department of Defense's Office of Economic Adjustment. This grant was first awarded to the City of San Diego in 2016 to develop a more robust and resilient defense ecosystem

Through the collaboration of six key partner organizations, custom programs are being designed to assist businesses who sell products and services to DoD in order to develop a resilient defense supply chain that can stabilize despite changing budget, regional economic, and DoD readiness priorities. Support programs include access to services and expertise in marketing, ITAR compliance, export assistance, lean supply chain.


Propel San Diego's purpose is to develop a more resilient defense eco-system in San Diego. Whether it is connecting you to industry peers or finding the right talent or necessary capital to grow your business, Propel San Diego leverages its network of partners to help companies grow in the San Diego region. We will serve as your advocate with local government agencies and facilitate introductions to industry trade associations and other private organizations throughout our region.

Learn More About Propel San Diego

Propel San Diego has featured programs developed by our partners. Please stay in touch with Propel San Diego to know what is coming up next, or where we will be at industry events. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates, news and event opportunities.

 Learning Labs

Propel San Diego will soon be hosting a series of Learning Labs. The purpose of these Learning Labs is to facilitate the advancement of cyber resilient companies in the San Diego region. Attendance to these professionally led sessions will be granted through a competitive application process. Click the button below.

 Propel San Diego Stakeholder Forum

In April 2019 Propel San Diego facilitated its second Stakehodler forum. The purpose of this forum was to engage with defense industry stakeholder to hear what we can do to provide assitance here in San Diego. The pannel discussion was facilitaed by RADM Ken Slaght USN (Ret) and included represenattives from Booz Allen, B.A.E. Systems, FBI San Diego Office, San Diego Workforce Partniership. What this video to review the information coverd at out Stakeholder Forum.

For more information please sign up for our email list and visit the calendar for events. 

$26 Billion

An estimated total of $26 billion in direct spending related to defense flowed into San Diego County during FY 2018.



The military sector was responsible for nearly 340,000 of the region’s total jobs in FY 2018 after accounting for all of the ripple effects of defense spending.


$ 50 Billion

Defense-related activities and spending generated approximately $50 billion of gross regional product (GRP) for San Diego County in FY 2018. This represented 22% of the region’s total GRP.

MEIS 2018

+ 4 %

Total spending funded by the DOD, Coast Guard, and VA is expected to advance by close to 4% in FY2019, adding to the similar advance estimated for FY 2018.

MEIS 2018

$122 Million

Grants from the DOD, DHS for the Coast Guard, and VA represent another funding channel for San Diego firms, with the total estimated at about $122 million for FY 2018.

MEIS 2018

# 2

San Diego received the second most defense procurement dollars in 2017, right behind Fairfax, VA.

Mapping San Diego's Defense Eco System December 2017 Study by: San Diego Regional EDC

Business Resources

The Connectory

Created and managed by East County Economic Development Council (ECEDC), The Connectory is an award-winning asset platform. This proven resource is being revamped by Propel San Diego, a grant initiative from the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) designed to provide strategic and sustainable assistance to firms in San Diego who sell products and services to DoD. With this remodel, the Connectory will be more efficient, user-friendly, and expansive.

Research Survey

San Diego Regional Economic Development Council (SDEDC) has contracted BW Research Partnership, an independent research firm,  to complete an employer survey of local companies doing work for the Department of Defense (DoD) in order to better understand the needs and opportunities of regional businesses. Data collected from this survey is being used to provide a range of complimentary resources to San Diego County’s businesses.

Data Visualization Tool

This free, publicly accessible tool allows users to see defense spending trends and contract awards by individual companies in San Diego County. Gain better insights into opportunities for partners and contracts. Propel San Diego is currenlty partnered with EMSI Economic Modeling to collect and maintain the data on this tool. 

Aerospace & Aviation Forum

Commissioned by South County Economic Development Council (SCEDC), the Aerospace & Aviation Forum featured top experts from Qualcomm, General Atomics, UTC Aerospace, and more to discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with the aerospace business in San Diego County. Topics included drones, enhanced capabilities, ISR, and enabling environment.

Maritime Panel

Conducted by South County Economic Development Council (SCEDC), leaders in the Maritime Industry shared about mapping the ocean floor, newest ship building efforts, cutting edge cargo delivery, needs of this fast growing industry and becoming a maritime friendly community. Panelists included executive's from BAE Systems, YYK, Pasha, Marine Group Boat Works and Orca Maritime. 

Business Incentive Matrix

The Business Incentive Matrix outlines the major incentives SCEDC compiled while surveying cities, utilities and government entities throughout San Diego County, and is intended to assist companies with expanding and hiring in the San Diego region. It includes fee reductions, rebates, financing opportunities, expedited processing, employer training reimbursements and assistance. 


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News | Recent Updates

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Navy Gold Coast 2019

Navy Gold Coast 2019

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SDMAC Breakfasts

SDMAC Breakfasts

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Unmanned Systems Workforce Report

Unmanned Systems Workforce Report

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Propel San Diego Partners

The City of San Diego with the support of the County of San Diego and three Economic Development Corporations/Councils (San Diego Regional, East, and South) are core members of the Regional Leadership Group as is the San Diego Military Advisory Council and the San Diego Workforce Partnership. Partners are working together to assist in the collaborative development of an enhanced local knowledge base for the defense sector and programs aimed at boosting defense supply chain resiliency. In addition to the Regional Leadership Group, an Advisory Group comprised of local corporate industry leaders will ensure that San Diego’s varied and broad defense stakeholder community become integral collaborators in the Propel San Diego OEA grant.

Logo of City of San Diego Economic Development Department

City of San Diego Economic Development Department

The City of San Diego's Economic Development Department not only assists individual businesses but also helps strengthen business organizations and improve business districts throughout San Diego. The City leverages public incentives and assistance to promote community revitalization, attract new businesses and encourage investment in local businesses. There are several programs specifically designed to help improve San Diego's small business communities.

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Logo of San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation

San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation

San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation's (SDREDC) mission is to maximize the region’s economic prosperity and global competitiveness. As an independently funded non-profit organization, SDREDC promotes the region, facilitates corporate expansion across diverse industry sectors and supports the talent pool that drives their success. Initiative highlights include World Trade Center San Diego, Global Identity, Operation San Diego, Workforce and Talent Retention, and Company Support.

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Logo of The South County Economic Development Council

The South County Economic Development Council

The South County Economic Development Council (SCEDC), a non-profit organization, was formed in 1989 by a group of South San Diego County business and community leaders, to promote education and encourage economic development in the South San Diego Region. SCEDC works with businesses to provide tools and resources that encourage success. SCEDC offers site search assistance, loan programs, access to tax incentives, workforce development, links to job training, workshops and educational forums. SCEDC assists businesses with expansion, retention and relocation.

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Logo of East County Economic Development Council

East County Economic Development Council

The East County Economic Development Council has effectively promoted the importance of a healthy, vital economic climate and quality of life in San Diego’s East County since 1984. We specialize in bridging the gap between the community, businesses and the government. Our main focus is establishing a fluid skilled workforce pipeline by serving as the advanced manufacturing sector liaison between the industry and education sectors here in East County. Through projects and grants we leverage funds to ease potential workers into tailored training programs and therefore provide a skilled workforce for manufacturers in the local area, as well as maintain the essential bridge between the education and industry sectors.

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Logo of San Diego Workforce Partnership

San Diego Workforce Partnership

The San Diego Workforce Partnership funds job training programs that empower job seekers to meet the current and future workforce needs of employers in San Diego County. SDWP is the local Workforce Development Board, designated by the City and County of San Diego. Together with community partners, SDWP provides targeted employment services designed to help eligible adult job seekers identify, or regain, a career that will promote their success. Additionally, SDWP’s network of six America’s Job Center of California sites provide employment services, including career assessment, job training and job search assistance for San Diego residents whether unemployed or employed. Housed within the AJCC locations is a Business Services team comprised of professionals who work directly with employers to meet their specific staffing needs at no cost.

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Logo of San Diego Military Advisory Council

San Diego Military Advisory Council

San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC) was founded in 2004 as a 501 (c) 6 non-profit organization with a mission to support and promote the mutual business and other interests of the military, their quality of life, and the defense community in the San Diego area. Since then, SDMAC has become increasingly prominent in advancing the partnership and communication between the military, elected and appointed officials, and the business community while simultaneously working to enhance recognition of the military's many economic and social contributions to the San Diego area.

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Think Tank Results

The City of San Diego contracted Future iQ to design and deliver a future orientated ‘Think-Tank’ workshop as part of the requirements of the Department of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment grant. Future iQ’s Scenario Planning process provides a method to explore plausible futures and consider the implications of various future scenarios. This workshop aimed to:

  • Deepen the understanding and examination of how external events and local conditions could shape decision-making.
  • Identify and understand the key influences, trends, and dynamics that will shape the defense sector in the San Diego over the next 10 to 20 years.
  • Create and describe four plausible long-term scenarios for the Region.
  • Assist in identifying key actions for the City of San Diego and the regional stakeholders and assist in identifying how various groups might best contribute to future developments.
  • Begin exploring alignment around a shared future vision for economic development and provide a framework to discuss future possible outcomes and implications.
  • Assist in identifying key actions for the City of San Diego and the regional stakeholders and assist in identifying how various groups might best contribute to future developments.

** This project is funded in whole or in part with Community Economic Adjustment Assistance for Reductions in Defense Industry Employment funds, provided by the U.S. Department of Defense's Office of Economic Adjustment to the City of San Diego.


Future iQ is a management consulting firm specializing in helping organizations and regions plan for the future. Our unique processes and specialized methodology allow our clients to connect emerging macro trends with local concerns in order to make the important strategic shifts.

Points of Contact

Meredith Dibden-Brown
Business Development Manager
The City of San Diego

Rachel Maltz
Coordinator Eco Dev
San Diego Regional EDC

Nathan Loveland
Program Manager
San Diego Military Advisory Council

Cindy Gompper-Graves
President & CEO
South County EDC

Jo Marie Diamond
President & CEO
East County EDC

Sarah Burns
Research Manager
San Diego Workforce Partnership