CNBC Covers Port Dispute’s Effect on Small Businesses with Input from the CITD

The labor dispute between shipping companies and dockworkers at some of the country’s busiest ports on the west coast over the last few months created a backlog of cargo, trapping imports and exports at the docks and causing pain for many businesses. Companies like Honda North America have reported cutting production at several of their factories due to the slowdown, however, it’s not only the large companies that have been affected. CNBC reporter, Kate Rogers, interviewed Statewide Centers for International Trade Development Director and Sector Navigator for Global Trade & Logistics, Jeff Williamson, for insight into the impact the port slowdown has had on small businesses througout California. The information provided by Mr. Williamson, along with an interview with CITD client, West Coast Wine Group, was the basis for a report that aired on both CNBC and the PBS’s Nightly Business Report. You can see the report in the video below.

The reporting also produced an article for the Nightly Business Report website that can be viewed at

Global Trade and Supplier Opportunities Highlighted at Inland Empire Manufacturers’s Summit

The Manufacturers’ Council of Inland Empire held its 4th Annual Manufacturers’ Summit on February 19th at the Riverside Convention Center. The event helps to promote manufacturing jobs and provides area manufacturers with relevant information on the most pressing issues facing their industry, including regulations, workforce development, resource efficiency, exporting, marketing and more.

Two of this year’s breakout sessions focused on opportunities for manufacturers to expand their business through global trade. The“Global Trade: Your Pathway to Expanding Business Growth”session included a panel discussion that provided insight about the benefits of exporting and the resources available to help businesses begin or expand their export activities. Representatives from the U.S. Department of Commerce, EXIM Bank, and CMTC Manufacturing Solutions provided information on what global markets to consider, options for financing export growth, tools to help manufacturers minimize risk and accelerate sales in the global marketplace.

The second panel, moderated by Roy Paulson of Paulson Manufacturing was titled “Baja California (Mexico) Industrial Sector: Supplier Opportunties & Near-Sourcing”, and included an overview of the supplier opportunities in Baja California, Mexico’s $11 billion manufacturing sector presented by Elizabeth Glynn, Export Advisor with CMTC and Allen Vigil, Director of Business Development for Grupo Logistics. Additionally, Nick Grooters from Super Glue discussed his company’s successful near-sourcing experience in Tijuana, Baja California. Resource experts for the Q&A portion of the session included Victor Castillo, Director & Deputy Sector Navigator,  Global Trade & Logistics Center for International Trade Development (CITD) at Southwestern College, and Miguel Ruiloba, VP – Sales & Marketing, XB Logistics.

More than 300 attendees participated in this year’s summit, which also included an exhibition area and an awards ceremony honoring the Inland Empire’s most innovative manufacturers.

CITD Bids Farewell to Long-time International Trade Specialist Gustavo Guerrero

For more than 15 years, Gustavo Guerrero has been the San Diego CITD’s principal International Trade Specialist, assisting small businesses by providing consulting and technical assistance in all areas of international business. Gustavo brought more than 20 years of multi-industry international experience both in the public and private sectors to the CITD. This experience helped him assist a countless number of local businesses navigate through the complexities of importing/exporting and expand their operations globally. Over the years, several of the CITD clients that Gustavo worked with even went on to garner recognition as Exporters of the Year by the San Diego office of the U.S. Small Business Administration and the San Diego World Trade Center.

Join us in bidding Gustavo a fond farewell as he embarks on a new adventure and challenging opportunity.

Local High School Teachers Get a Glimpse of Global Trade

More than 95% of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States. Over 11 million Americans are in jobs supported by exports. Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs provide more than half of all U.S. jobs. These statistics make it evident that trade and entrepreneurship play a critical role in the growth of our economy. As a way to help bring that point across to local educators, the San Diego CITD, Deputy Sector Navigator (DSN) for Global Trade & Logistics – San Diego and Imperial Region, and Grossmont College’s High School/CTE Partnership Program organized a tour of the Port of San Diego and a workshop to discuss how aspects of global trade and entrepreneurship can be taught to their students.

The event, attended by more than 24 participants, including 18 high school social science and business teachers from around the county, was held at Humphreys Half Moon Inn and Suites and began with welcome remarks by Jewyl Clarke, a teacher at Eastlake High School, who helped frame the goals for the day and get the educators thinking about ways to integrate trade and entrepreneurship into their current curriculum.  This was followed by an overview of the San Diego CITD, the role of the DSN as a workforce system integrator, and the CITD’s Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) by Victor Castillo, San Diego CITD Director/DSN for Global Trade and Logistics, and Gabriel Reyes, YEP Coordinator. Before the event participants boarded a bus to tour the Port of San Diego’s marine terminals, Marguerite Elicone, Marketing and Public Relations Representative with thePort of San Diego, provided an overview of the Port’s maritime business, which generates more than $7.6 billion in economic impact to the San Diego region, including 42,000 jobs.

The first stop on the tour was the 10th Avenue marine terminal where the Port’s Manager of Maritime Trade, Miguel Reyes, boarded the bus and provided an overview of the terminal’s operations, including the types and quantities of cargo that flow through the terminal each year. The next stop was the National City terminal, which is operated by Pasha Automotive Services and is the primary port of entry for one out of every eight cars imported into the United States. The tour of these facilities provided the teachers an opportunity to see trade-related activity first hand and gain a better understanding of the global marketplace.

After the tour, participants were shuttled back to Humphreys, where the event concluded with a presentation on Junior Achievement’s Company Program and a discussion on best practices for teaching students global trade and entrepreneurship concepts. Some of the recommendations that came out of this discussion included developing case studies, field trips, incorporating internships, and providing immersive learning experiences, such as student run businesses.

The CITD/DSN-GTL and Grossmont’s High School/CTE Partnership Program will take these recommendations and work with the Port of San Diego and local companies and organizations involved in trade to develop curriculum modules and other learning opportunties for high school students to increase awarness of a careers in this industry.

See additional photos from the event here.

San Diego CITD and Southwestern College Participate in Tijuana Innovadora Conference

The Tijuana Innovadora conference is a biennial international event that was created in 2010 to serve as a platform for promoting the City of Tijuana as an important hub of technology, science and culture. The event is held over 10 days and features panel discussions, workshops, exhibits, and competitions, among other activities. The focus of this installment of Tijuana Innovadora was the Mexican Diaspora, and panel discussions and other activities were centered around this topic.

The San Diego CITD and its host, Southwestern College, shared a booth in the conference’s North American Pavillion during the 10 days of the event. The Pavillion was open to the public and included exhibitors from innovative companies and organizations from throughout Canada, U.S., and Mexico.

In addition to exhibiting, Southwestern College was also represented in one of the conference’s panel discussions. Southwestern College Superintendent/President, Dr. Melinda Nish, participatedas a panelist in a discussion of the successes and challenges of implementing President Obama’s 100,000 Strong Educational Exchange Initiative. Other panelists in this discussion included Dr. Pradeep Khosla, UCSD Chancellor, Dr. Felipe Cuamea Velazquez, President of the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California (UABC), and Dr. Fernando Leon Garcia, President of Centro de Enseñanza Tecnica y Superior (CETYS), a university system in the Baja California region. The discussion was moderated by the U.S. Consul General in Tijuana, Andrew Erickson, and Mexcio Consul General in San Diego, Remedios Gomez Arnau.

Planning is already under way for Tijuana Innovadora 2016. During a panel discussion on Cities, the mayors of San Diego and Tijuana announced their plan to make the next Innovadora a cross-border event showcasing the binational region.

CTE Teachers Participate in Training on Global Trade and Entrepreneurship in San Diego

Thirty-five high school teachers from across the Inland Empire/Desert Region participated in an intensive two day training in San Diego related to global trade and entrepreneurship. The goal of the training, led by IE/Desert region Deputy Sector Navigators Lily Wong and James Johnson, was to provide the teachers with a better understanding of the global marketplace and how they can teach their students to cultivate and leverage entrepreneurial skills in order to compete for jobs and find success in the workplace.

The training included a series of presentations, group exercises, and activities related to global trade and entrepreneurship. Presenters during the two days included statewide Sector Navigator for Global Trade & Logistics, Jeff Williamson, and officials from the Port of San Diego.

One of the first activities the group participated in was a site visit to the 10th Street and National City Marine Terminals, which was organized by Victor Castillo, Deputy Sector Navigator for Global Trade & Logistics for San Diego & Imperial Counties and the CITD at Southwestern College, and allowed them to see trade-related activity first hand. The event was organized and hosted by the Regional Chair, Julie Pehkonen, and Riverside Community College District SB70 CTE Community Collaborative.

See additional pictures from the training here.