Collage of pictures from the 4th Industrial Meeting DIMBC

CITD Organizes California Pavilion at the 4th Industrial Meeting DIMBC in Baja California

The San Diego CITD organized a California Pavilion of small and medium-sized manufacturers and service providers at the 4th Industrial Meeting DIMBC, which took place on August 22nd, 2018 in Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico. The event, which is organized by the Directorio de la Industria Maquiladora de Baja California (DIMBC), connects Baja manufacturers with suppliers from Mexico and the United States. More than 2,000 attendees and over 100 exhibitors participated in the event, which also included Business-to-Business Meetings, an Academic Program, Forum on upcoming industrial trends, an industrial expo, and tours of manufacturing facilities.
The California Pavilion at the expo included six Southern California companies recruited by the San Diego CITD to promote their products and services to the manufacturing sector in Baja California. The companies included: California Power Generation (CalPower)OpticalLockTPx CommunicationsTrim-Lock, and Import Export Logistics. The companies recruited for the event received free booth space and assistance with participating in the event, thanks to a grant provided to the San Diego CITD through the California State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), which is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
(Photo: Norman Arikawa, Assistant Director of Trade Development, Port of Los Angeles; Photo provided by the San Diego District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration)

CITD Promotes California STEP at North San Diego County Logistics for Exporting Workshop

The San Diego District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) organized a Logistics for Exporting workshop in North San Diego County, hosted by the North San Diego SBDC on August 8th. The workshop covered topics related to the selection and management of logistics services. Representatives from two local logistics companies, Allen Vigil, Director of International Business Development for Grupo Logistics, and Brenda Rensfield, Station Manager for SAE WorldTrans Logistics, presented on cross-border supply chain management and how to select a third-party logistics company. Connie LeFevre, Senior Maritime Trade Account Manager for the Port of San Diego and Norman Arikawa, Assistant Director of Trade Development for the Port of Los Angeles, discussed services available through the ports to help businesses export.
Participants in the workshop also learned about technical assistance and resources available to help small businesses grow. Cynthia Harris, SBA District International Trade Officer with the San Diego District Office of the SBA, provided an overview of the SBA’s programs and services, and Sudershan Shaunak, Director of the North San Diego SBDC discussed the technical assistance available at no or low-cost to small businesses through the SBDC. San Diego CITD Director and Deputy Sector Navigator for Global Trade, Victor Castillo, also participated in the workshop and presented on how the San Diego CITD can help businesses export and the benefits of the California STEP program.

CITD Hosts Workshop on How to Find and Manage Distributors Globally

Finding the right foreign buyers for a business’ products and services can be challenging, yet vital to the success of exporting efforts. To help businesses overcome this challenge, the San Diego CITD hosted a workshop on how to find and manage foreign buyers and distributors. The workshop provided participants with information on tools and resources for finding qualified foreign buyers. San Diego CITD Director, Victor Castillo, welcomed the group and introduced the speaker, Carrie Brooks, Senior International Trade Specialist with the U.S. Department of Commerce, who presented on how to use online resources to find and vet potential buyers and distributors globally. Additionally, Mrs. Brooks discussed how to stimulate sales from international distributors and resellers and how to avoid the most common mistakes companies make when selling abroad.

The “Finding and Managing Distributors Globally” workshop was part of the CITD’s Export University series of workshops, geared toward helping companies optimize their export potential and grow globally. Check the CITD calendar for date and more information on upcoming workshops in this series.

San Diego CITD and Southwestern College Host City of San Diego Small Business Advisory Board Meeting

The City of San Diego’s Small Business Advisory Board (SBAB) advises the Mayor and City Council on matters that enhance the capability of small businesses in San Diego to succeed. There are 11 board members, consisting of small business owners and business advocates, appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council. The SBAB typically meets on the third Friday of every month at the Downtown Central Library, however, the board recently took their meetings on the road for a three-part series aimed at sitting down with experts from San Diego’s thriving industries in different communities throughout San Diego.

On June 13th, the San Diego CITD and Southwestern College hosted an SBAB meeting which focused on discussing strategies for expanding businesses into international markets. Southwestern College Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Renee Kilmer, provided opening remarks and welcomed everyone to the college’s Higher Education Center in Otay Mesa prior to the start of the meeting. The meeting featured a panel discussion with business owners engaged in international trade, as well as representatives from organizations that provide trade assistance. The guest speakers on the panel included Carrie Brooks, Senior International Trade Specialist with the U.S. Commercial Service, Sylvia Casas-Jolliffe, President of CASAS International Brokerage, Victor Castillo, Director of the San Diego CITD, Drew Garrison, Manager at the World Trade Center San Diego, and Jeff Silver, President of Rough Draft Brewing Company. Each panel member had a few minutes to introduce themselves and their company or organization and then had an opportunity to answer questions from the Board about the importance of trade in the region and how to expand opportunities for small businesses to grow internationally.

The City of San Diego’s SBAB meetings are open to the public. Visit the SBAB website for additional information on the board and upcoming meetings.

Thank You to the San Diego CITD Interns

The San Diego CITD and Deputy Sector Navigator for Global Trade provides work-based learning opportunities through its internship program. The program is open to community college, university, and high school students and provides a way for them to learn about global trade, enhance their soft skills, and acquire work experience. Some students in the internship program also earn industry-recognized certifications in supply chain management through the CITD’s SCPro Fundamentals certification program, which is offered in collaboration with the Center for Supply Chain Education at Broward College and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP).
Over the last year, the CITD has hosted 14 interns from various colleges, universities, and high schools in the region, including: Zach Curtis, Daisy Ortiz, Hassan Hunt, and Chloe Seradj from High Tech High Chula Vista, Alexandra Lombard from e3 Civic High School, Julio Gonzalez, Aranzazu Santana, and Nylza Lujan from Southwestern College, Jesus Calderon, Jennifer Diaz Vazquez, Louise Haglund, and Guillermo Aguilar from SDSU, Roberto Tapia from UCSD, and Isai Castillo from CSU San Marcos. As part of their internship, the interns worked on a variety of database and market research projects for CITD clients, helped keep some of our program websites up to date, witnessed trade in action through company tours and the MEXPORT trade show, and participation in Export University workshops. Five of the interns also earned certifications through the SCPro Fundamentals certification program, some of whom were able to leverage the certifications into jobs with local employers after their internships.
Zach, Daisy, Hassan, Chloe, Alexandra, Julio, Aranzazu, Nylza, Jesus, Jennifer, Louise, Guillermo, Roberto, and Isai were of great help to the CITD and its clients. It was a pleasure to have hosted them and wish them success in all their future endeavors.

CITD Workshop Emphasizes Importance of INCOTERMS in International Transactions

As part of its Export University series, the San Diego CITD hosted a workshop titled, “Understanding INCOTERMS” on May 21st at Southwestern College’s Higher Education Center at National City. INCOTERMS are a series of commercial terms that define responsibilities and obligations of the parties involved in international sales contracts. In this session, participants learned how to interpret the 11 INCOTERMS and how to use them in international trade.

The workshop began with welcome remarks by San Diego CITD Director, Victor Castillo, who also provided an overview of the various programs and services available through the CITD to help businesses with expanding globally. Mr. Castillo then introduced Michael A. Baker, an attorney specializing in international trade and customs law, who presented on the workshop topic. During his presentation, Mr. Baker—who also teaches international business courses at UCLA—provided valuable information and examples on the importance of selecting the right INCOTERM. The goal of the workshop was to assist business owners with understanding the potential risks, legal issues, and impacts on payment that INCOTERMS can have on international transactions.

The Export University series of workshops is geared toward helping companies optimize their export potential and grow globally. The next workshop in the series, “Finding and Managing Distributors Globally“, will be held on June 20th, 2018 and will cover how to find qualified foreign buyers and get the most out of international distributors and resellers.


72 Hours in Quebec Delegation

Canadian-U.S. Business Council of Southern California to Lead Business Delegation to Canada

Join MAPLE – The Canadian-U.S. Business Council of Southern California, as they lead a cross-sector business delegation to Montréal and Québec City. With a population of over 8 million and a GDP of over $300 billion, Québec is a key Canadian region for Southern California businesses to explore for export, trade, and bilateral investment opportunities.

The delegation will include private briefings with economic development agencies representing Montréal and Québec City, the U.S. Department of Commerce, a briefing on how to do business in Québec with leading Canadian law firm, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, as well as meetings with some of Québec’s leading industry clusters and centers of innovation including aerospace/aviation, artificial intelligence, electric + smart vehicles, cleantech, nutraceuticals, optics/photonics and more.

Delegates will meet additional Montréal-area executives at an evening networking reception hosted by MAPLE promoting doing business with Southern California. MAPLE has negotiated special air and hotel discounts and the delegation fee may be eligible for a California STEP grant making this a cost-effective and turnkey opportunity to discover trading opportunities with a major Canadian market. For more information and to reserve your place on the delegation, please visit the MAPLE website at

The MAPLE delegation to Quebec is being rescheduled. For additional information, please visit the MAPLE website at

Professional Development Event Provides Local Educators With Insight On Career Opportunities For Their Students

The San Diego CITD, Deputy Sector Navigator for Global Trade (DSNGT), Deputy Sector Navigator for Advanced Manufacturing (DSNAM), CTE Regional Pathways Program, and San Diego County Office of Education organized a professional development event for local educators interested in better understanding advanced manufacturing and global trade in the region, and learning about career opportunities for their students in these growing industry sectors. Participants included teachers and workforce development professionals from Southwestern College, San Diego City College, South County Community School, Monte Vista High School, Helix Charter High School, Victoria Community School, Juvenile Court & Community School (JCCS), San Ysidro High School, San Diego High School of International Studies, Monte Vista High School, San Diego City College Centers for Applied Competitive Technologies, and San Diego County office of Education.

The event began with a morning meeting at Southwestern College’s Higher Education Center in National City during which DSNGT, Victor Castillo, and DSNAM, Ed Smith, provided welcoming remarks and an overview of their sectors before introducing CTE Regional Pathways Program Industry Connections Coordinator, Monica Rosas, who talked about work-based learning opportunities that educators can incorporate into their classroom teaching. San Diego CITD student interns, Alexandra Lombard from e3 Civic High School, and Julio Gonzalez from Southwestern College, also had an opportunity to introduce themselves and talk about their experience working at the CITD. The meeting then transitioned to a round robin activity with manufacturing engineers from local companies. During the round robin, the engineers—which included Steve DeMoss from Solar Turbines, Rod Karim from The Visual Pak Companies, Wendy Martinez Hadovski from Raytheon, and David Sulli from Cohu/Delta Design—rotated through the tables of educators and talked about their job duties, industry certifications that are desired, education needed, skills employers look for, and why they love their career, among other topics related to careers in their field.

Once the meeting concluded, the group departed for the MEXPORT trade show, which focuses on manufacturing and global trade in the Southern California/Baja California region. There the group had an opportunity to interact with representatives of manufacturers and companies engaged in trade from both sides of the border. Prior to arriving at MEXPORT, the educators were provided with a handout to use as a guide on how to get the best out of their participation in the trade show, including sample questions to ask exhibitors related to career opportunities in their sector and the education/training needed to be successful. After walking the trade show floor and interacting with exhibitors, the group left to take a tour of STERIS Applied Sterilization Technologies (AST), a leading provider of infection prevention and other procedural products and services. During the tour they learned about Steris’ facility in San Diego, where they offer Global Contract Sterilization Services to medical device, pharmaceutical, consumer, and industrial markets as well as the types of occupations in their sector and the education and skills needed to be successful.

Resources shared with participants throughout the day included: an overview of regional manufacturing and global trade labor market information, regional website with curriculum for global trade, events and work based learning activities, opportunities for high schools integrating careers across job sectors and regional event offerings for teachers and students.

San Diego CITD Participates in MEXPORT 2018 Trade Show

MEXPORT is the Southern California/Baja California region’s premier industrial trade show promoting sourcing opportunities with major manufacturing facilities in Baja California. Organized by the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce for the last 29 years, MEXPORT typically draws more than 180 exhibitors spanning everything from industrial equipment companies to freight forwarders and customs brokers from both sides of the border.

The trade show was kicked off with an inauguration ceremony and opening remarks from Alejandra Mier y Teran, Executive Director of the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce and additional special guests including San Diego County Supervisor, Greg Cox, Luis Carlos Alvarez of Smurfit Kappa North America, Marcela Celorio, Consul General of the Mexican Consulate in San Diego, and Jim Burritt, President of the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce.

(Pictured Left to Right: Victor Castillo, Gabriel Reyes, Desiree Dolores, Cyndi Harris, Ruben Garcia)

The San Diego CITD participated in the trade show with a booth to promote the programs and services offered by the CITD to help business expand globally, as well as educational and training programs available to students interested in careers in international trade. The CITD shared its booth with longtime n addition partners, the San Diego District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

California Centers for International Trade Development Named Regional Export Promotion Program Member of the Year by EXIM Bank

The California Centers for International Trade Development (CITD) are being recognized as EXIM Bank‘s Regional Export Promotion Program Member of the Year. The REPP brings state, county, and local nonprofit economic development entities together with EXIM Bank in a partnership designed to expand export opportunities. The CITD program is receiving this recognition as a result of its close collaboration with EXIM Bank in helping small businesses grow globally. EXIM Bank provides financing and insurance products that help companies seeking to increase their international sales and compete more effectively. The centers in the CITD network, which includes the San Diego CITD hosted by Southwestern College, regularly refer the small business clients they work with to EXIM for their export financing needs. Representatives from the CITD accepted the award at EXIM’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. on April 19-20.

Read the full press release about the award from EXIM Bank here.