Though one would rightly assume SDMAC’s focus has been the April release of the 2010 San Diego Military Economic Impact Report, it would be incorrect to assume it is occupying most of the efforts of our Directors and members. The day-to-day activities of SDMAC’s committees continue to address issues affecting the military in San Diego, and San Diego with the military.
SDMAC’s Veteran Transition Support Issue/Focus Group is working to identify the qualifications of military members that obtain career occupation milestones and complete apprenticeship programs while on active duty. The goal is to have these significant achievements recognized as meeting civilian occupation and job site requirements for our service members as they begin their second careers after serving in uniform.
There are current and proposed ordinances, laws, and codes that mandate skilled, certified, technicians and journeymen tradesmen in order to meet job requirements or for companies to qualify to obtain contracts.
In the course of researching the issue, we discovered the military and Department of Labor have already established programs that more than meet or exceed the requirements of the civilian work world. Our tasking has now shifted to having these service and Department of Labor programs acknowledged by officials as meeting work site requirements.
A very busy group, as measured by the number of issues being tracked, is SDMAC’s Environmental & Energy Issue/Focus Group. The local military bases have dozens of green energy projects recently completed, in process, in planning, or under study ranging from solar, wind, thermal, or refuse generated gas for power generation. There are Environmental Impact Statements or reviews underway for increasing training range use, building new facilities, or introducing new aircraft or ships. As southern California pushes tighter and tighter up against the bases, there’s increasing demand for use of land on these national defense resources which restrict the purpose of the bases. SDMAC will keep close tabs on this issue and help work to prevent this.
Finally, the public roll-out of the 2010 Military Economic Impact Report has been a resounding success. The public release of the report at the USS Midway Museum was covered by radio, TV, and newspapers. We conducted TV interviews for news stories and special broadcasts. The report’s results were front page headlines on all local and trade newspapers, highlighting a positive economic component of an otherwise negative local economy. The data and summations continue to be used as background information for news articles about other economic indicators. The $26.5 billion of economic impact on San Diego in FY 2008, which has grown in FY 2009 and FY 2010, is a number not to be overlooked and is responsible for 23 percent of the workforce in San Diego. My charge to you is to ensure this information is shared so the citizens of San Diego understand the contribution to our livelihood and our communicates provided by the presence of the military in San Diego.