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Qualcomm’s Economic Footprint In San Diego Is Huge

— It is no surprise that Qualcomm is big in San Diego. Almost 12,000 people work for the region's ninth largest employer.

Aired 1/11/13 on KPBS News.

The numbers are in and the city of San Diego is facing a significant jump in its pension payment next year.

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A study by the San Diego Workforce Partnership and the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation found Qualcomm leaves a $4.5 billion economic footprint on the region.

The study also found the company is the driver of the local wireless and telecom industry. A third of all workers in San Diego's telecom industry cash a Qualcomm check.

While the company's economic footprint is big, most of its revenue comes from somewhere else.

"Qualcomm has two main lines of business;" said William Bold, Qualcomm's senior vice president of government affairs. "We develop chips that go into mobile devices, phones and tablets. And we also license technology to manufacturers. Most of our customers are outside the United States."

Qualcomm and the company's foundaton donated $85 million to San Diego County charities between 2000 and 2011.

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