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North County Cities Seek Regional Identity

In the competitive world of economic development, the cities in San Diego’s North County have been vying with each other to attract new businesses that’ll create jobs.

Aired 9/9/13 on KPBS News.

The five cities that lie along the Highway 78 corridor in San Diego’s North County are banding together to develop a regional identity to help attract more jobs.

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The cities of Carlsbad, Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos and Escondido are investing in a venture to create a joint identity.

Now the cities of Carlsbad, Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos and Escondido are investing in a venture to create a joint identity.

The mayors of the five cities have been meeting since last year and are now embarking on a project to see if working together will yield economic dividends.

Speaking on cable channel KOCT, Oceanside City Manager Peter Weiss said a marketing consultant is working to develop an image to characterize the whole Highway 78 corridor.

“It’s a step towards a more regional approach towards how do we, as North County, collectively attract and retain businesses to the area.” Weiss said. “And there’s different types of industrial clusters within each of the cities.”

The consultant, North Star Destination Strategy, spent a day in each city recently, and collected input from several hundred stakeholders. The company is due to return within 6 weeks with initial suggestions of a way to brand the region.

Each of the five cities has contributed $20,000 to the $100,000 contract.

Kevin Ham, economic development director of Vista, said creating a common identity is only part of the deal. The company will also compile a list of 100 companies nationwide that match the profile of North County. The mayors are hopeful they can woo those companies to bring jobs to the region.

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