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San Diego Nonprofit Works To Keep Laid-Off Qualcomm Employees Local

Evening Edition host Peggy Pico talks to Mark Cafferty and Ray Major about the future of Qualcomm's employees.

San Diego Nonprofit Works To Keep Laid-Off Qualcomm Employees Local


Mark Cafferty, president and CEO, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation

Ray Major, economist, San Diego Association of Governments


The San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation has partnered with Qualcomm to work on transitioning laid-off employees into other jobs in the San Diego region.

By mid-November, more than 1,300 Qualcomm employees will no longer be with the company, and the goal is have those employees absorbed either by other high tech employers in the area, or have them start their own companies.

The EDC's Mark Cafferty said keeping highly-trained personnel in the region is key to supporting and growing the innovation economy in San Diego.

Cafferty said the EDC is working with other local companies to find new jobs for the employees.

"(Companies) have all stepped forward right away to make sure that we make every effort to give them options in San Diego," Cafferty told KPBS Midday Edition on Monday.

Both Cafferty and Ray Major, economist for the San Diego Association of Governments, said the employees will be desirable to other high-tech companies.

"There is a dearth of software engineers," Major said. "Qualcomm engineers will be very highly sought after commodities."

American Specialty Health in Sorrento Valley has already started wooing former Qualcomm employees, by holding a series of job fair luncheons aimed at recruiting them.

Cafferty said Qualcomm's plan isn't unusual.

"There's several times in a business when they have to redirect their efforts," Cafferty said. "Qualcomm is in the most competitive sector in the world right now."

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