Downtown Briefs: August 2018

Posted: August 3rd, 2018 | Opinion & News | No Comments

Youth learn high-value skills in construction trades

Students in the San Diego Gateway to College and Career (SDG2CC) program are working with contractors in electrical, carpentry and plumbing to learn valuable hands-on experience that leads to living wage jobs with the potential of earning $25 per hour. The San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE) SDG2CC program and the Southern California Youth Alliance partnered to provide paid internships that prepares students to enter and succeed in the construction industry.

The internship program provides valuable hands-on paid work experience using industry tools on an actual job site. Training allows students to explore a career in a specific area and because SDG2CC has resources to provide industry-related tools and gear, case management and job search, students have increased chances for continued advancement following the internship. Students also benefit from support and individual case management.

For more information, visit

Community college website aligns career education programs with region’s job openings

San Diego and Imperial Counties Community Colleges have launched a new website specific to Career Education programs offered at the region’s 10 community colleges. (offered in both English and Spanish) helps prospective students explore growing industry sectors with middle-skill job openings; choose the Career Education program and campus to prepare them for those jobs; and easily enroll in fall classes. Middle-skill jobs are those which require more education than high school and less than a four-year degree.

Today, there are more than 40,000 middle-skill job openings in San Diego and Imperial Counties, according to a July report from the San Diego-Imperial Center of Excellence for Labor Market Research. The study also found that middle-skill positions pay more than other hourly jobs. In San Diego County, the median hourly wage for all middle-skill jobs is $22.10, versus the median for all jobs which is $19.30. In Imperial County, the median hourly wage for all middle-skill jobs is $19.25, versus only $14.42 for all jobs.

The website highlights the region’s top nine fastest-growing industry sectors:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Advanced Transportation and Logistics
  • Global Trade
  • Energy, Construction and Utilities
  • Health
  • Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), and Digital Media
  • Life Sciences and Biotechnology
  • Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Agriculture, Water and Environmental Technologies also offers videos featuring student stories and an inside look into Career Education. Program faculty members are experienced professionals in their field and hands-on, work-based training is an integral part of the curriculum. At $46 per credit, these community college programs are the most affordable option in California.

Rady Children’s Hospital participating in UnitedHealthcare’s Medi-Cal care provider network

San Diego and UnitedHealthcare established a new network relationship, giving Californians enrolled in UnitedHealthcare Medi-Cal plans access to Rady Children’s Hospital, facilities and physicians in Southern California. Rady’s facilities, physicians and care providers share United HealthCare’s commitment to improving access to quality care, enhancing clinical outcomes, lowering the costs of care and creating an exceptional patient experience.

Courtesy Lochsa Engineering

“Rady Children’s Hospital – San Diego is an important community provider and offers California children and their families served by UnitedHealthcare greater choice and access to quality, cost-effective care,” said Kevin Kandalaft, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of California. “We are grateful for the collaborative relationships we share with care providers like Rady Children’s, who are committed to improving the quality and cost of care and the overall patient experience.”

UnitedHealthcare of California serves more than 3 million people enrolled in Medi-Cal, Medicare, and employer-sponsored and individual health plans with a network of 403 hospitals and approximately 100,000 physicians and other care providers statewide.

Tijuana artist Hugo Crosthwaite to paint 16 murals at Arts District Liberty Station

The NTC Foundation, which oversees the development and operation of 26 buildings at Arts District Liberty Station, recently selected six temporary art projects as part of a new rotating program titled Installations at the Station. Four projects have already been installed.

In August, Installations at the Station welcomes contemporary figurative artist Hugo Crosthwaite. An internationally recognized artist, Crosthwaite will create site-specific, outdoor murals to further transform the monochromatic, rigid former military base into a creative space that better reflects the growing arts and cultural destination. Crosthwaite will paint 16 improvisational murals related to the area, its Navy history, and circumstances he encounters each day while on-site from Aug. 3-17. Visitors are invited to watch and engage in conversation with the artist as he paints, experiencing the beauty of dialogue through muralism and draftsmanship.

For details, visit

San Diego opens third new fire station this year

Marking the eighth new or improved fire station to open since he took office, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer was joined by City Councilmember Lorie Zapf, interim Fire-Rescue Chief Kevin Ester and community leaders to officially open the new Fire Station No. 22 to better serve Point Loma and its surrounding communities.

“We’re building our better future when we make major investments to improve our public safety infrastructure,” Mayor Faulconer said. “We’ve replaced an aging 76-year-old facility with a brand-new, modernized fire station that will serve the community for decades to come. This year we’re making the largest infrastructure investment in city history to continue delivering projects like this to neighborhoods across the city.”

Originally built in 1942, Fire Station No. 22 is located at 1055 Catalina Blvd. on the western edge of Point Loma Community Park. The new 6,180-square-foot facility includes two vehicle bays with a redesigned driveway that will reduce traffic disruptions on Catalina Boulevard when the engines respond to emergency calls.

“This new fire station has been a long time coming and I couldn’t be more thrilled for the Point Loma community,” said Councilmember Zapf, who represents the Point Loma neighborhood. “Public safety is my top priority, and I know this new station will help improve emergency response times and protect our residents.”

The public artwork on the north face of the building was created by artist Roberto Delgado. The artwork, titled “Firefighters,” consists of a four-part mural installation covering the vertical columns on the building’s façade.

Since Mayor Faulconer took office, the city has opened new fire stations in four neighborhoods – City Heights, Little Italy, Mission Valley and Point Loma – and renovated four others that serve the communities of La Jolla, Mira Mesa, North Park and Southcrest. A ninth station in Hillcrest is scheduled to open later this year.

Celebrate Downtown at the 7th annual U.S. Sand Sculpting Competition

The U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge and Dimensional Art Exposition will bring over 300 tons of sand as well as master sculptors from the world over to Broadway Pier this Labor Day weekend. Artists will spend four days sculpting and showcasing some wildly impressive sand art, and they invite residents of all ages to come and see.

“Celebrate” will be this year’s theme and artists will be required to interpret and incorporate it into their creations. New this year, a section of sculptures will be decoratively lit from top to bottom inside the port pavilion. In addition to the competition, there will be an art exposition featuring venders and artists selling one of a kind pieces right along the waterfront. Also returning this year is the event’s team sculpting competition: The I.B. Challenge. This newly named contest will have three teams, each comprised of four master sculptors, face off in a two-day carving challenge.

“This totally unique event, one of just a few that are held each year in leading venues around the globe, features more than sand” says event producer and Downtown resident Gordon Summer. He continued,

“We invite everyone to come on down to the Big Bay between Aug. 31 and Sept. 3. For the first time, you can stick around to see the sculptures at night. We promise you will be amazed!”

Artists from all over the globe will be competing for over $60,000 in prize money as well as national recognition. Attendees will be able to vote for their favorite sculpture from their phone to determine the people’s choice award. The event will also feature live music, local food trucks, sand sculpture building with professional artists, as well as a kid zone with rides and free arts and crafts.

The competition runs Friday, Aug. 31 through Monday, Sept. 3. Daily admission is $15 at the gate or free for military and first responders. For tickets and more information, visit

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