CITD and SBA Host How to Prepare for a Trade Show Workshop

The San Diego CITD, in conjunction with the San Diego District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration, hosted a workshop titled, “How to Prepare for a Trade Show”, at Southwestern College’s Higher Education Center in National City on February 16th. The workshop provided attendees with information on properly preparing and coming up with a plan for participating in a trade show that can help them get the most out of the show experience and capture the leads to grow their business. San Diego CITD Director, Victor Castillo, and Cynthia Harris, Economic Development Specialist for the SBA, welcomed the group of participants, after which San Diego CITD International Trade Specialist, Monica Rosas, and Mr. Castillo presented the workshop content, which included information on finding the most appropriate trade shows, logistics for getting products and materials to a show, best practices for exhibiting, services and resources to get the most out of trade show participation, and an overview of the industrial trade show, Mexicali Supply Expo, which the CITD participates in and assists clients with every year.

CITD/DSN Kick Off APICS Certification Courses

The San Diego CITD and Deputy Sector Navigator for Global Trade and Logistics (DSNGTL) kicked off the first in a series of courses designed to prepare supply chain management professionals for the APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) certification exams. The first course, “Basics of Supply Chain Management” began on February 15th and will be taught over the course of 10 weeks, with students meeting in the evenings once per week for a 3-hour class session at Southwestern College’s Higher Education Center at Otay Mesa.

Prior to the start of the class, CITD Director and DSNGTL, Victor Castillo, made brief welcome remarks before introducing the course instructor, Ceci Anderson, a long-time supply chain management professional and certified APICS instructor. The students taking the course hold a variety of logistics and supply chain-related positions at companies including General Dynamics NASSCO, TDK-LAMDA Americas, Teledyne, Sequenom, ATC Logistics, Hologic, and Pacific World Corporation.

The CPIM program empowers professionals with the ability to understand and evaluate production and inventory activities within a company’s global operations. To earn the CPIM designation, a professional must pass a series of five exams to demonstrate mastery of essential terminology, concepts, and strategies related to production and inventory management. The San Diego CITD and DSNGTL, in collaboration with the San Diego Chapter of APICS, will be offering courses designed to prepare professionals for each of the certification exams. According to a survey conducted by APICS, professionals with the CPIM designation see significantly improved hiring potential and an average 14% salary increase.

Additional information on the CPIM certification and the preparation courses can be found at

CITD Hosts International Delegation of Entrepreneurs and Emerging Leaders

An international delegation of entrepreneurs and leaders from 18 different countries was in town this week as part of a professional development program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State called the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). The goal of the IVLP is to strengthen U.S. engagement with countries around the world and cultivate lasting relationships by connecting current and emerging foreign leaders with their American counterparts through short-term visits to the United States. The Department of State’s local partner, the San Diego Diplomacy Council, arranges professional, educational, and cultural exchanges for incoming delegations based on their areas of interest. This delegation—which included entrepreneurs and professionals from Bahrain, Bulgaria, Chile, Cote d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Hungary, India, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Moldova, Mongolia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Tunisia, and West Bank and Gaza—was particularly interested in learning about how entrepreneurship and small businesses are nurtured and supported in the U.S., as well as the role of the CITDs and how they are linked to community colleges.

During the meeting, which took place at Southwestern College’s Higher Education Center in National City, the San Diego CITD team delivered presentations tailored to the interests of the group and objectives for the visit. CITD Director and DSN for Global Trade and Logistics, Victor Castillo discussed the impact of small businesses on the U.S. economy as well as the programs available to help support their growth. Additionally, Mr. Castillo discussed the Economic and Workforce Development initiatives of the California Community College system and efforts to address skills gaps in priority and emerging industry sectors. CITD Business Advisor and Program Coordinator, Gabriel Reyes, presented on how the U.S. nurtures entrepreneurship through various policies and programs at the federal, state, and local levels, as well how the San Diego CITD developed an online model for self-employment training through its Youth Entrepreneurship Program. San Diego CITD International Trade Specialist, Monica Rosas, provided an overview of the CITD and how it supports small business exporters.

Throughout the meeting, the delegates were engaged and asked excellent questions about the programs being presented. The group will be visiting other economic development organizations, business associations, and local businesses in San Diego, as well as travel to Denver, Colorado and Detroit, Michigan during their trip.



Opportunity for California Companies to Test Market Their Products in Hong Kong

California STEP, in cooperation with the U.S. Commercial Service and the Yue Hwa Chinese Products Emporium Ltd. department store in Hong Kong is providing an opportunity for U.S. companies to submit their products for evaluation and potential inclusion in an “in-store” retail promotion in Hong Kong in May 2017.
“California Corner” is both a retail promotion and a test-market program for introducing California brands into the Hong Kong and South China marketplace.
About Yue Hwa
Established in 1959, Yue Hwa is a household name in Hong Kong and among overseas Chinese in SE Asia for Chinese products. It now sells imported skincare, personal care and cosmetics from Europe, Japan and also dietary supplements, organic and “green” products, senior care products, sports wear and some household items and is looking to expand the number of these products that are made in the U.S. Yue Hwa has 15 retail locations in Hong Kong, and 4 branches in Singapore.  The California Corner promotion will be held at Yue Hwa’s flagship 7 story retail store on Nathan Rd., Kowloon at the Jordan MTR exit.
Details About the Opportunity
Target Market
  • Baby Boomers-Gen X/professionals, health-conscious (35-65 yrs)
The product categories include:
  • Health and Beauty Products
  • Vitamins and food supplements
  • Organic food (ready to eat, non-refrigerated)
“California Corner” is an integrated Point-of-Purchase and promotional campaign that will include:
  • Premium Shelf Placement in a custom designed “California Corner” retail display in a high density shopping district for up to 30 days.
  • A public relations launch for “California Corner”
  • A digital marketing platform to leverage and create awareness about your brand
  • The promotion is schedule for May 2017
To be considered for the promotion, you must register by January 31, 2017. Companies can register up to 5 products for consideration.
Additional information about this promotion opportunity is available here.

Applications Now Open for the U.S. Maritime Technology Export Initiative

The Maritime Alliance (TMA) has partnered with the International Trade Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, to organize and partially fund an initiative to increase exports from small maritime technology companies (typically $2MM revenue and 20 people or below with limited trade show experience) from throughout the United States.  With partial funding through the Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP), this three-year export initiative will focus on markets primarily in Europe and Latin America, with a secondary focus in Asia.  There will be separate applications for each year of the initiative.

 Visit to apply
Simple 15-minute online application
No application fees


For 2017, U.S. companies are invited to apply to participate in any of the export related trade shows or trade missions listed here.

For more information, contact TMA Executive Director, Greg Murphy at (619) 450-4600 x181 or GRMurphy(at)

MetroConnect San Diego Grand Prize Winner Selected at Pitchfest Event

(Photo Credit: San Diego Regional EDC/San Diego World Trade Center)

The San Diego World Trade Center held its MetroConnect Grand Prize Pitchfest on November 16th, providing an opportunity for a select group of companies from its MetroConnect export assistance program to compete for a $35,000 grand prize. Out of the 15 companies in this year’s MetroConnect cohort, five finalists were invited to the pitchfest to compete for the grand prize. Those finalists included Deering Banjo Company, MANTA Instruments, Rough Draft Brewing, Calbiotech, and VaultRMS. Representatives from each company were given an opportunity to present their business and international expansion plans, while the audience of almost 200 community and business leaders voted for a winner. Each company gave a compelling pitch, but in the end, Rough Draft Brewing – a local craft beer brewer – was voted the winner and took home the $35,000 grand prize. Rough Draft, which is also a client of the San Diego CITD, will be using the prize money to help expand its exports into Latin America.

CITD at BajaMak 2016

BajaMak 2016 marked the industrial trade show’s 11th year promoting supplier opportunities in Baja California’s growing manufacturing sector. This year’s event, held on October 20th, was unique due to the fact that BajaMak’s organizers hosted Baja California’s Medical Device Cluster’s 9th installation of their MedSummit trade show. MedSummit is organized by the region’s medical device manufacturers, many which have their corporate offices in Southern California. BajaMak typically includes the participation of industry contacts in varied industrial sectors, including: medical, automotive, aerospace, electronics and sub-sectors like plastics, metal mechanics and packaging. With the presence of MedSummit at this year’s show, there was an increase of medical device companies who showcased their supplier needs.

From the medical device sector, companies like Welch Allyn, Össur, Scantibodies, Medtronic, and Sunrise Medical were part of the “Buyer Exhibitors”. Other companies like Toyota Motor Manufacturing de Baja California, Honeywell and Berkshire, to name a few, were also part of the buyer companies at the event looking for local and regional suppliers of electronic components, plastics, metal mechanic processes, MRO services, packaging and other specialized services.

bajamak_collageBajaMak, like every year, featured a series of conferences that discussed industrial topics specific to the region’s industrial activity, including: supplier opportunities in Baja California (panel of purchasing managers from local manufacturing plants), opportunities and challenges in the Medical Device Sector and manufacturing abilities in Baja Californian’s manufacturing sector.  Additionally, BajaMak and MedSummit also offered companies an opportunity to meet face to face with local plants and their purchasing teams. Participants of BajaMak who paid an additional fee to participate in the “B2B – Encuentro de Negocios” portion of the event were set up with pre-screened meetings with potential buyers from participating manufacturers.

The San Diego CITD participated in BajaMak and shared a booth with the San Diego Export Assistance Center of the U.S. Department of Commerce to promote programs and services available to California companies that wish to do business with Baja California’s manufacturing industry.  CITD clients also participated in the trade show, including: Southland Polymers, Neyenesch Printers and PDQ Precision, Inc.

Contact us to learn more about future trade shows and events in Southern California and Baja California.

CITD Leads Tour of Manufacturing Facilities in Tijuana, Mexico

mex_customs_tourAs part of the activities leading up to this year’s Manufacturing Day, the San Diego CITD led a tour—in collaboration with the Center for Applied Competitive Technologies at San Diego City College and Baja California’s Secretariat of Economic Development (SEDECO)—of manufacturing facilities in Tijuana for companies interested in business opportunities in the border region. More than 24 participants, which included business owners & representatives, as well as trade specialists and economic development professionals from both sides of the border, boarded a chartered bus provided by SEDECO and participated in the tour that began with a visit to Mexican Customs’ import facilities.  During the visit to the import facilities—which was arranged by Tijuana Customs Administrator, Jorge Fernando Boy Espinosa—the group took a guided tour of the import inspection facilities and heard about the process for importing goods into Mexico, including the documentation required and how merchandise is inspected. More than 1,800 commercial crossings take place through this facility per day.

hunter_tourAfter the tour at Mexican Customs, the group departed to Hunter Custom Manufacturing (HCM), a division of Hunter Industries, which custom molds components and products for the medical device, automotive, industrial, and aerospace industries, among others. At the plant, Ian Monroy, HCM’s Business Development Manager, walked the group through the factory floor and discussed the various components produced there and their manufacturing processes. In addition their manufacturing capabilities, HCM also has a state-of-the-art warehouse and distribution system which allows them to provide just-in-time delivery and inventory management services to its customers.

ossur_presentationOnce the tour of HCM was concluded, the group took a break for lunch at Tijuana’s popular Food Garden in the Plaza Rio shopping center, then headed for the last stop of the day at Össur Mexico. Össur is a company headquartered in Iceland that manufactures prosthetic solutions and bracing products for people with osteoarthritis and injuries, as well as contract manufacturing of custom hearing aids for DGS/OTICON. At the Össur Mexico facilities, Director of Mexican Operations, Eduardo Salcedo, and his team, which included Production Manager Jaime Hernandez, CNC Manager Alfredo Perez, and DGS Operations Manager Mario Toyos, welcomed the group and provided a presentation on the company history, philosophy, and product lines. The group also heard about Baja California’s growing manufacturing sector and supplier opportunities from Jose Lopez, Undersecretary of SEDECO,  before taking a tour of the company’s manufacturing floor. One of the interesting aspects of Össur’s manufacturing operations is that the products they manufacture are all made to the customer’s exact specifications—from the prosthetics to the hearing aids—and they need to have fast turnaround times. This requires finely tuned manufacturing processes and state-of-the-art equipment.

jose_presentationThe manufacturing sector in Baja California has grown significantly over the last several years as more and more companies realize the capabilities of region’s skilled workforce and bring their manufacturing operations back from Asia to be closer to distribution points. This trend also presents significant opportunities for U.S. companies to become part of the supply chain of these manufacturers, as their lean manufacturing processes and quick turnaround times, necessitates the need to have suppliers closer to their operations. The San Diego CITD’s Border Export Program can assist companies with taking advantage of these opportunities by providing matchmaking services and facilitating participation in trade shows for this sector.


U.S. Customs Will Have Reduced Hours of Operation on Columbus Day

Via Roberto Gallegos of Globe Trade Services ( , U.S. Customs will have reduced hours of operation on Monday, October 10th, 2016 in observance of the Columbus Day holiday. The hours of operation will be as follows:

Mexico to United States (Northbound)

Trucks with Merchandise – 8:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Empty Trucks – 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM

United States to Mexico (Southbound)

Trucks with Merchandise – 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Empty Trucks – 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Normal hours of operation will resume on Tuesday, October 11th.

Link2MFG Resource Fair Brings Students and Industry Together

The Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) at San Diego City College, in conjunction with the San Diego Regional EDC, hosted the Link2MFG Resource Fair at its campus in Downtown San Diego. The CACT—which offers technology education, manufacturing training, and consulting services to the advanced manufacturing sector—hosted the event as part of the activities leading up to Manufacturing Day on October 7th. The resource fair included an exhibit area with information from the college’s various manufacturing-related educational programs, as well as local service providers and manufacturers. The event was open to the public, including small business owners and students. High school students were invited to the event as a way to expose them to opportunities in manufacturing. A group of more than 40 students from Kearny High School’s Educational Complex—which has an Engineering, Innovation, and Design (EID) School—attended the event and were taken on a tour of the college’s Manufacturing Engineering Technology and CACT facilities.

moni_victorThe San Diego CITD and Deputy Sector Navigator for Global Trade & Logistics participated in the resource fair and provided information on services available to help small businesses expand globally, as well as educational programs and career paths in Global Trade and Logistics. Other exhibitors included the San Diego Contracting Opportunities Center, South San Diego Small Business Development Center (SBDC), California Board of Equalization, San Diego City College’s Machine Technology Program and Manufacturing Engineering Progam (STEM Guitar Building), Action Drone USA, FabLabs, Arthur J. Gallagher, and San Diego CITD client, Neyenesch Printers.