Southern Border Region
The Southern Border region is comprised of Imperial and San Diego counties.
Top Five Job-Producing Industries*
*Projected job growth is for the time period of 2014-2024. The bolded industry is reflected in the success story for this region.
Current Job Openings for the Top Five Industries
Current number of job openings for the top five industries**:
- Health Care and Social Assistance – 801
- Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services – 1,068
- Accommodation and Food Services – 621
- Construction – 115
- Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services – 1,708
**Most recent job listings as captured by The Conference Board Help Wanted Online for July 2018.
Candace Vanderhoff, founder and chief executive officer of Kaping, Inc., is a business owner who’s passionate about bees. Vanderhoff is creating a healthy environment for the bees to live while creating jobs in San Diego County. Her company, Kaping, Inc., makes the SoloBee Native Bee Shelter, a pesticide-free nesting place for solitary native bees.
Like honeybees, solitary native bees are suffering because of habitat loss and pesticide use – the reason why Vanderhoff designed the bee shelters. To create a community of “SoloBee-keepers,” each bee shelter that she makes is numbered and tracked on a world map. This allows each customer to join in on the mission to help save the solitary bees. One SoloBee shelter is as far away as Geneva, Switzerland.
Last year Vanderhoff qualified for $16,000 in funding through the San Diego Workforce Partnership, part of a $1 million Advance Manufacturing grant from the Employment Development Department (EDD) and through a California Workforce Development Board SlingShot program that serves the advanced manufacturing community in San Diego and Imperial counties.
There were 11 grant recipients that benefited from the SlingShot program, but Vanderhoff stands out because of her unique product, her passion for a healthy environment and her commitment to keep her advanced manufacturing in San Diego. She used the funds to purchase Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machinery and train four people on how to use it. This machine has been able to greatly increase output of parts for the bee shelters.
“To get where we are right now is really phenomenal, because it started in my garage with an idea and now we have five different shelters that we make,” said Vanderhoff.
The SoloBee workshop is located in an innovation district in Lemon Grove, California, where she and her employee, Michael Kaplan, a mechanical engineer, have been making their bee nesting shelters since August 2017. In addition to the CNC machine, the grant from the California Workforce Development Board’s SlingShot program was used to purchase a laser cutter and 3D printer to help support the business.
“For us to be using this to make a little bee house is pretty unusual, but I am really committed to creating jobs in San Diego,” said Vanderhoff. “I don’t want to outsource our product.” From the outside, the bee shelters looks like a nice piece of art for a garden. But when Vanderhoff educates people about what’s going on inside of the bee shelters, they immediately want to buy her product. She says people want to do something, but they just don’t know what to do. “This gives them a way to really make an impact, helping nature while creating a healthy environment for all of us.”
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