This Small City Sees Big Opportunity in eCommerce, Bio Science, Digital and Creative Media, and World Leadership in Aerospace Innovation
In 2016, I relocated to El Segundo, attracted to its small-town feel, great location and business-friendly stance. El Segundo has been twice recognized as one of the most business-friendly cities in California. Building from its strong heritage in aerospace, the city currently enjoys diverse innovation and growth.
El Segundo’s employment base stands around 64,000 employees, with the top 20 employers making up approximately 30% of the total. The top 20 employers range in size from 5000+ employees to 300, with diverse industries represented beyond the Aerospace strength. These include Energy, eCommerce, Consumer Products, Medical, Technology, Financial Services, Professional Services, Communications and Medical/Healthcare/Bio Science.
Looking ahead for the next three years, growth is anticipated in emerging industry segments of Digital Media/Creative Media, Bio Science, eCommerce, as well as continued strength in Aerospace. I interviewed Barbara Voss, Economic Development Manager of El Segundo, and she highlights some of the reasons:
Innovation Trends in Aerospace
“In Aerospace, we see several trends driving innovation. At the MILCON 2018 conference I attended recently, there was a lot of emphasis on large defense contractors teaming with smaller, more innovative companies. For example, Paris-based Starburst Accelerator opened offices in El Segundo in 2015 to help spur aerospace innovation from growing companies by connecting them with venture capitalists and large firms that may want to invest. The trend towards commercialization in space continues, with companies like Millennium Space, Phase Four and Slingshot Aerospace. We start with a strong foundation of large players, e.g., Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Lockheed Martin and Aerospace Corporation.”
Growth in Gaming
“Looking at digital media, creative media, gaming and special effects, we will see high growth in this area. We have a lot of capabilities in video game production, video production, special effects, post editing and film production. El Segundo gaming companies include Konami, Square Enix, and Nexon America. In 2018, the LA Times has announced plans to build a ‘100,000-square-foot multimedia and event space next to its new El Segundo headquarters…The LA Times Center will also house the paper’s production studio and e-sports video gaming.’”
And More Development in Diverse Sectors
“Another growth sector is ecommerce. We have Stamps.com, Tech Style Fashion Group and others. I also expect to see continued growth in bio-science. We have the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute for Medicine, and Kite Pharma (in the immunotherapy space) was purchased by Gilead. Additionally in medical, we have Karl Storz and DaVita.”
Near-term trends identified by Barbara add to what the city already publicly touts:
“Aerospace and defense, information and emerging technologies, creative services, sports, media, and financial and professional service industries are all well represented and positioned for success in El Segundo. El Segundo has become the preferred hotspot for data centers such as Equinix, T-5 Data, and Digital Realty thanks to its prime location, sophisticated infrastructure, extensive fiber network and reasonably priced commercial properties. This increased infrastructure caters to the growing demand from creative office users that require large internet bandwidth as well as cloud applications.”
Who would have expected such economic diversity in just 5.5 square miles designated as the Aerospace Capital of the World? I’m excited for our future and confident in my choice to relocate here three years ago.