Where Will Laid-Off Qualcomm Workers Land?

(KPBS, September 19, 2015) – Qualcomm began following through on plans to shed about 15 percent of its workforce this week, handing out layoff notices to 1,314 full-time employees in San Diego.

Cuts at the region’s largest tech employer run deep, but local industry groups believe those losing high-paying jobs at Qualcomm may still be able to find work in San Diego.

“We’re confident that we’ll be able to absorb those people,” said Michael Combs, research manager at the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation.

Combs points to the latest local jobs report released Friday by Manpower San Diego. It shows the tech sector grew in August, and created about 9,200 new jobs over the past year.

“We think there are companies that are actually excited about being able to have some of that great talent from Qualcomm,” said Combs. The EDC says it’s working to connect employees leaving Qualcomm with other local companies looking to hire, including Cubic, iboss and Illumina.

Others hope workers pushed out of Qualcomm go on to start their own businesses. Rory Moore,CEO of the local startup incubator EvoNexus, says the damage to San Diego’s economy may be overestimated.

“It will spread engineering talent around San Diego,” Moore said. He’d like to see some of those workers “step up and do what they’ve been thinking about doing: starting their own company.”

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