The choice of where to locate a business has always been important. At a time when many are returning to hybrid or in-person work, location is a bigger factor than ever in attracting and maintaining a talented workforce. Four years ago, Fuse moved its headquarters to Kearny Mesa, a location just north of downtown San Diego. This was a strategic move, based on culture and their employees’ experience. Considerations for work-life balance, proximity to partners, access to airfield assets for its Flight Test Squadron, and commutability all played a part.
Today, the fast-growing company has a slew of team members who drive, bike, and, yes — even skateboard to work! Here’s what that says about Fuse’s culture and company priorities.
Fuse embraces its work-hard/play-hard culture. As a warfighter-focused engineering and design firm, the work of the defense technology company is serious. Yet, a culture of collaboration and fun flows into every workspace and every project. The team of smart, engaged, and driven professionals may collaborate in a highly technical IR&D space that emphasizes safety measures, then step into an office space sprinkled with Lego® art, a Spaceman Spiff wall mural, and Nerf guns.
Kearny Mesa is a perfect backdrop for the creative and energetic mindset at Fuse. Just a few minutes from the office, one can enjoy everything from Korean BBQ and Sichuan eateries to craft breweries and unique shopping plazas.
The largely commercial and industrial area boasts a treasure trove of Asian grocery stores and restaurants centered in the Convoy Asian Cultural District that attracts locals and tourists seeking a delicious, Asian-culture experience. San Diego community leaders have announced plans to further transform the area, planning for new bike lanes and committing to new apartments and mixed-use buildings that will accommodate additional year-round residents and activity.
San Diego is known for its idyllic climate, miles of beaches, military culture, and myriad attractions. Residents are drawn to an active, outdoor lifestyle that promotes healthy habits. Fuse recognizes that healthy employees make for a happier, more productive workforce, where team members bring their “best selves” to the company mission.
Biking, for example, not only makes the commute fun, but promotes fitness, happiness, and financial health. Although San Diego and Kearny Mesa are currently considered “somewhat bikeable,” Fuse goes out of its way to support those who choose to get to work without a car. The Fuse headquarters is spacious, with plenty of room to securely park bikes indoors. There’s even a skateboard rack near the entrance for those riding in.
Military Talent Pool
The San Diego area has a rich military heritage, with deep ties to U.S. Navy aviation and surface units. The City of San Diego “is the homeport for nearly 60% of the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet … and the military represents more than ¼ of the San Diego economy.”
For companies like veteran-owned defense contractor Fuse, there’s no better location to tap the skilled military talent pool. The company places tremendous value on military skills and counts military veterans as more than 40% of its workforce. Military personnel instantly appreciate the value of Fuse solutions, which are designed to improve the communications and connections of warfighters in the battlespace.
Defense Tech Community
Of course, the San Diego military community is surrounded by both large and small defense contractors. Most of the big aerospace and defense companies have a presence, along with small and growing specialty firms designed to expand the capabilities of larger organizations — all creating innovative solutions to improve our nation’s defense capabilities.
Operating out of Kearny Mesa gives Fuse tremendous opportunities for collaboration and partnerships, across a network of connected businesses. Fuse has cultivated a tremendous mentor-protégé relationship with nearby Raytheon Technologies, now an RTX company. Recognizing the partnership’s success in 2022, the U.S. Department of Defense presented Fuse and Raytheon with its prestigious 2022 Nunn-Perry Award for excellence in the DOD Mentor-Protégé Program.
Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport is a local municipal airport in Kearny Mesa. A range of non-military aircraft, from private, corporate, and charter planes to air ambulances, fire rescue, and flight training, keep the airfield busy.
For the Fuse Flight Test Squadron, a nearby airport is essential. The company relies on flight testing to accelerate its build-test-build cycles, improving system design, development, and performance. A USAF Cessna O-2A aircraft, modified for flight test operations, provides a flexible platform for sensor and communications testing. The team eagerly anticipates each flight test run, to see how their innovations perform.
It’s no accident that Fuse is in Kearny Mesa. Company leaders believe that where you work matters — and its headquarters is wisely situated in a community filled with innovation, collaboration, and accessibility.