State Announces Funding to Support Sustainable and Resilient Regional Economies Across California
[ Article originally appeared in https://calmatters.org ]
State leaders today announced the first round of awards for the Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF), a new state initiative supporting innovative plans and strategies to diversify local economies and develop sustainable industries that create good-paying, broadly-accessible jobs for all Californians. As part of CERF’s initial planning phase, 13 economic development entities known as High Road Transition Collaboratives will receive $5 million each to develop roadmaps, including a strategy and recommended series of investments, for their region. Following this planning phase, the program’s implementation phase will begin in 2023 and provide $500 million to fund projects identified by the High Road Transition Collaboratives.
High Road Transition Collaboratives represent California’s 13 distinct regional economies and bring together diverse community, labor, industry, and business interests. Today’s announcement includes 11 of the 13 awardees. Awardees were selected through a competitive bidding process based on their readiness and commitment to conduct inclusive planning processes that engage various community groups, including voices that have been traditionally left out of economic planning.
CERF was created by Senate Bill 162 and is administered by an interagency leadership team that includes the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, and the Labor & Workforce Development Agency.
“We have an incredible opportunity to harness once-in-a-generation Federal and State investments to build a low carbon economy that creates good-paying jobs,” said Samuel Assefa, Director of the Office of Planning and Research. “We are thrilled to announce the CERF Planning Phase partnerships with organizations representing labor, community, business, and industry leaders to chart an inclusive and equitable economic future for all Californians.”
“This announcement signifies a major step forward in economic development, as regional coalitions have come together across California ready to roll up their sleeves and build regional economic development strategies that will create more inclusive and vibrant economies built on a foundation of equity,” said Dee Dee Myers, Senior Advisor to Governor Newsom and Director of the Governor’s Office of Business & Economic Development. “As California and our federal partners work collaboratively to make significant investments to support local economies, these High Road Transition Collaboratives will play a major part in guiding these dollars to ensure the greatest impact for all Californians.”
“This first-of-its-kind state investment recognizes that California is an ecosystem of diverse economies, each of which has its own challenges and opportunities,” said Natalie Palugyai, Secretary of the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency. “By empowering regions to develop the blueprints for their own futures – and requiring that they do so in a manner that is inclusive and equitable – CERF is changing the way California views economic planning.”
High Road Transition Collaboratives – Planning Phase Awardees:
Northern San Joaquin Valley
Central San Joaquin Valley
Los Angeles County
For more information on each of the High Road Transition Collaboratives, please see the CERF Round 1 Planning Phase Awards – Executive Summaries.
In response to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2021-22 Budget included $600 million for CERF to ensure that California’s economy creates high-quality jobs, advances California’s climate agenda, and helps the state’s industries to build long term resilience against climate-caused and other economic disruptions.
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