State Announces Funding to Support Sustainable and Resilient Regional Economies Across California

First round of Community Economic Resilience Fund awards provides $5 million each to regional economic planning entities to chart equitable, resilient future for California’s economy

SACRAMENTO – 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. 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 family-supporting 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.”

“CERF embodies the recognition that California’s diverse regions each have their own challenges and opportunities and, as such, require a tailored approach to economic and workforce development,” said Stewart Knox, Secretary of the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency. “Through this first-of-its-kind state investment, California is empowering regions with the tools and funding to chart their own futures in a manner that is inclusive and equitable.”


High Road Transition Collaboratives – Planning Phase Awardees:

North State

Fiscal Agent: North State Planning and Development Collective – Chico State Enterprises

Regional Convener: Partnership between Sierra Institute for Community and Environment And North State Planning and Development Collective – Chico State Enterprises


Fiscal Agent and Regional Convener: Valley Vision, Inc.

Redwood Coast

Fiscal Agent: Arcata Economic Development Corporation

Regional Convener: California Center for Rural Policy at CalPoly Humboldt

Bay Area

Fiscal Agent: Bay Area Good Jobs Partnership for Equity, with the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development as the Fiscal Lead

Regional Convener: All Home

Northern San Joaquin Valley

Fiscal Agent: Merced Community College District

Regional Convener: County of Merced, Department of Workforce Investment

Eastern Sierra

Fiscal Agent and Regional Convener: Sierra Business Council

Central San Joaquin Valley

Fiscal Agent and Regional Convener: Central Valley Community Foundation

Orange County

Fiscal Agent: Charitable Ventures of Orange County

Regional Convener: Orange County Business Council

Los Angeles County

Fiscal Agent: California Community Foundation

Regional Convener: The Economic Development Corporation of Los Angeles County

Kern County

Fiscal Agent: Kern Community College District

Regional Convener: Kern Coalition, a partnership between Better Bakersfield and Boundless Kern, Community Action Partnership of Kern, Kern Inyo and Mono Central Labor Council, Building Healthy Communities, and Kern Community College District

Central Coast

Fiscal Agent: Economic Development Collaborative

Regional Convener: Regional Economic Action Coalition (REACH)

Inland Empire

Fiscal Agent: Inland Empire Community Foundation (IECF)

Regional Convener: Inland Economic Growth & Opportunity (IEGO) & Inland Empire Labor Institute (IELI)

Southern Border

Fiscal Agent and Regional Convener: San Diego State University (SDSU)


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, family-supporting jobs, advances California’s climate agenda, and helps the state’s industries to build long term resilience against climate-caused and other economic disruptions.

About the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) serves as the State of California’s leader for job growth and economic development efforts. GO-Biz offers a range of services to business owners including: attraction, retention and expansion services, site selection, permit streamlining, clearing of regulatory hurdles, small business assistance, international trade development, assistance with state government, and much more. For more information visit the GO-Biz website.

About the Labor & Workforce Development Agency

The California Labor and Workforce Development Agency oversees seven major departments, boards and panels that serve California workers and businesses by improving access to employment and training programs, enforcing California labor laws to protect workers and create an even playing field for employers, and administering benefits that include workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, disability insurance and paid family leave.

About the Office of Planning and Research

The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research serves as California’s Comprehensive Land Use Planning Agency. OPR studies future research and planning needs, fosters cross-agency collaboration, and provides guidance and support to state partners, local communities, and California Native American Tribes with a focus on land use and community development, climate risk and resilience, and equity.


Media Contact:

Emily Breslin, Deputy Director of Communications and External Affairs