California Supports Workers and Fosters Bottom-Up Economic Resilience in Lassen County

$1 million in grants to support the local economy and workers impacted by the closure of California Correctional Center in Susanville

SACRAMENTO – Today the Newsom Administration – through the Labor & Workforce Development Agency (Labor Agency), Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) – announced state assistance to support workers and communities impacted by the closure of the California Correctional Center (CCC) in Susanville, plan for changes in the region, and strategically invest in job creation and opportunity.  Assistance includes a $1 million Rapid Response grant to support an action plan for the local economy, while also connecting it to aligned regional planning efforts and statewide funding opportunities through the $500 million Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF).

In planning for the CCC closure, now scheduled to be finalized by June 2023, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has begun implementing several mitigation efforts to limit employee impacts. These include transfers of employees to the neighboring High Desert State Prison and other options in the geographic area, as well as connecting impacted employees to various State processes that allow them to transfer to vacancies throughout the State’s prison system.

The assistance announced today will further support the Lassen County community in mitigating the impacts of the CCC closure.

The Northern Rural Training and Employment Consortium (NoRTEC) will serve as the lead agency for the Rapid Response grant, working in collaboration with a variety of existing entities such as the City of Susanville, Lassen County, economic development and America’s Job Centers of California partners, business leaders, community-based organizations, environmental and social justice groups, labor leaders, and expert consultants.

“This new State investment will greatly assist in helping dislocated workers transition to new employment as quickly as possible, and will help the community prepare for and manage the economic change,” said Michael Cross, Executive Director of NoRTEC. “We look forward to working with Lassen County, the City of Susanville, and other partners to align these resources with the community’s needs.”

NoRTEC and its partners will:

  • Identify the factors, industry clusters and other opportunities to influence the local economic conditions and identify sustainable ways to track changes to key economic indicators within Lassen County.
  • Forecast displacement of current jobs based on the rate of transitions within the county based on the prison closure.
  • Identify emerging industries that can utilize Lassen’s existing competitive advantages to thrive.
  • Identify skills gaps in the existing workforce that are barriers for transitioning into new industries.
  • Identify ways to train and transition workers to emerging industries.

NoRTEC’s efforts in Lassen County will tie into the State’s Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) regional planning efforts. Led by Chico State Enterprises and Sierra Institute for Community and Environment, and encompassing a 10-county region, the CERF North State multi-stakeholder effort, known as a High Road Transition Collaborative, will align resources and activities to NoRTEC at a regional scale, centering on climate initiatives, land stewardship, identification of high-growth sectors, and connection to sub-regional initiatives to build capacity and strengthen the region’s economic and workforce backbone. The regional plan will support projects and policies that equitably advance regional and community needs.

The CERF Program—a collaboration between the Labor Agency, OPR and GO-Biz—will have available approximately $500 million statewide to invest in projects identified by these regional plans, including $50 million for economic diversification pilots (available in January 2023) and $450 million (available starting in summer 2023) for projects identified out of planning processes.