What is the Community Economic Resilience Fund?

The CERF was created to promote a sustainable and equitable recovery from the economic distress of COVID-19 by supporting new plans and strategies to diversify local economies and develop sustainable industries that create high-quality, broadly accessible jobs for all Californians.

Specifically, the Community Economic Resilience Fund Program (CERF) would support communities and regional groups in producing regional roadmaps for economic recovery and transition that prioritize the creation of accessible, high-quality jobs in sustainable industries.

Initially, CERF’s Program funding of $600M was appropriated from the American Rescue Plan Act Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Fund of 2021 until the 2022 budget revised the source of funds to the State General Fund in SB 115 (2022). Regardless of the final funding source, the same goal remains: To build an equitable and sustainable economy across California’s diverse regions and foster long-term economic resilience in the overall transition to a carbon-neutral economy.

Links and Resources

CERF Leadership Team

The Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), the California Labor Workforce Development Agency (LWDA), and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) – which together form the CERF Leadership Team – will facilitate the development of the CERF.

The CERF Leadership team is tasked with creating program guidelines, evaluation metrics, conducting oversight, and decision making related to the creation and management of the program and competitive grant structures.

CERF Regions

The CERF Leadership Team is responsible for the development of geographic regions and boundaries that can administer the program’s funding and work.

The regions are defined in a way that promotes geographic equity and is consistent with existing economic development efforts as well as other state definitions of regional economic and labor markets. The final 13 regions will all receive planning grants and implementation funds through a competitive process. The release of the final regions also includes a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section to address some of the concerns that emerged during the public comment period for the regions.

Program Timeline

December 17, 2021
Finalized CERF Regions released
A document announcing the final 13 CERF Regions with the list of corresponding counties.
January 6, 2022
CERF Listening-Style Webinar
Video recording of the presentation portion of the Listening-Style Webinar.
February 14, 2022
Governor Newsom signs Senate Bill 115
Senate Bill 115 changed the funding source of CERF from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to State General Fund.
April 18, 2022
Second draft of the Planning Phase Draft Guidelines released
Second draft of the Planning Phase Draft Guidelines released for public input through a series of regional workshops
May 11, 2022
CERF Guidelines Workshop in Spanish
The Spanish Draft Guidelines Workshop written in Spanish.
May 12, 2022
CERF Guidelines Workshop in Cantonese
The Cantonese Draft Guidelines Workshop written in Cantonese.
May 18 & 19, 2022
CERF Regional Networking Sessions
Northern California, Inland California, Bay Area & Central Coast, and Southern California.
May 26, 2022
Release Planning Phase Solicitation for eight weeks.

June 2022
CERF Planning Phase Bidder’s Conference
July 2022
Week of July 25, 2022: Close Planning Phase Solicitation period
August 2022
Award Planning Phase grantees
October 2022
Finalize contracts with Planning Phase awardees
Fall 2022–2024

Fall 2022

  • Release Implementation Phase Draft Guidelines for Public Comment and host Draft Guidelines Workshops
  • Release CERF Tribal Funding Opportunity Draft Guidelines and host Draft Guidelines Workshops

Winter 2023

  • Release Implementation Phase Solicitation
  • Release CERF Tribal Funding Opportunity Solicitation

Winter 2024

  • Planning Phase encumbrance deadline
  • Planning Phase expenditure deadline

For More Information

Mary Collins
Mary is the Just Transition Program Manager. Prior to joining OPR, she was the Managing Director for the American Jobs Project, a non-profit think tank founded by Jennifer Granholm that focused on place-based economic development strategies to decarbonize our economy.