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

June 13, 2022
Deadline to preregister for Planning Phase Informational Webinar
Preregistration is required for all participants. Submit preregistration requests to WSBCERF@edd.ca.gov no later than June 13, 2022, with the subject as “Preregistration CERF.”
June 15, 2022
CERF Planning Phase Informational Webinar
June 22, 2022
Deadline to submit Notice of Intent to Apply 
Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to notify the EDD of its intent to apply by sending a short email to WSBCERF@edd.ca.gov. The message must include the applicant organization's name with the subject “CERF Notice of Intent to Apply.” The deadline to submit the Notice of Intent is Wednesday, June 22, 2022 by 5:00 p.m. PT.
July 25, 2022
Planning Phase Solicitation period closes and scoring process begins
October 20,2022
Planning Phase Grantees Announced
November 7, 2022
Release Economic Development Pilot Projects for public comment

Winter 2023-2024

Janurary 2023

  • Release Economic Development Pilot Projects Final Guidelines and Solicitation

Winter 2023

  • Release Implementation Projects Draft Guidelines
  • Tribal Funding Opportunity Draft Guidelines for public review

Spring 2023

  • Release Implementation Projects Final Guidelines and Solicitation

Summer 2023

  • Release Tribal Funding Opportunity Final Guidelines and Solicitation

Winter 2024

  • Planning Phase encumbrance deadline
  • Planning Phase expenditure deadline

For More Information

Mary Collins
Mary is Senior Advisor for Climate & Economy. 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.