The 2021-2022 California state budget enacted last June includes $600 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to establish the Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF), a program being designed by the state to support an “equitable and sustainable recovery” from the economic impacts of COVID-19. CERF will provide financial support to regional collaboratives to plan and implement industry-specific economic strategies, with a focus on supporting high-road jobs. As state leaders work to develop the structure of this program, it is important that they consider, and develop plans to address, the disproportionate economic impact that the pandemic has had on Opportunity Youth, who are disproportionally Black and Brown young adults. This population of youth and young adults in California (ages 16-24) neither working nor in school essentially doubled between March and May 2020 and failing these young people at this juncture in their lives is unequitable and has significant long-term economic and societal consequences. 

The California Opportunity Youth Network (COYN), California EDGE Coalition, and New Ways to Work invite you to join us by adding your organization to the coalition letter to ensure state leaders consider Opportunity Youth during the development of CERF. More information about CERF can be found on the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research website here.

Deadline to sign on to the coalition letter is Monday, January 24th by COB. Sign on here.

For any questions, please contact Sean Hughes at seanmichaelhughes@gmail.com or Anna Alvarado at aalvarado@caedge.org.

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