The Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) is intended to support the development of regional economic roadmaps that invest in industries that will thrive in a carbon-neutral future, create high-quality jobs, and build a more equitable and inclusive economy. A total of $600 million investment in last year’s budget was appropriated from the American Rescue Plan Act Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Fund, which EDGE supported. Since its passage, the funding source was revised in the 2022 budget to the State General Fund via SB 115.
In December 2021 the geographic regions were also finalized. 13 regions across the state will all receive planning grants and implementation funds through a competitive process – up to $5 million under phase 1 of the program. According to the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), “these 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”. Click here to view the full list including a helpful FAQ, also attached.
In January 2022, the first round of the planning phase draft was released. EDGE, alongside COYN and New Ways to Work led a coalition letter urging the state to include opportunity youth as part of the planning process and ensure resources are also included to support this specific population. The state reviewed all public comment and developed a summary of the feedback which you can view here. We are pleased to see that youth will be included as part of the outreach and regional engagement plans.
On April 19th, OPR released the 2nd draft of the planning phase guidelines and will be hosting informational workshops through May. CERF staff will be hosting the workshops to help explain the guidelines updates since the last round of public comment, provide a space to collect feedback, and include an opportunity to network with interested entities in the respective CERF regions. To sign up for one of these workshops, click here.
For more information on eligibility, planning process, and proposed framework, check out this helpful FAQ developed by PolicyLink & CAFWD. Big thanks to our partners at PolicyLink and CAFWD for providing the public with great information and outreach tools. Check out their CERF resources page here.
And for all the latest updates and to sign up for OPR’s email list, check out their website here!
For questions, please contact Anna Alvarado, Policy Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.