CSAC Bulletin Article

CERF Program Update (“California Jobs First”): Funding Delays for Implementation Grants

February 15, 2024

Last year, CSAC’s Government Finance and Administration team provided a few updates on the roll out of the Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) grant program (January 2023 bulletin and August 2023 bulletin). CERF was created to provide regional communities in California with funding for economic development projects aimed at establishing high-quality jobs, improving equity, and supporting economic diversification for a climate-resilient economy. California’s counties were divided into 13 economic regions to administer CERF Program funds. These 13 regions are eligible to receive planning grants and implementation funds on a competitive basis.  

The 2021 State Budget Act established the CERF and appropriated $600 million across several fiscal year for the program. The Governor’s Budget proposal for 2024-25 includes a delay of $300 million from 2023-24 to future fiscal years. Under the revised schedule of appropriations for the program, the following funds will be available for CERF awardees:

  • 2024-25: $100 million total: $25 million for the Tribal Funding Opportunity and $75 million for Implementation Phase awards
  • 2025-26: $100 million for Implementation Phase awards
  • 2026-27: $100 million for Implementation Phase awards

The Governor’s Budget proposal does not change funding for Catalyst pre-development, Planning Phase, and Economic Development Pilot Projects. As a result of the changes to the program funding, the due dates for part 2 of the regional plans under the Planning Phase will be extended from June 30, 2024, to August 30, 2024.

Additionally, the CERF program’s name has been changed to “California Jobs First.”

Additional Resources for Counties:

For more information about CERF, including project timelines, enacting legislation, and fact sheets, visit the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research’s CERF resource website or contact the CERF administrators via email at WSBCERF@edd.ca.gov.

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