As you may know, California recently established the $600 million Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF), an ambitious regions-based economic initiative. CERF aims 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.
Funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), phase 1 of CERF includes Regional High Road Transition Planning Grants of $5 million each across 13 regional collaboratives. Phase 2 includes Regional Implementation Grants totaling about $500 million. More information on CERF and its phases can be found here and here.
The CERF Leadership Team – composed of the Office of Planning and Research (OPR), along with the California Labor Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) – recently released a Request for Information (RFI) to inform a process for the program’s evaluation.
The RFI seeks input on the following topics:
- Proposed evaluation metrics for phase 1 and 2 of the program as they relate to inclusivity, equity, sustainability, economic competitiveness and ARPA requirements.
- Considerations for approaching research in Phase 1.
- Considerations for approaching Phase 2.
- Types of evaluation recommended.
- Cost estimates.
Respondents may comment on any or all of, but not limited to, the above topics. Responses to the RFI must be submitted electronically (include “CERF RFI” in the email subject line) to WSBCERF@edd.ca.gov by January 20, 2022. Early submissions are appreciated and all responses are voluntary.