Press Release: Los Angeles Coalition Awarded Phase 1 Funds for CERF Process 

Los Angeles Coalition of over 200 Organizations and Stakeholders Awarded Phase 1 Funds for CERF Process
Coalition Will Prioritize Accessible, High-Quality Jobs in Sustainable Industries 

October 20, 2022 – Today, the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research announced the recipients of Phase 1 funds for the Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF). A coalition of more than 200 partner organizations and regional stakeholders throughout the Los Angeles County area will now begin the planning process to build a roadmap for resilient and equitable economic growth for our region.  

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.  

The purpose of CERF is 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, 
  • Use a regional approach that accounts for dynamics like shifting industries and talent pools, 
  • Use a high-road approach to economic development to support the creation of quality jobs and equal access to those jobs; and support businesses that invest in their workforces, pay living wages, and engage in environmentally sustainable business practices, 
  • Center community and worker voices in inclusive economic planning processes and governance to enable more equitable outcomes. 

Specifically, CERF will support communities and regional groups in producing regional roadmaps for economic recovery and transition that prioritize creating accessible, high-quality jobs in sustainable industries. The coalition selected the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) to serve as the Regional Convener and the California Community Foundation as the Fiscal Agent for the High Road Transition Collaborative (HRTC) for the LA region.  

“This coalition of dedicated public and private partners saw firsthand how the pandemic affected different communities in very different ways economically and otherwise, and now we have the opportunity to collectively develop a roadmap that will address the persistent inequities that the pandemic laid bare,” said Bill Allen, President and CEO of LAEDC. “We are humbled to be chosen to convene our region so we can envision the future together and create informed consensus on how we want our economy to benefit us all. With the sheer size, diversity of perspectives and backgrounds, and deep knowledge base that exists in our coalition, we can ensure our economy will be able to recover in more equitable, sustainable and resilient ways.” 

“The pandemic magnified and exposed the social and economic inequalities that exist among Los Angeles’ most vulnerable communities,” said Antonia Hernández, President and CEO of the California Community Foundation. “Strengthening Los Angeles as we recover means an equitable and inclusive investment to ensure that under-resourced and historically disinvested communities have access to high skilled and high paying jobs. CCF is proud to have been selected to serve as the fiscal agent for CERF funding in Los Angeles County.”  

“This Community Economic Resilience Fund award offers a transformative opportunity for equitable and sustainable economic recovery in our LA County region, where many residents and small businesses are still reeling from the disproportionate effects of COVID-19. We know that a future that achieves this shared prosperity must also reflect power by design,” said Kelly LoBianco, Executive Director of Los Angeles County Department of Economic Opportunity and governance committee member.  “Our LA County High Road Training Collaborative will prioritize community-based decision-making, with leadership from historically marginalized voices, so that our collective investments are inclusive, collaborative, and transparent, resulting in real impact on agency and mobility for all community members and future generations.” 

 “The LA CERF is committed to ensuring that individuals and stakeholders from all disinvested communities across the Los Angeles region are engaged, their needs identified and participate in the planning to create economic development strategies to meet CERF’s objectives,” said Stella Ursua, Senior Programs & Partnerships Manager at GRID Alternatives and outreach and engagement committee member. “We will prioritize equity as we plan for a just transition toward a carbon-neutral economy and find ways to institutionalize remedies to systemic barriers and disparities in access to opportunity for all. We are thrilled to have more than 200+ organizations work with us to deeply engage community members in robust planning and decision-making to eliminate processes that perpetuate a history of exclusion, injustice and inequity.” 

This commitment from the state of historic funding to the region will need to be matched with rigorous community engagement and sustained leadership in order to achieve a more equitable future for LA County,” said Matt Horton, Milken Institute’s director at the Center for Regional Economics and California Center and research committee member. “Having the tools to establish a new benchmark will help us envision that future, together.” 

“We have an incredible opportunity to harness once-in-a-generation Federal and State investments to build a low carbon economy that creates good-paying jobs,” said Samuel Assefa, Director of the Office of Planning and Research. “We are thrilled to announce the CERF Planning Phase partnerships with organizations representing labor, community, business, and industry leaders to chart an inclusive and equitable economic future for all Californians.” 

“This announcement signifies a major step forward in economic development, as regional coalitions have come together across California ready to roll up their sleeves and build regional economic development strategies that will create more inclusive and vibrant economies built on a foundation of equity,” said Dee Dee Myers, Senior Advisor to Governor Newsom and Director of the Governor’s Office of Business & Economic Development. “As California and our federal partners work collaboratively to make significant investments to support local economies, these High Road Transition Collaboratives will play a major part in guiding these dollars to ensure the greatest impact for all Californians.” 

“This first-of-its-kind state investment recognizes that California is an ecosystem of diverse economies, each of which has its own challenges and opportunities,” said Natalie Palugyai, Secretary of the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency. “By empowering regions to develop the blueprints for their own futures – and requiring that they do so in a manner that is inclusive and equitable – CERF is changing the way California views economic planning.” 

There will be two phases to the CERF process. Today’s announcement is of Collaboratives who have been selected for $5 million grants to perform the Planning Phase for their regions. Following the planning phase, the remaining allocated state funds will be awarded to the 13 regions identified by California for the Implementation Phase. Success during the Planning Phase will include inclusive, diverse, transparent, and accountable regional planning that results in a strategy and recommended series of investments to grow sustainable industries, diversify regional economies, and increase access to high-quality jobs. 

To learn more about the Los Angeles Region CERF process, how to join the LA HRTC, or apply for a position supporting the coalition, please visit   

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