Redwood Region RISE: California Jobs First (formerly CERF)

Redwood Region RISE - Economic Development - Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino and Tribal Lands

What Is California Jobs First (formerly CERF)?

Redwood Region RISE (Resilient Inclusive Sustainable Economy) is a regional community coalition of 650+ members (and counting!) working together to bring good, sustainable jobs to Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino Counties and Tribal Lands - through the California Jobs First (previously known as Community Economic Resilience Fund, CERF) initiative.

California Jobs First is a $600 million state-wide initiative designed to promote a sustainable and equitable recovery from the economic distress of COVID-19. Through Jobs First, Redwood Region RISE aims to:

  1. Create thriving-wage opportunities for workers in our Region;
  2. Pursue sustainable economic growth (diversifying economies);
  3. Get us closer to California’s goals for a carbon neutral future.

We are deeply committed to creating inclusive Planning Tables that center community voices that don't always participate in or benefit from economic development planning processes.

Why Join Redwood Region RISE?

  • Have your voice heard: Share your (organizations') concerns, ideas, and ambitions with Redwood Region RISE's regional platform, and the State (EDD, GO-Biz, and OPR) + the broader public;
  • Help create an economic vision for our Region: Work with community members, organizations, and other experts to identify and put forth local projects and initiatives for funding to scale efforts;
  • Build strong (regional) relationships: Have a chance to strengthen relationships with local and regional partners in this process;
  • Be "in the know": Gain access to trainings (e.g. centering equity in economic development) and many more resources;
  • Prepare for future funding: CA Jobs First is just the beginning - Redwood Region RISE's efforts focus on increasing our Region's competitiveness to receive future funding through for example technical assistance (grant writing);
  • Change the narrative: We are working to develop a dynamic story map and stories (content, photography, and videos) from our Region's diverse and resilient communities and their economic development initiatives—and will make available all of this content.

Are you interested in joining? We are deeply commited to include and honor our diverse community's voices, and we would love to hear from you. There's many ways for you to participate.

Getting Started

Are you interested in joining Redwood Region RISE's initiative? Our onboarding page will help you get started. We're excited to work with you! If you have any questions, please reach out to our team:

Get Started Here  

Latest Redwood Region RISE News

The California Jobs First (CERF) rebrand, the Catalyst Program, job openings, our inclusive language document, and much more: Find out the latest for Redwood Region RISE.

Go To News

Timeline For Our Collaborative's Efforts

California Jobs First (formerly CERF) will be executed in two phases: the Planning Phase and the Implementation Phase. We are currently in the initial stage of our region's Planning Phase. The Redwood Region RISE Convener Team has finalized a Governance Structure that centers the voices ofand seeks input and participation frommarginalized communities. This Governance Structure will help guide the Redwood Region RISE's process. We are reaching out to and actively seeking participation from our diverse and resilient "priority communities" following our Outreach & Engagement Plan, and we are working to keep everybody engaged & in the loop through our Communications Strategy.

Redwood Region RISE - Timeline (zoomed in)

Click to open the timeline

Find Redwood Region RISE's extended timeline here

Phase One: Planning

California has designated 13 regions, each of which receives $5 million to establish a “Collaborative”. The Collaborative includes a diverse group of community partners from all sub-regions and will be responsible for developing a regional economic plan and identifying projects that will be supported in the Implementation Phase.

Catalyst Program

The Catalyst Program allocates up to $14 million (totaling $182M statewide) for each of the 13 Regions to bridge the gap between the Planning Phase and the Implementation Phase. These funds aim to help the Regions, specifically more rural Regions such as ours, to move projects through the development process. This could look like: conducting feasibility and environmental studies, identifying and controlling sites for development, and negotiating Community Benefit Agreements. The Catalyst Applications are due to the State on November 30, 2023.

Tribal Funding Opportunity

A $25 million competitive funding opportunity for California’s federally recognized tribes. There is also an opportunity for a tribal-serving organization to become the fund’s intermediary. 

Phase Two: Implementation

In phase two, the State will fund projects on a rolling, competitive basis (upwards of $500 million) for the projects that are supported by the Collaborative. Criteria such as demonstrated community support, alignment with climate goals, demonstration of labor standards, and high-quality jobs with clear employment pathways for underserved and incumbent workers will be evaluated. The projects aim to support economic resilience and transition for the regions while promoting economic diversification, sustainability, and equity.

Welcome aboard the Redwood Region RISE's CERF initiative

Background Information

Building an Inclusive and Equitable Economy: Community Economic Resilience Fund

Learn more about Redwood Region RISE

Would you like to find out more about our initiative? Browse our Helpful Resources!

Download Our Fact Sheet     Read Our Proposal

Latest Redwood Region RISE Newsletters

Join Our Mailing List

Would you like to stay up to date on Redwood Region RISE's efforts? Join our Mailing List and receive up to four RRRISE Mailers monthly, aimed to inform, inspire, and engage communities across Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake and Mendocino Counties, and 32 Tribal Nations.

If you have subscribed but are having trouble receiving our Mailers, please reach out to

Join Our Mailing List