California Jobs First (COmmunity Economic Resilience Fund)

California Jobs First/the Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) is a $600 million statewide program that 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. Sierra Business Council works on two of the California Jobs First 13 regions throughout the state. 

California Jobs First represents an unprecedented investment in the Sierra Nevada, and through this program, SBC will be working towards:

  1. Creating thriving-wage opportunities for workers in our region.
  2. Pursuing sustainable and equitable economic growth
  3. Supporting and growing climate-resilient careers and industries, working towards a carbon-neutral future

Regional Summary: Part 1 was due to the state’s Inter-Agency Partners on December 31, 2023.

About this report: This regional data summary of the Eastern Sierra California Jobs First region lays the foundation for the development of an inclusive regional economic plan for our region.

This document was written to inform the strategic planning phase that is beginning in early 2024. As the conveners of the Eastern Sierra California Jobs First region, Sierra Business Council (SBC) was required to submit this document to the state by December 31st, 2023.

By building on the analyses and findings from Part I: Regional Summary, the Eastern Sierra California Jobs First region will be well-positioned to develop the strategies for the second part of this report: a regional plan that will support equitable economic development, environmental sustainability, and increased economic competitiveness for their region.

Regional Summary: Part 2 is due to the state’s Inter-Agency Partners on August 30, 2024. It will be composed of strategies supported by the data in Part 1 that are aligned with state goals and increase an equitable and just regional economy. The Part 2 required elements provided by the state Inter-Agency Team can be found here.

SBC is the regional convener and fiscal agent for the Eastern Sierra region, which includes Amador, Calaveras, Tuolumne, Mariposa, Alpine, Inyo, and Mono counties. 

For Eastern Sierra California Jobs First (CERF)-related inquiries in Spanish, please reach out directly to SBC’s Eastside CERF Project Navigator, Magnolia Barra, by emailing or calling 530-582-4800 ext 124.

California Jobs First (CERF) Updates

State Releases Final Catalyst Program Guidelines

The state has finalized guidelines for the Catalyst Program, which reserves for each region a portion of California Jobs First (CERF) funding to help with predevelopment work on projects, with the goal of readying projects for funding in the implementation phase next year. SBC will be working with the HRTC to prepare our application to this program, to be submitted by the end of November. Please note this is a closed solicitation directly related to the existing California Jobs First (CERF) program. If you have ideas for how this program could benefit the Eastern Sierra, email to join the HRTC or one of our subcommittees.

SBC Selected as Sub-convener for Capital Region Counties

Sierra Business Council’s sister organization Valley Vision, located in Sacramento, has announced the awardees of its California Jobs First (CERF) sub-region grants. SBC will be working with the Nevada County Economic Resource Council and Tahoe Prosperity Center to oversee the Tahoe/Nevada region, and with the Placer and El Dorado Community Foundations to oversee the Placer/El Dorado region. These processes will be distinct from our Eastern Sierra HRTC, but SBC is grateful for the opportunity to help further equitable development throughout more of our region, and we hope to help align strategies between our mountain counties where possible.

Eastern Sierra California Jobs First (CERF) Calendar

Upcoming Meetings & Events :

February 2024

  • Hold: Local Gov planning
  • CERF Business, Workforce, & Education Subcommittee
  • CERF Project Identification Subcommittee Meeting
  • CERF Local Governments Subcommittee Meeting
  • Hold: Slack 101

High Road Transition Collaborative (HRTC)

After a rigorous review process, we are excited to release the names of  HRTC appointees to the Eastern Sierra California Jobs First (CERF) High Road Transition Collaborative  and its five subcommittees. As a reminder, the HRTC will guide the CERF process in the seven-county Eastern Sierra California Jobs First (CERF) region and determine what projects are ultimately funded by this initiative. 

Please note that we are still looking to fill several positions on the HRTC and its subcommittees. We plan to appoint those positions on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. If you know of possible candidates who can fill the open positions indicated in the link below, please have them contact us directly by emailing 

On October 27th, SBC hosted the third meeting of the Eastern Sierra High Road Transition Collaborative (HRTC), with attendees meeting both in-person in Mammoth Lakes and virtually. Discussion centered on refining our targeted industry sectors as well as possible funding allocations for the Catalyst Fund.

Please email to request additional information if you have questions about any of our meetings. 

What's next?

Ongoing convenings of the HRTC and its subcommittees and drafting Regional Summary: Part 1.

Now that we have held our first HRTC meeting, our team is focused on convening the Eastern Sierra California Jobs First (CERF) subcommittees and finalizing our meeting schedules.  We will also be working on an important deliverable to the state, a Regional Summary (Part 1) of the Eastern Sierra CERF Region. 

SBC and our partners have divided up the following components of Regional Summary Part 1: 

  • Stakeholder Mapping – SBC
  • Current Economic Development Status (Challenges/Barriers/On going work, etc) – SBC & North State
  • Current Economic Analysis (cost of living, average wages, employment in industries/sectors present in the region, etc) – SBC & North State
  • Public Health Analysis – Redwood Coast
  • Climate Projection Data – SBC (will also provide this data to North State and Redwood Coast)
  • Pollution Burden Data – SBC (will also provide this data to North State and Redwood Coast)
  • Labor Market Analysis – North State
  • Industry Clusters (existing, potential, growth opportunities, etc) – North State
  • Current Workforce Education and Training – North State
  • Regional SWOT Analysis – SBC  
We are also planning to host a virtual session for the HRTC after the EDD listening session on the CERF Catalyst Program to share our takeaways from the program and get the HRTC’s feedback for our comment letter. 

California Jobs First (CERF) Background Information:

What is the HRTC?

For background information on the HRTC, please check out the following resources: 

The High Road Transition Collaborative (HRTC) is composed of 21 voting members, and will include representation from the large geography of our Eastern Sierra region and all of the required and suggested stakeholders. A non-voting participant will chair the HRTC meetings. The Collaborative will conduct all of its meetings in a transparent public forum, in a hybrid-meeting format, with each stakeholder enjoying equal status and authority. They will be held alternately (depending upon weather) on the east side and west side of the Sierra crest. In-person attendance at a majority of the meetings (depending upon CDC guidelines and severity of COVID cases within the region) is expected.

Goals and Objectives: The HRTC Collaborative’s primary task is to review and vote on batches of projects as forwarded by the Project Identification Subcommittee. (See this committee’s charter for more details.) Batches of projects will be voted on as a block. Approved projects will be included in the final CERF Plan, also to be reviewed and approved by the Council. This plan will serve as the basis for all strategies and investments for the CERF Implementation Phase.

The Collaborative will also review other information as submitted by the subcommittees, potentially including but not limited to: analyses on industry sectors, public health, and climate, project vetting criteria, stakeholder feedback, and climate and equity principles.

Approximate Expected Time Commitments: Collaborative members will be expected to participate in one 1.5 hour-long hybrid meeting per month for 18-24 months, to commit to approximately 3 hours per month for document review and comment, and occasionally meet with community stakeholders.

  • Approximate Time Commitment: 6-8 hours per month or 70-90 hours per year
  • Proposed Number of Council Members: 21

Please Note:
Stipends will be available to voting members who are non-elected officials (and allowed to accept payment for meetings and committee obligations). Stipends are discretionary and intended to increase participation from stakeholders with lower resources or capacity to engage in the CERF process. Mileage and lodging costs will be reimbursed for all participating voting members if approved in advance.

Join Us In Creating A More Resilient Sierra.

To learn more about this program, contact: