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Info Session: Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) (November 2021)

On November 18, Valley Vision and the Prosperity Partnership held an Information Session on the Community Economic Resilience Fund or “CERF,” the state’s $600 Million investment in the planning and implementation of inclusive economic strategies for regions across the state.

The CERF program invites regional proposals for developing High-Road Transition Strategies, which include investing in industries that will thrive in a carbon-neutral future, while creating high-quality jobs and clear pathways into those jobs, with a focus on those often left out of traditional economic development strategies.

Presenters at the Information Session provided an overview of the CERF program and its parameters, discussed how the investment could transform our region, and initiated a conversation around priorities for a regional ask. 

A recording for the Information Session can be found on YouTube and below:

The presentation slides used at the Information Session can be found here and below:

Results from the Mentimeter survey conducted during the Information Session can be found here.

What’s next? ​​

  • Valley Vision and the Prosperity Partnership are teeing up a regional planning effort for the CERF program.
  • We continue to communicate with state leadership about the CERF program parameters and grant application, and will be seeking input from regional stakeholders.
  • We want to engage with all of you throughout this effort. We are all in this together! 

Please take a couple of minutes to fill out this survey if you have not done so. In addition to your contact information, which we’ll use to provide updates and stay engaged, it also includes questions about what interests you the most about the CERF opportunity (for example, funding for a particular project or initiative), and who else should be engaged throughout this effort.

For additional questions, please contact Valley Vision’s Isa Avanceña at isa.avancena@valleyvision.org.

Info Session: Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF)

Valley Vision, together with its fellow Prosperity Partners, is convening an Information Session on the Community Economic Resilience Fund or “CERF,” the state’s $600 million investment in the planning and implementation of inclusive economic strategies for regions across the state.

What is the CERF? The CERF invites regional proposals for building towards High Road Transition Strategies, including investing in industries that will thrive in a carbon-neutral future, while creating high-quality jobs and clear pathways into those jobs, with a focus on those often left out of traditional economic development strategies.

What would CERF dollars do for our Greater Sacramento region? The Greater Sacramento region is well-positioned to receive this investment, because we have the capability to serve as a model for developing a resilient low carbon economy in California. Our region, which serves a population of 2.58 million and is home to the State Capitol, has set the stage to be a global leader in Future Mobility, already resulting in tangible outcomes. The CERF investment would be the transformative and catalytic event that will drive innovation, climate resilience, and inclusion within regions and across the state.

What are the goals of the Information Session? Provide an overview of the CERF and its parameters, including how it would further our region’s Prosperity Strategy; Initiate conversation around priorities for our region’s ask; Begin to build a coalition to advance this effort

What is the Prosperity Strategy and how can it support the CERF investment opportunity? Our Path Forward: The Prosperity Strategy is the six-county Greater Sacramento Region’s implementation plan for prioritizing our core economic initiatives, to result in a more prosperous, equitable and resilient region. As our federally-designated CEDS, the Prosperity Strategy can provide a foundation and blueprint for channeling federal and state investments toward inclusive economic growth.

The Food System Resilience Poll (October 2021)

Through the lens of our farm to fork brand and knowing that we face real challenges, this Food System Resilience Poll sets out to explore people’s perceptions around our food system and the connections between food, farm, and community. It also seeks to understand the ways in which the pandemic affected access to food, knowing that millions of people in our country already struggled with getting enough food even before the pandemic. With all the food and agricultural assets that we have, do the lived experiences of our region’s residents reflect our vision for what a farm to fork region should be?

The Poll, which was fielded by Valley Vision and CapRadio, in partnership with the Institute for Social Research at Sacramento State, is designed to help inform system work to build an equitable and accessible farm to fork culture that resonates and benefits all communities. The results helped inform the Sacramento Region Community Foundation’s 2021 Food System Action Plan, a robust set of strategies and tactics to guide industry leaders, policy makers, universities, and community groups toward actions that achieve more inclusive, supported, sustainable, and equitable food system practices (expected to be released in October 2021).

Some of the Poll’s most notable findings are: 

  • Self-reported food insecurity was higher in the Farm to Fork Capital than the U.S. average overall and disparities in access exist along racial and economic lines. Key supports, such as federal stimulus checks during the pandemic, provided important means of increasing food security during a hard time.
  • Even though they live in the Farm to Fork Capital, many residents in the region have not had opportunities to grow their own food or participate in local food and agriculture activities. 
  • About half of respondents have knowingly purchased local food, grown within 100 miles of home, however this practice is more likely among white, older, and higher income respondents. 
  • Respondents highly value wild, open lands and farmland, and enjoy living in an area with farms and agriculture.
  • Overall, the Farm to Fork brand is a popular one, however Latino respondents as well as those who live in cities were less enthusiastic.  
  • About half of respondents admit to regularly throwing out food, however, the same amount support paying a fee of at least $5 a month in their utility bill to support food recovery programs that could reduce food waste and hunger.
  • The vast majority of respondents are concerned that climate change poses a real risk to growing food in our region.

The COVID-19 Resilience Poll #3 (May 2021)

A project of Valley Vision and CapRadio, in partnership with the Institute for Social Research at Sacramento State.

The COVID-19 Resilience Poll series tracked the experiences, perceptions, concerns, and hopes of people living in California’s Capital region. Three polls were conducted through a year of the COVID-19 pandemic from May 2020 to March 2021. The third and final poll in our series, was in the field March 12-29, 2021 and is demographically representative of the Capital region, encompassing Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba counties, with a margin of error of plus or minus three percent.

This report, fielded by Valley Vision and CapRadio, in partnership with the Institute for Social Research at Sac State, provides a retrospective look at all three COVID-19 polls, pulling out key themes and clear trends in the data where system transformation has been most marked. The findings give us a sense of the unique challenges our region faces associated with late-pandemic conditions and all that has come as a result. You can also access CapRadio’s coverage of the poll at www.capradio.org.

Photo credit: Andrew Nixon/CapRadio

Infographic: 2020 Year in Review

At Valley Vision, we bring communities together to tackle the biggest challenges affecting the livability of our region. By creating common ground built on facts, we inspire leaders to think big and collaborate on bold, long-term solutions that improve people’s lives.

This infographic can be read in under 90 seconds, and highlights some of Valley Vision’s key accomplishments and wins in 2020 as we advance prosperity, equity, and environmental stewardship across the Sacramento region and beyond.

Presentation: The COVID-19 Resilience Poll #2 (2020)

The COVID-19 Resilience Poll webinar, hosted October 30, 2020, shares the findings of the most recent scientific opinion poll about COVID-19 in the Greater Sacramento region, and includes a discussion of the mental health impacts being felt across our communities as a result of the broad-based challenges created by the pandemic. Webinar speakers include Pauline Bartolone (CapRadio), Beth Hasset (WEAVE), Amanda Lipp (Center for Applied Research Solutions), Ron Lutz (Sacramento State), and Rachel Rios (La Familia).

This polling series paints a picture of the many ways that COVID-19 is impacting our region. It tracks the experiences, perceptions, concerns, and hopes of people in the Capital region – including health impacts and fears, the experiences of the varying public orders and guidance, and the economic consequences of the pandemic.

The COVID-19 Resilience Poll #2 (October 2020)

A project of Valley Vision and CapRadio, in partnership with the Institute for Social Research at Sacramento State.

The COVID-19 Resilience Poll series tracks the experiences, perceptions, concerns, and hopes of people in the Capital region, via three polls conducted through the first twelve months of the COVID-19 pandemic – including health impacts and fears, the experiences of the varying public orders and guidance, and the economic consequences of the pandemic. This poll, the second in our series, was in the field September 4-18, 2020, and is demographically representative of the Capital region, encompassing eight counties, including Sacramento, Yolo, El Dorado, Placer, Yuba, Sutter, Solano and San Joaquin counties, and has a margin of error of plus or minus three percent.

This poll paints a picture of the many ways that COVID-19 is impacting our region. This is the second in a series of polls fielded by Valley Vision and CapRadio, in partnership with the Institute for Social Research at Sac State. These surveys are helping us understand and navigate the challenges ahead as we aim to not just understand the impacts and recover from the setbacks of COVID-19, but also reimagine a more equitable, sustainable, and just future. You can also access CapRadio’s coverage of the poll at www.capradio.org.

Levels of concern continue to reflect disparities in our communities. Respondents who are Black, Hispanic, in a lower income bracket, or younger, reported higher levels of concern across most measures.

As many as 63% of respondents reported feeling depressed at least once in the last seven days, and 82% of respondents reported feeling anxious at least once in the last seven days.

17% of respondents reported that they are currently unemployed, while only 8% reported being unemployed in January.

Men and women are experiencing the impacts of having their children doing schooling remotely very differently — nearly 40% of women respondents describe it as “very” challenging, as compared to only 13% of men.

48-57% of those with children think that schools at all levels should open in-person; only 26-28% of those without children share the same view.

Republicans are more likely than Democrats to support a return to in-person schooling either as usual or with minor adjustments to accommodate COVID-19.

Photo credit: Andrew Nixon/CapRadio

Webinar: The COVID-19 Resilience Poll

Join Valley Vision and CapRadio for a free webinar exploring the major findings of The COVID-19 Resilience Poll and the link to lived experiences across our region.

The COVID-19 Resilience Poll (2020)

A project of Valley Vision and CapRadio, conducted by the Institute for Social Research at Sacramento State.

The COVID-19 Resilience Poll tracks the experiences, perceptions, concerns, and hopes of people in the Capital region through the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic including the health impacts and fears, the experiences through the shelter in place order, and the economic fallout from the pandemic. This public opinion poll was in the field May 12-27, 2020, and is demographically representative of the Capital region, encompassing eight counties, including Sacramento, Yolo, El Dorado, Placer, Yuba, Sutter, Solano and San Joaquin counties. The margin of error is plus or minus three percent.

This poll paints a picture of the many ways that COVID-19 is impacting our region. This is also the first in a series of polls that Valley Vision and CapRadio will field, in partnership with the Institute for Social Research at Sac State. These surveys will help us understand and navigate the challenges ahead as we aim to not just understand the impacts and recover from the setbacks of COVID-19, but also reimagine a more equitable, sustainable, and just future. You can also access CapRadio’s coverage of the poll at capradio.org/resilience.

We found that COVID-19 has severely impacted the people in our communities – including their mental, physical, and emotional health; their daily life and routines, and their economic security.

There are deep disparities of the intensity of concern and impact across different populations, with Black and Hispanic respondents feeling the impacts more severely.

Nearly half of respondents have lost income and about a third are struggling to afford basic needs including rent or mortgage, bills, and paying down debt.

Many respondents are working remotely as a result of COVID-19 – however those in higher incomes were more likely to go remote and were more likely to have already been working remotely.

There is also a significant political dimension in the region and many respondents are critical of leadership – whether it is because they think that leadership has failed to deliver an effective response or because they think the response is overblown and creating more harm.

Respondents’ most significant worries included continued illness, spread of disease and the impact on the economy.

Photo credit: Andrew Nixon/CapRadio

The Prosperity Strategy: Our Path Forward (2020)

Our Path Forward: The Prosperity Strategy is a strategic framework and bridge to action for the six-county Sacramento Region that prioritizes our core economic initiatives and will result in a more prosperous, equitable and resilient region.

The plan is being advanced by Valley Vision, the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Sacramento Area Council of Governments, and the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce. Learn more at https://theprosperitystrategy.org/.

Greater Sacramento Region Prosperity Strategy

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) is a region’s economic roadmap that ensures a strong, inclusive, and equitable economy by bringing together public, private, and civic stakeholders to establish regional goals, objectives, and a plan of action. The CEDS process analyzes existing regional conditions, opportunities, and global economic conditions, leading to a region-specific strategy-driven plan for economic prosperity. This 2020 update to the CEDS was accomplished as part of the region’s overall inclusive economic development strategy, “Our Path Forward: The Prosperity Strategy,” a joint effort of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council, Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), and Valley Vision.

The Capital Region’s previous CEDS, Next Economy, covered 2013 to 2018. To prepare for the region’s next CEDS, Valley Vision, Greater Sacramento Economic Council, Sacramento Metro Chamber, and Sacramento Area Council of Governments launched the Prosperity Strategy process in 2018. The strategy builds upon the Brookings Institution market assessment findings and framework of five market levers: Tradable Clusters, Innovation, Talent, Infrastructure, and Governance. The Greater Sacramento Region Prosperity Strategy (CEDS) focused on three principle goals: improve business, support people, and develop place. The Prosperity Strategy is a triple bottom line approach that will ensure a strong, inclusive, and equitable economy for the six-county Sacramento region. It serves as the region’s CEDS.

The goal is to grow the Sacramento Region’s economy in ways that support all of the region’s residents and communities by prioritizing core economic initiatives resulting in a more aligned, prosperous and resilient Sacramento Region.

An effective CEDS allows a region to maximize its potential by serving as a roadmap for future economic development endeavors. A CEDS qualifies a region for U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) funding assistance, under its Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs. The CEDS must be fully updated every five years in order to stay relevant with changing economic conditions, with annual progress reports.

Access both the Prosperity Strategy and the full CEDS here:

Valley Vision serves as the project manager for the CEDS process. The six-county 2020 CEDS was posted for public comment for 30 days, closing on March 13, 2020. Comments submitted for the CEDS were reviewed by Valley Vision and response were provided. The CEDS was approved by EDA, as detailed in this blog post by Valley Vision’s Trish Kelly.

The CEDS is conducted in collaboration with the Prosperity PartnershipGreater Sacramento Area Economic CouncilSacramento Area Council of GovernmentsSacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, and Valley Vision. The findings, conclusions, and recommendations are based on multiple sources and work product that include but are not limited to the Prosperity Partnership, RW VenturesBrookings InstitutionCenters of Excellence, and regional partners.

For further questions, please email Trish Kelly.

Regional Attitudes on Workforce and Education: The Future of Work (2020)

The acceleration of technology innovation is one of the most significant transformative forces of our time. Today’s innovations, such as digitalization, automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and other technologies, have changed the nature of our national and global economy and are changing the nature of work across all sectors of industry, impacting workers as skill and competency needs shift.

Valley Vision and the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at Sacramento State conducts public opinion polls, drawing from a regional panel that demographically represents the six county region (El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba counties) and reports at a margin of error of +/-3%. This survey seeks to better understand technology disruption, the gig economy, experiences at work, values towards work, and aspirations for the future.

We found that poll respondents are excited about the future, including changes to their own work life as a result of technology innovation, but still want and need security and protections in place to ensure their success.

Some key findings and conclusions for the future of work in the Capital Region include:

Respondents are optimistic about new technologies and 82% are excited or confident about the effect that technology innovation will have on their future job prospects. Despite this excitement, a major skill shift is underway and some workers are at risk of losing jobs.

The “gig” economy has a significant impact on our region’s people and economy. About one-third of respondents currently earn income through employment “gigs” and one-quarter report that income from the gig economy is their primary source of income.

Despite changes to the nature of work respondents still value job security and long-term service to an organization. Although younger generations tend to have shorter job tenure, workers of any age are looking for the same things – meaningful work, opportunities to grow, recognition for contributions, and high performing companies.

Entrepreneurship is a key aspect of the modern economy. 62% of respondents believe that they have entrepreneurial skills and abilities and 50% say that they’d take a chance and start their own business. Entrepreneurial networks across the region are key to inclusive economic growth.

Two-thirds of respondents have faced discrimination in the workforce, especially related to sex and race. Ensuring that there are opportunities for social mobility and well-being for all is critical for a thriving and inclusive region.

More than half of respondents are open to leaving the region for better opportunities elsewhere, if needed. Creating, retaining, and attracting talent is a shared responsibility across business, education, community, and individuals.

Valley Vision will present the findings of the workforce and education survey in a series of reports, focusing on how respondents are navigating work and their outlook for their future. Subsequent reports will focus on The Skills of the Future in the Capital region and The Future of Education in the Capital region.