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California Jobs First, formerly known as the Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF) was created by the California Legislature to promote a sustainable and equitable recovery from the economic distress from the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting new plans and strategies to diversify local economies and develop sustainable industries that create high-quality, broadly accessible jobs for all Californians. CA Jobs First includes approximately $500M in rolling, competitive grants to be split between the state’s 13 regions from 2022 to 2026. It is a massive investment in regional inclusive economic development with the potential to drastically transform communities that have been historically disadvantaged and underprivileged.


As the Inland Empire prepares for a more technological, sustainable, carbon neutral future, it is imperative that we center the most important asset in the region: The People. The Inland Empire High Road Transition Collaborative (IE-HRTC) - now known as Thrive Inland SoCal - was created with CA Jobs First planning funds and is building the partnerships and capacity to make that future a reality.

CERF Timeline.jpg

Thrive Inland SoCal consists of five Committees, six Sub-regional Tables, and an Equity Council, and any resident of the region is welcome to join any (or many!) of these groups.















Equity Council


The Equity Council is tasked with advocating for specific actions related to representation, equity, and inclusion during the first (Planning) and second (Implementation) phases of the CA Jobs First process. Their responsibilities include providing review and feedback on:

  • outreach and engagement,

  • data development,

  • data collection,

  • planning document content (Phase 1 report, due 8/31/23),

  • project assessment,

  • project development,

  • project qualification,

  • and consultant approval. 

The Equity Council will focus on a range of topics as they relate to the above responsibilities, including but not limited to youth, Native American tribes or tribal organizations, workers, women, racial and social justice, environmental justice, and justice reform.


Seven members of the Equity Council were elected as voting members of the Inclusive Planning Council through a democratic nomination and voting process. They are:

  • Sheheryar Kaoojsi, Warehouse Workers Resource Center

  • Alex Avila, CSUSB

  • Carolina Sanchez, Just SB

  • Silva Paz, Alianza Coachella Valley

  • Ricardo Cisneros, IE Labor Council

  • Dina Walker, BLU Educational Foundation

  • Renay Mehta, Chino Valley Chamber

The Equity Council meets every other Friday 12-1pm, sometimes on Zoom and sometimes in person (with a hybrid option).See calendar for schedule.

Sub-Regional Table




Greater San Bernardino

Fontana, Rialto, Colton,

San Bernardino, Redlands, Highland, Loma Linda, Big Bear and Yucaipa


High Desert

Adelanto, Victorville, Hesperia, Barstow, Apple Valley and Needles


Western San Bernardino

Chino Hills, Chino, Ontario, Upland, Montclair, and

Rancho Cucamonga


Greater Riverside

Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Norco, Corona, Riverside, Perris,

Moreno Valley, Beaumont, Banning, San Jacinto, and Hemet


Coachella Valley/Morongo Basin

Yucca Valley, 29 Palms,

Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indio, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Blythe, and Coachella


Southwest Riverside County

Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, Menifee, Wildomar, Murrieta, and Temecula


The Sub-Regional Tables will each consist of a table chair and a “backbone” organization responsible for engaging with potential stakeholders and convening inclusive meetings.

The chair of each Sub-Regional Table will be a voting member of the Inclusive Planning Council and tasked with reporting and advocacy for their sub-region to the IE High Road Transition Collaborative (IE HRTC) as a whole.

The Sub-Regional Tables will each consist of a table chair and a “backbone” organization responsible for engaging with potential stakeholders and convening inclusive meetings.

The sub-regional backbone organizations chosen through a public application process are: 


The chair of each Sub-Regional Table will be a voting member of the Inclusive Planning Council and tasked with reporting and advocacy for their sub-region to Thrive Inland SoCal as a whole. 



The Inclusive Planning Council (IPC) is responsible for making decisions on behalf of the region and Thrive Inland SoCal. This includes voting on important issues, such as adopting new policies or allocating resources. The IPC provides leadership for the collaborative and is responsible for resolving conflicts that arise within Thrive Inland SoCal. 

The IPC consists of the Equity Council, Committee, and Sub-regional Chairs as well as three Thrive Inland SoCal Co-Chairs. The total size of the IPC is 21 members, and a 2/3 majority vote (14 members) is required to pass any measure brought before it. 



  • Mike Lim, Governance Committee Chair, Xtelligent

  • James Spee, Data Committee Chair, University of Redlands

  • Debra Mustain, Projects and Sectors Committee Chair, Riverside Community College District

  • Pamela Deans, Outreach Committee Chair, Microenterprise Collaborative of Southern California

  • Tim Dupree, Multimedia, Comms & Culture Committee Chair, Building Legacies, Making Freedom

  • Ricardo Cisneros, Equity Council Chair, Inland Empire Labor Council

  • Dina Walker, Equity Council Chair, BLU Foundation

  • Renay Mehta, Equity Council Chair, Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce

  • Carolina Sanchez, Equity Council Chair, Just San Bernardino

  • Sherheryar Kaoosji, Equity Council Chair, Warehouse Workers Resource Center

  • Alex Avila, Equity Council Chair, CSU San Bernardino

  • Silvia Paz, Equity Council Chair, Alianza Coachella Valley

  • TBD, Greater San Bernardino Subregional Table Chair

  • TBD, Southwestern Riverside County Subregional Table Chair

  • TBD, Western San Bernardino Subregional Table Chair

  • TBD, Greater Riverside Subregional Table Chair

  • TBD, Morongo Basin/Coachella Valley Sub-regional Table Chair

  • TBD, High Desert Subregional Table Chair

  • TBD, Inclusive Planning Co-Chair 

  • TBD, Inclusive Planning Co-Chair 

  • TBD, Inclusive Planning Co-Chair 



The Inland Empire Labor Institute and Inland Economic Growth and Opportunity are the Regional Co-conveners, and the Inland Empire Community Foundation serves as the Fiscal Agent, carrying out necessary responsibilities as required by the State. 

Founded in 2020, the Inland Empire Labor Institute (IELI) is the 501(c)(3) wing of the Inland Empire Labor Council, a regional AFL-CIO affiliate with 290,000 members across Riverside and San Bernardino counties. We partner with economic, social, and environmental organizations to prioritize the needs of workers in uplifting communities and families. We see labor unions as a  key force for promoting workers' rights, economic justice, and democratic participation, and support regional development that is socially equitable, ecologically sustainable, and culturally diverse.

Inland Economic Growth & Opportunity (IEGO) is a regional network of leaders from businesses, nonprofits, higher education, and state and local government working to grow sectors that can create promising jobs for Inland Empire workers and students. IEGO is currently housed within the Inland Empire Community Foundation. Where they work to build strategies for sector-based economic development; in addition to finding targeted industrial sectors of sustainable logistics, green technology, cybersecurity, and advanced manufacturing.

The Inland Empire Community Foundation (IECF) is the oldest and largest community foundation serving the Inland region. Since 1941, IECF has dispensed more than $127 million in grants and scholarships. IECF scholarships have been given to every college and university within the San Bernardino County and Riverside County area, as well as to other institutions of higher learning across the country. IECF’s donor-directed grantmaking funds arts and culture groups, youth and family agencies, environmental, animal, senior, vets and a variety of other causes and needs.

Our Team


Hillary Jenks


Matthew Mena


Esmeralda Vazquez


Aaron Dill

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