California Jobs First - Southern Border Coalition

About the Southern Border Coalition

The Southern Border Coalition is part of California's California Jobs First (Formerly CERF Community Economic Resilience Fund). At the state level, California Jobs First is allocating $5 million to each region to create plans that diversify and equalize the local economy with climate change in mind.

The Coalition aims to foster long-term economic resilience across San Diego and Imperial Counties and coordinates competitive applications for additional funding from the state government.

The Coalition is comprised of community of environmental justice organizations, regional economic development entities, labor unions, community-based organizations (CBOs), local governments, educational institutions, and Indigenous Tribes working together to create an equitable economic development plan for the region.

Draft Regional Plan Part 1

The Draft 2.0 of the Regional Plan Part 1 is a second draft of the Southern Border Region Regional Plan - Part 1. It was prepared in response to a set of requests for proposals by the hired researchers San Diego Policy and Innovation Center and Center for Community College Excellence, and is subject to further changes. Due to its preliminary nature, no decisions or actions should be based solely on the content of this draft document.   

During April and May of 2024, the researchers for Part 1 of the Regional Plan collaborated with Sector Leads to gather community feedback on Draft 1.0. You can view minutes from their planning and sector meetings by clicking here. Public comment for Draft 1.0 of the Regional Plan Part 1 closed on May 31, 2024. An archive of public comment provided for Draft 1.0 can be found by clicking here

Draft 2.0 of the Regional Plan Part 2 is now available at the link below. The Spanish version of Draft 2.0 will be posted shortly, along with additional information related to the public comment period for Draft 2.0. In the meantime, please submit any public comments for Draft 2.0 by email to [email protected].

Draft 2.0 CA Jobs First SB Coalition_Regional Plan_Part 1 - English

Southern Border Coalition Co-conveners
San Diego State University
Comite Civico del Valle
San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center
Universidad Popular
Imperial Valley Equity & Justice Coalition
Imperial Valley Wellness Foundation
San Diego & Imperial Counties Labor Council

Why Join the Coalition?

Motivated community members can make a difference in their region.

You care about the economic prosperity of San Diego or Imperial County

Our region's largest industries include health care, science and technology, mining, retail and educational services. But the richness of our enterprise is not distributed evenly and still has room to grow.

You believe in fair working conditions for all

In forming a high road transition collaborative (HRTC), we will favor businesses and policies that invest in workforce development, pay family-sustaining wages and engage in environmentally sustainable business practices.

You want your voice heard

We are hoping to plan with communities, not at communites. We are dedicated to meeting the needs of the most vulnerable populations and those historically excluded from policy decisions throughout the region.

You understand the tight links between climate change, financial security and health

Monitoring water usage, energy consumption and resource extraction can help prevent detrimental and disproportional effects of climate crises on our community members.

Become a Partner

We are looking for individuals and organizations from the following sectors to join the Coalition:

  • Labor organizations
  • Employers, businesses and business associations
  • Grassroots and community-based organizations, community organizers and community members
  • Government agencies
  • Economic development agencies
  • Philanthropic organizations
  • Education and training providers
  • Workforce entities
  • Environmental justice organizations
  • Worker centers
  • Disinvested communities
  • California Native American Tribes
  • Youth leaders (individuals 15-24)
  • LGBTQIA communities
  • Farmworkers
  • Others capable of contributing to the success of this project

Regional Strengths

Traffic sign showing Mexico to the left and USA straight ahead
Diverse group of people smiling
Aircraft carrier in the San Diego Bay with houses and buildings visible along the coastline

Regional Challenges

Houses upon ridges with mountains visible in the background
Hand holding a printed resume
People waiting in line for an ATM outside a bank


Central Tenets

Five central tenets guide our economic development planning

Man farming avocados


Include populations historically excluded from planning and economic development processes

Salton Sea with mountain in the background


Aim for a self-sustaining, carbon-neutral, climate-resilient economy that address the needs of the region's communities

Woman setting up personal items on desk at a new job

Job Quality and Access

Prioritize jobs that provide a family-sustaining wage, benefits and professional development, value collective worker input and offer safe working conditions

Chula Vista at sunset

Economic Competitiveness

Improve the wealth and health of San Diego and Imperial Counties so they are places where workers want to and can afford to live
Stack of cash with emergency fund note

Economic Resilience

Ensure an economy that can withstand and absorb shocks such as the downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in ways that protect all people and workers