Technical Assistance ToolkitTechnical Assistance Profile: BOOST Pilot Program

SGC, ILG and City of Palo Alto leadership and staff pose with a sign that says 'BOOST'.
Image credit: George Swar


Under-resourced communities often struggle to navigate the broad range of State funding opportunities and TA resources available to them. Furthermore, many of the State’s TA services are tied to specific grant programs, which may or may not match community needs and priorities. To address these concerns, the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) partnered with the Institute for Local Government (ILG) to pilot a new TA approach that is more flexible and responsive to community needs. The BOOST pilot program provides under-resourced local governments with tailored support to help advance their climate and equity goals. The place-based pilot program provides services to help build local capacity, develop equitable plans, identify meaningful projects, and secure adequate funding to advance climate action and address community needs.

TA Provider

Partnership between ILG and SGC

TA Recipients

10 cities and 2 regions:

Cities - Arcata, Arvin, Bakersfield, East Palo Alto, El Centro, Mammoth Lakes, Paramount, Salinas, San Diego, Ventura

Regions - Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG), San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG)

Total Budget



The pilot helps under-resourced communities create frameworks for sustainable community planning and helps them navigate funding opportunities to implement their visions. Recognizing that jurisdictions often have unique needs and priorities related to advancing climate and equity outcomes in their communities, BOOST tailored the scope of work to the needs identified by each TA recipient. Through BOOST, ILG offers one-on-one coaching to each community, including staff trainings, stakeholder and community engagement, partnership development, grant-writing assistance, and communications and storytelling support.


In just over a year, ILG has supported BOOST communities in submitting nearly 50 grant applications, totaling more than $45 million. ILG has also supported a variety of trainings on community engagement, COVID-19 recovery, climate planning, and other key topics for city staff, and providing opportunities for peer-to-peer learning among BOOST communities. Through BOOST, ILG has worked with partners to develop greenhouse gas inventories, supported climate action planning and other planning efforts, and provided additional capacity by, for example, assigning CivicSpark fellows to support city staff.

Lessons Learned

The BOOST program’s flexibility makes it possible to meet communities where they are and provide tailored services that respond to the specific needs of each community. While the common theme of climate action runs through all the activities funded through BOOST, the services provided for each community are different. BOOST communities have expressed appreciation for this approach, which allows them to focus ILG’s support on local community priorities. BOOST’s adaptable nature has also helped communities respond to COVID-19 because it was possible to review and update memorandums of understanding with each BOOST community to re-prioritize activities in light of the pandemic. The BOOST pilot’s success demonstrates the value of tailoring services to the TA recipients needs and adapting the TA scope as needed to changing conditions on the ground.