Since inception, the Fresno Bridge Academy has “graduated” 700 families. Another 400 families are currently enrolled. Existing contracts and announced grants, including the USDA pilot, will enable the FBA to serve an additional 2,300 families between 2015 and 2019.

While the FBA continues to service clients that are not E&T-eligible, the following statistics focus exclusively on E&T participants because they represent the majority of enrolled clients and because it makes reporting easier for readers to understand.

The first FBA E&T Class (Class # 1) was launched in February 2012. It had 87 E&T net enrolled families, and was completed on March 31, 2014. Class # 2, launched in October 2012, had 183 E&T net enrolled families and was completed on March 31, 2015. Class # 3 was launched in October 2013 and is scheduled to be completed on March 31, 2016. It has 233 net enrolled families and includes the rural community of Coalinga. Class # 4 launched in October 2014 and is scheduled to be completed on March 31, 2017, with at least another 250 families enrolled and served. This class will serve the existing areas as well as the Reedley community.

The FBA has been very effective in employment placement and job retention among adults that are most in need, including individuals with low skills, low educational level, and limited work experience. Seventy-seven percent of the E&T clients in Class #1 were unemployed when enrolled. As of March 31, 2014, when Class # 1 closed, 83% of participants had found employment with 82% of those retaining employment, and 32% had achieved self-reliance (no longer government dependent) with 68% of those retaining self-reliance.

Class # 2, set to complete in March 2015, shows comparable results. Outcomes will be available and shared in April 2015.

Classes # 3 and # 4 are in progress and are showing comparable results.

The most significant benefits of the FBA are social - often resulting in life-changing trajectories for participating families - but it is difficult to document these benefits other than on an anecdotal basis; so, Fresno DSS contracted with Michael Wilson Consulting Inc. to build a cost-benefit model that monetizes the benefits of the interventions provided through the FBA. The model uses standard economic discount rate techniques; cohort comparison analysis; publicly available data on the benefits of certain interventions; and reasoned assumptions about the causal effects of improved outcomes and how long impacts are expected to persist.

This ROI model showed that for every taxpayer dollar spent on the FBA program the total benefit was $22.28, with $16.78 of the benefits going to the participating families and $5.50 going to taxpayers. The estimated net present value of lifetime savings in food stamp outlays was $15,050 per Net E&T enrolled family, a total savings of $1,309,350. The amount of savings was nearly 5 times greater than the amount of funding to operate the program. Additionally, participants who had been consumers of tax revenues became generators of tax revenues.

For Class # 2, the ROI showed…..

The term “E&T net enrolled” refers to the net number of families who remain enrolled in the E&T program after a probationary 90 day period and excludes families that become ineligible for E&T funding because they have become eligible for CalWorks Funding. The latter remain enrolled in the FBA but are no longer funded as part of the FNS E&T program.

Fresno Bridge Academy