Introduction

The Community Technology Empowerment Project (CTEP) helps increase work-readiness skills among new immigrants and members of low-income communities in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metropolitan Area. The program provides participants with the latest technology skills to help them gain sustainable employment and improve their civic, educational, and social opportunities. AmeriCorps members provide CTEP participants one-on-one mentoring and training to improve their digital skills and technology literacy.

Study Goals

The goal of the study was to explore and quantify the CTEP’s return on investment (ROI).

Research Questions

The research questions include:

  • What are the benefits of the CTEP program across participants, AmeriCorps members, and the government?
  • What were the program costs between 2018 and 2019?
  • What is the ROI as measured by total benefits per dollar, total benefits per funder dollar, and federal government benefits per federal dollar?

Findings

The study found the following:

  • The analysis estimated CTEP’s ROI to be between $2.95 and $34.26 per funder dollar, depending on how long program participants and AmeriCorps members experience increased earnings as a result of CTEP.
  • The robust employment and earnings outcomes realized by 10.3 percent (?) of CTEP program participants.
  • The percentage of members unemployed was 5 percentage points lower six months after serving in AmeriCorps versus the previous six months.
  • As a result of receiving an education award for serving in the CTEP, AmeriCorps members were able to use the earnings for postsecondary degrees post-service.

Return on Investment (ROI) Studies

AmeriCorps and its grantees have invested significant resources in evaluating different agency programs and supported program models designed to improve a range of outcomes for national service members and volunteers, children, families, organizations, and communities across. AmeriCorps conducted ROI analyses to help measure the program performance and build the base of evidence for future resource allocation decisions. In addition, each ROI study helps AmeriCorps communicate the value of its programs to relevant stakeholders. 

The ROI studies listed below evaluated the cost and benefits of each of the following program:

  • AmeriCorps Senior: Foster Grandparents/Senior Companion: This study estimates that the AmeriCorps Seniors Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) and Senior Companion Program (SCP) generate an ROI of $3.50 per funder dollar. FGP alone has an ROI of $2.75 per funder dollar, while SCP has an ROI of $5.08 per funder dollar.
  • College Possible’s College Access Program: This study estimates College Possible’s ROI to be between $1.50 and $6.41 per funder dollar, depending on how long program participants and AmeriCorps members experience increased earnings due to College Possible’s College Access program. The return on each dollar of federal.
  • Minnesota Reading Corps - Kindergarten (MRC): This study estimates MRC Kindergarten’s ROI to be between $5.47 and $6.99 per funded dollar, depending on how long program participants and AmeriCorps members experience increased earnings as a result of MRC Kindergarten.

Full report

Full Report

Further information

Program/Intervention
ROI: Community Technology Empowerment Project (Economic Opportunity)
Implementing Organization
AmeriCorps Office of Research and Evaluation Commissioned Report
Intermediary(s)

Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN)

AmeriCorps Program(s)
AmeriCorps State and National
Social Innovation Fund
Age(s) Studied
13-17 (Adolescent)
18-25 (Young adult)
Focus Population(s)/Community(s)
Opportunity Youth
Nonprofits
Tribes
Rural
Suburban
Urban
Low-income
Outcome Category
Financial literacy
Employment
Post-secondary educational support
Benefit to national service members/volunteers
Nonprofit development
Improving AmeriCorps
Study Type(s)
Cost-benefit or Cost Effectiveness Study
Other
Study Design(s)
Quasi-experimental (QED)
Researcher/Evaluator
ICF International
Published Year
2021
Study Site Location (City/County)
St. Paul
Study Site Location (State)
Minnesota