Andrea Reyes

published on February 23, 2018 - 11:59 AM
Written by

The Fresno County Economic Development Corporation will be hosting its BEAR Breakfast at the Grand in downtown Fresno on March 1 from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., with a complimentary breakfast beginning promptly at 7 a.m. This year’s focus will be on the New Employment Opportunities (NEO) Expanded Subsidized Employment (ESE) Program.

The NEO-ESE program is a partnership between the Fresno County Economic Development Corporation and the Fresno County Department of Social Services. This partnership was established to provide incentives for employers to create and retain full time jobs in Fresno County while providing Welfare-to-Work participants with long-term and transitional employment opportunities. Programs like NEO-ESE address actual business challenges and provide solutions allowing companies to grow and become more competitive in the workplace.  The program saved businesses more than $2.36 million in reimbursed wages just in 2017!

The County of Fresno Department of Social Services (DSS) implemented the NEO program to provide short term wage subsidies to qualified employers willing and able to hire California Work Opportunities and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) or Welfare-To-Work (WTW) participants. For every NEO-ESE hire, an employer will be reimbursed for actual wages paid — 100 percent for weeks 1-13 and 75 percent for weeks 14-26. The employer may outline opportunities for the employee’s continued growth and apply for two extensions: 50 percent for weeks 27-39 and 25 percent for weeks 40-52. This subsidy is meant to make up to one year of training a new employee cost-effective for the employer. The goal is that employers use this financial incentive to grow their business and provide the training necessary for the workforce they need.

The program will feature three relevant panel discussions. The first panel consists of Oliver Baines, City of Fresno council member District 3, and representing Valley Apprenticeship Connections; Dr. Carole Goldsmith from Fresno City College, and David Castillo from West Hills College discussing job-training opportunities provided by the partnership. Speaking on the second panel, we will hear from fellow business owners discussing how they are thriving because they found the right candidates and saved money through the NEO program. On the third panel attendees will feature Delfino Neira, director of Fresno County Department of Social Services and Fresno EDC staff discussing the NEO program and workforce challenges and opportunities in Fresno County. 

The breakfast will highlight numerous businesses for their participation and success in the NEO program. We encourage you to invite fellow business owners and continue growing your company in 2018!

Here’s a testimonial from one of the participating employers:

“I wanted to let you know how thankful we are for the NEO program. We hired our office assistant through the program and the process has been excellent. Not only did I receive the perfect candidate, the selection process through the Ready2Hire website was easy. This allowed McMillan Consulting to benefit from the free candidate search service to find qualified candidates quickly. As a small business in the Central Valley, we appreciate any benefit that is available to us. It only keeps us stronger to continue offering jobs to our community. Our goal is to successfully grow our company with a strong team. The NEO program is helping us achieve our goals… You have given us the best attention and answer our questions quickly. We will continue to utilize the NEO program as more positions become available.”

– McMillan Consulting, a local business participating in the NEO program


What: Fresno County EDC “BEAR Breakfast”

When: March 01, 2018 7 AM – 9 AM (Complimentary Breakfast Included)

Where: The Grand, 1401 Fulton St. Fresno, CA 93721

Tickets: RSVP for your FREE entry at or call 559-476-2500

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