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SNAP to Skills

Posted on 07/29/2016

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants’ need for the education and training required to become economically self-sufficient is growing increasingly urgent. The vast majority of jobs in the future will require at least some education beyond high school, yet many SNAP participants have not reached this level of educational attainment. Without the skills to meet rapidly changing labor market demand, the chances of these SNAP participants for getting a good job and reducing their need for SNAP are extremely low. In fact, longer-term participants (those receiving benefits for 37 out of the past 48 months) are more likely to have less than a high school diploma as compared to their higher-educated peers.

According to a new policy brief from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Why Now is the Time for States to Build Their SNAP E&T Program External link opens in new window or tab (April 2016),

The SNAP Employment & Training (SNAP E&T) program, a skills and job training program for SNAP participants administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), is a key resource States and their partners can utilize to help SNAP participants meet this urgent need for skills and better jobs. SNAP E&T has historically been under-utilized, but a renewed focus on the program amid greater urgency for job training for SNAP participants has created new momentum for States seeking to build bigger, better, and stronger E&T programs.

Funding is provided for SNAP E&T through a mix of federal grants. States receive annual formula grants to implement and operate the program; however, states, institutions, and other organizations may also receive a 50-percent federal reimbursement of non-federal investments in education and training expenses for SNAP participants. These training programs must be included in a state’s annual SNAP E&T plan that is submitted to FNS.

The policy brief also outlines the immediate opportunity of the SNAP E&T program and shares some tips and best practices to get you started. This brief is the first in a series on best practices in SNAP E&T, developed under the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service’s technical assistance project, SNAP to Skills. Subsequent briefs and other resources about the program will be posted on the SNAP to Skills External link opens in new window or tab website. Find out more about your state’s SNAP E&T program External link opens in new window or tab. To receive monthly SNAP E&T updates, sign up for the SNAP E&T Review External link opens in new window or tab.

Source: Issue 250 OCTAE Connection - July 21, 2016 External link opens in new window or tab

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