The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). FNS works to end hunger and obesity through the administration of 15 federal nutrition assistance programs including WIC, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and school meals. In partnership with State and Tribal governments, our programs serve one in four Americans during the course of a year. Working with our public, private and non-profit partners, our mission is to increase food security and reduce hunger by providing children and low-income people access to food, a healthful diet and nutrition education in a way that supports American agriculture and inspires public confidence.
SNAP to Skills is managed by the Office of Employment and Training (OET) in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net. The SNAP Employment and Training Program (SNAP E&T) helps SNAP households gain skills, training, work, or experience that will increase self-sufficiency.
Seattle Jobs Initiative (SJI) is a workforce intermediary that uniquely combines the design and operation of employment and training programs, research and development, and consulting/technical assistance. In partnership with community colleges, community-based organizations, government and employers, SJI designs and delivers programs that help low-income individuals with multiple barriers advance along career pathways leading to well-paying jobs. SJI’s programs creatively align support services – intensive career navigation, housing, childcare, transportation, SNAP – to provide participants the best opportunity to succeed in training and in the labor market.
SJI conducts labor market research to help ensure education and training programs are connected to middle-wage job opportunities while meeting the needs of local employers for skilled workers. Other research focuses on best practices for meeting the varied employment and training needs of low-income adults. SJI’s consulting/technical assistance is focused on helping States operationalize, grow and improve SNAP E&T 50-50 programs. SJI has worked intensively with 30 States as well as counties, cities and provider partners on their SNAP E&T programs.
For over forty years, MDRC’s mission and practice has been to improve the implementation and effectiveness of human service programs by providing technical assistance to program operators and to use appropriate evaluation methods to learn about best practices and what works. As a research organization, MDRC extends an evidence-based approach to its delivery of technical assistance. MDRC staff include those who specialize in the on-the-ground operations of the programs it works with. Staff within MDRC’s Center for Applied Behavioral Science (CABS) take on pressing problems that partners want to solve using insights from behavioral science, design thinking, and technology to improve the way social programs are designed and services are delivered.
MDRC has provided technical assistance, as well as studied the effectiveness of programs in a range of program domains, such as SNAP E&T, TANF, education and training, and workforce. In providing technical assistance to programs, MDRC’s goal is to leave program staff with tools and practices to help people, families, and children in need.
Insight Policy Research (Insight) combines research depth with applied, real-world experience to understand and address issues affecting historically underserved and economically disadvantaged populations. With more than 20 years of experience, Insight has led complex projects to provide high-quality research and technical assistance (TA), including support of SNAP research for over a decade and SNAP TA for several years. As part of providing TA to FNS and SNAP State agencies, Insight has worked closely with OET to develop SNAP E&T policy guidance and provide oversight on E&T programs.
Over the course of this work, Insight has provided targeted policy support services, training, and facilitation to meet the needs of Federal agencies, States, and other stakeholders. This experience includes planning and hosting learning sessions for Federal and State staff and designing and conducting rapid-cycle evaluations to provide “rapid response” technical assistance. Across numerous TA projects, Insight has worked with dozens of States to provide training in process improvement techniques and business process improvement tools.