The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is committed to strengthening the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Employment and Training Program (SNAP E&T) nationally to ensure that all SNAP participants have the skills they need to work toward self-sufficiency.
FNS’ SNAP to Skills Project (S2S) provides technical assistance and resources to States to help them build employer-driven SNAP E&T programs. We have also operated two SNAP E&T Learning Academies, which provided an opportunity for State SNAP agencies and individuals outside of those agencies to gain expertise about SNAP E&T and work with their States or across States to build stronger employment and training programs.
In 2019, FNS provided a new offering as part of S2S that is tailor-made for State SNAP agencies who want to advance an aspect of their SNAP E&T program, even if they are not participating as one of the 10 States in the SNAP to Skills Project.
March 2019 State Institute: Taking SNAP E&T to Scale
The first of the Institutes, Taking SNAP E&T to Scale, took place March 12-14, 2019, in Arlington, Virginia, and focused on helping States work through strategic and operational challenges and opportunities to expand their programs and serve more SNAP participants. Teams from 15 States (Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and West Virginia) attended.
Learning sessions in Taking SNAP E&T to Scale focused on helping States effectively operationalize SNAP E&T programs utilizing third-party partners; develop quality annual SNAP E&T Plans; develop strong systems of participant referral to match and connect individuals to the right programs and services; and develop an understanding of federal regulations and financial requirements of SNAP E&T. Participants had the opportunity to apply what they learned through cross-State group exercises, as well as work in their State Teams to address a key operational challenge.
The second SNAP E&T State Institute, Improving Outcomes with Work- and Skills-Based SNAP E&T Strategies, focused on helping States to strengthen their SNAP E&T program outcomes by working with high-quality providers to offer work and skills-based workforce development strategies. This second event took place in the Fall of 2019.