The CalFresh Employment & Training (E&T) Program, established by the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), is state supervised and county administered. The program operates within the framework of a focused vision, mission, and strategic goals that help define success and lay the core foundation for E&T service delivery in California. The CalFresh E&T Program’s strategic goals are focused around a central vision to increase the employment and earning capacity of CalFresh recipients by maximizing their access to CalFresh E&T, supportive services, and skills and credentialing.

Vision

Increase the employment and earning capacity of CalFresh recipients.

Mission

Provide more CalFresh recipients with access to CalFresh E&T, supportive services, and skills and credentialing.

Strategic Goals

1. Increase job placement, retention, and wages.
2. Increase CalFresh E&T participation across a dynamic mix of people, communities and cultures.
3. Increase employability by removing barriers to employment.
4. Increase skills attainment and credentialing.

SNAP to Skills Initiative Updates

Four CalFresh E&T county programs were selected as the focus of the SNAP to Skills technical assistance project in California. These programs were offered through Sacramento, San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Each county that participated in the initiative has improved access to employment and training services for its local CalFresh population as described in the updates below.

Sacramento County will serve numerous populations which include ABAWDS, timed-out CalWORKs individuals, homeless individuals, General Assistance recipients, students at Cosumnes River College and more. In addition, the county will be offering participant reimbursements for dependent care and will use a web application to track allowable activities.

San Francisco County is responding to the expiration of its federal ABAWD time limit waiver by upgrading data systems and securing new partnerships. The county was awarded CDSS Expansion Bonus Funds in support of these efforts.

Alameda County has established new third-party partnerships with Rising Sun Electric and The Bread Project, both of which will be offering the education component.

Contra Costa continues its partnership with Fresh Success, California’s statewide contractor, to provide E&T services through Rubicon and Opportunity Junction.

CalFresh E&T Updates

CDSS continues to increase capacity and support for CalFresh E&T programs. CalFresh E&T at CDSS has grown from one program support unit into an entire CalFresh E&T Section which is comprised of one Section Chief, and two E&T program support units, each staffed with a team of analysts to support these goals.

CDSS provided counties with an opportunity to receive E&T Expansion bonus funds in support of local efforts to expand the CalFresh E&T program. Eight counties were awarded these funds based on their commitment to offer new E&T components, expand their partnerships and/or target populations. When spent on allowable E&T activities, these funds are eligible to receive a 50% reimbursement for even further investment in the program.

In 2017, California was awarded an FNS DATA and Technical Assistance Grant to support the improvement of E&T data management processes. Through a competitive selection process, CDSS selected a vendor to develop the E&T Online Resource Center. CDSS envisions the online tool will enhance access to CalFresh eligibility verification, reporting functions, and centralize resources for CalFresh E&T partner organizations. Initial development of the project is currently underway and progress toward a final product is being made.

Policy initiatives are currently circulating to County Welfare Departments, as well as Local Workforce Development Boards to establish partnership practices that provide the CalFresh community with employment and training services. The CalFresh E&T program continues on a path to expansion and quality service alignment.