Building a SNAP E&T Program County by County
North Carolina’s vision for its SNAP E&T program, called the Food and Nutrition Services Employment and Training program (FNS E&T), is “Strengthening families and communities by creating opportunities that lead to living-wage jobs for sustainable success.” North Carolina operates a State-supervised, county-administered SNAP E&T program, meaning that many program functions are the responsibility of the 100 counties within the State and supervised by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Division of Social Services (DSS).
North Carolina operates a voluntary E&T program in nine counties, utilizing primarily 100 percent SNAP E&T funding. Two of these counties, Buncombe and Mecklenburg, began third-party partnerships for their E&T programs in January 2016. Both counties contracted with the local Goodwill Industries, but Mecklenburg has also partnered with the Urban League of Central Carolinas as well.
North Carolina is now working with the SNAP to Skills project to expand and improve its FNS E&T program. North Carolina prioritized the development of a sustainable 50-50 reimbursement program and piloting it in its active counties as well as a number of new counties. The State’s larger goals include:
- Increasing FNS E&T staffing to handle the additional workload of an expanded program;
- Ensuring that current counties offer more viable work activities such as on-the-job training, work experience and apprenticeship programs;
- Increasing the number of E&T counties by at least three in the next year; and
- Developing more robust partnerships with the community college system, community based organizations and employers to support a more job-driven E&T program.
North Carolina is excited about the future of its E&T program. With SNAP to Skills’ guidance, the State is working with counties to help them identify third-party partners and local match funds essential to building 50-50 program models. DHHS/DSS is also working to engage North Carolina’s community college system at the statewide level to create a broader partnership to bring on colleges as third-party E&T partners. The State is planning for steady growth, while working to ensure that it has the infrastructure and systems in place to adequately support this growth and minimize setbacks.