Integrating SNAP E&T into Tennessee's State Workforce Strategy

“Working together to navigate a path toward success for all Tennesseans.” Tennessee’s new vision statement embodies the State’s actions to integrate SNAP E&T into the broader statewide workforce strategy. With SNAP E&T, the State is boosting efforts to improve employment and training outcomes for low-income residents.

In Tennessee, SNAP E&T is managed as a partnership between the Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) and the Department of Human Services (TDHS), though services are provided through TDLWD.  

The State provides an array of services to support jobs and workforce development in Tennessee. Prior to its selection as a SNAP to Skills State, the program was limited in scope, utilizing exclusively SNAP E&T program grants (100 percent funds), and funding similar services as are typically offered at American Job Centers to SNAP participants in only 13 of 95 counties.  Through its participation in the SNAP to Skills Project, it became clear to the State that a SNAP E&T 50-50 reimbursement program utilizing third-party partners would allow for significant program expansion and diversification.   

A SNAP E&T planning group developed a SNAP E&T Business and Implementation Plan, calling for the piloting of a SNAP E&T 50-50 model in three counties with an eventual target of 42 counties. The Plan established a set of key milestones including: developing initiatives and programs with community-based agencies, Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCATs), and community colleges that can be funded through SNAP E&T 50-50 reimbursement dollars; developing a child care eligibility model for SNAP E&T participants; and, establishing a “reverse referral” process between TDLWD and TDHS. The State is taking action on this plan and has already established third-party partnerships with Goodwill of Mid-Tennessee, Advance Memphis, Goodwill East Tennessee, TCAT Knoxville, Southwest Community College (Shelby County), and TCAT Nashville. 

Tennessee and its partners are coming together and are excited to move their SNAP E&T program forward with continued growth and success.