WASHINGTON, March 23, 2016 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced new steps to further strengthen the success of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) activities, in the latest action by the department to help more SNAP participants develop marketable skills and find jobs.
"In today’s job market, it’s clear that workers who increase their education and sharpen their skills are more likely to be employed, more likely to have higher earnings and become more self-sufficient," said Under Secretary Kevin Concannon. "These are effects that are passed on to future generations, breaking the cycle of poverty that encumbers too many households."
The new outcome reporting requirements, mandated by the 2014 Farm Bill, will help states, USDA, and the public understand the effectiveness of SNAP E&T programs. States can use these data to identify best practices and identify areas for improvement. Starting next year, the rule requires states to provide annual data on employment entry, job retention, median earnings, and other education and employment-related outcomes.
To foster and streamline partnerships across federal training programs, the reporting requirements are aligned closely with the measures included in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which governs the nation’s federal training programs.
Concannon said the rule published today underscores USDA’s ongoing commitment to help states develop robust E&T programs that help low-income Americans transition off SNAP the right way: through a well-paying job. He noted additional recent efforts:
- In March 2015, USDA announced the participants of $200 million in competitive awards to fund and evaluate 10 long-term pilot projects designed to help SNAP participants find jobs and work toward self-sufficiency. The pilot projects, which were funded by the 2014 Farm Bill, represent a wide array of approaches—including skills training, work-based learning, support services such as transportation and child care, and other job-driven strategies—and reflect the wide geographic diversity of the SNAP population.
- In October 2015, USDA announced that it will be partnering with the Seattle Jobs Initiative to elevate best practices in SNAP E&T and offer technical assistance to states on how to implement job-driven SNAP E&T programs. USDA's Food and Nutrition Service selected the Seattle Jobs Initiative to operate this initiative, called SNAP to Skills, for the next two years. In March 2016, USDA announced 10 states that would receive extra technical assistance through SNAP to Skills to improve their E&T programs.
Today’s announcement comes during National Nutrition Month. Throughout the month, USDA is highlighting the results of our efforts to improve access to safe, healthy food for all Americans, and support the health of our next generation.
USDA's Food and Nutrition Service administers 15 nutrition assistance programs. In addition to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, these programs include Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, the National School Lunch Program, and the Summer Food Service Program which together comprise America's nutrition safety net.