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USDA Literature Review on Wage Subsidies and Work-Based Learning for SNAP

Resource type
Research, Analysis & Background
Research type
Assessing/Improving Operations
Resource Materials
PDF Icon Summary (180.85 KB)
PDF Icon Final Report (1.38 MB)

The Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 requires SNAP participants ages 16 to 59 to register and meet certain work requirements unless they are exempt or show good cause. States must operate employment and training (E&T) programs, but have flexibility in how they design their programs, including which components they offer. One component that states may offer, work experience, includes work-based learning activities.

The “Employment and Training Opportunities in SNAP" final rule allowed SNAP E&T to fund subsidized wages for E&T participants in work-based learning or other work experience activities. This study describes the wage subsidy and work-based learning models that aid in improving employment outcomes, the extent to which these models promote strong connections between government programs and employers, and the implications of previous findings on how to best implement wage subsidy and work-based learning programs within SNAP E&T.

Key Findings
  • Most work-based learning models have strong short-term impacts on earning and employment outcomes.
  • All work-based learning models offered other E&T services.
  • Across the different work-based learning activities, it was often difficult to engage employers, but strategies to overcome those challenges do exist.
  • Strategies to mitigate the impacts of participation on SNAP eligibility should be explored. ​
Page updated: November 22, 2023