The 2022 SNAP E&T National Forum, hosted by USDA on Dec. 13-14, 2022 brought together state agencies and SNAP E&T stakeholders to reconnect, rebuild, and reimagine SNAP E&T programs across the country. With over 300 in-person attendees in Alexandria, VA and over 100 watching on live-stream, stakeholders shared and learned best practices for promoting and increasing employment among SNAP households through state SNAP E&T programs.
A key conference track was Advancing Equity, with over seven sessions dedicated to this topic. Inspired by these sessions, FNS has identified four approaches SNAP E&T administrators can apply in their program design and delivery of SNAP E&T services to incorporate a focus on equity.
Click the links below to view the presentations and recordings (if available) from the Forum sessions. Sessions are organized by topic track.
- Opening Plenary
- Tim English, Acting Associate Administrator, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, USDA Food and Nutrition Service
- Stacy Dean, Deputy Under Secretary, USDA Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services
Fireside Chat with Workforce Development Leaders
- Stacy Dean, Deputy Under Secretary, USDA Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Service
- Brian Lyght, Chief Operating Officer, Center for Urban Families, Inc.
- Randy Stamper, Associate Vice Chancellor, Career Education and Workforce Development, Virginia’s Community Colleges
- SNAP E&T Policy
SNAP E&T 101
This was a live-streamed session at the 2022 SNAP E&T National Forum. This session is a brief history of SNAP E&T and program policy, such as what services states can make available through E&T, participant reimbursement requirements, screening and referral requirements, and other federal requirements. Learn about flexibilities states have to design SNAP E&T programs that meet local workforce needs and the needs of SNAP participants in the state.
Case Management Best Practices
Case management is an important, and now required, element of SNAP E&T programs. This session shares findings from FNS’s Survey of SNAP E&T Case Management study, which included a national survey of SNAP agencies and four case studies to learn about case management implementation and best practices. Then, representatives from Arkansas’ Division of Workforce Services, Adult Education Section and Oregon’s Department of Human Services share how they provide case management to SNAP E&T participants and discuss their best practices and lessons learned.
ABAWD Policy and Emerging from the Public Health Emergency
This was a live-streamed session at the 2022 SNAP E&T National Forum. Emerging from the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) will require state agencies to eventually resume enforcing the time limit for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs). The goal of this session is to help states prepare to administer ABAWD policy in a manner which ensures individuals who are eligible continue to receive benefits, while also minimizing payment errors. In this session, FNS delves into ABAWD policy requirements and best practices for state agencies, such as screening for exemptions, notifying households of changes, requesting waivers of the time limit, and applying discretionary exemptions.
SNAP E&T and Subsidized Work-Based Learning
This session focused on how subsidized work-based learning (SWBL) can be an important part of a SNAP E&T program. Learn about the positive impact SWBL programs had as part of the 2014 FNS SNAP E&T pilots and how two states have successfully established SWBL programs as part of their E&T programs.
SNAP Student Eligibility: Listening Session
Although post-secondary students who are at risk of food insecurity may be eligible for SNAP, many are not participating in the program. To tackle hunger among students, FNS is working to reduce barriers to SNAP for eligible students, including confusion about specific student exemptions that impact eligibility. During this listening session, FNS invites SNAP E&T stakeholders to share input on how to improve access to SNAP for students. Participants discuss how to identify students with high need for food assistance, institutions of higher education that serve students with high need for food assistance, and actions at the local, state, and federal level that could promote student access to SNAP.
- Advancing Equity
Moving SNAP E&T Programs in a Trauma-Informed and Anti-Racist Directions
This was a live-streamed session at the 2022 SNAP E&T National Forum. Hear from state agency and provider staff about what they think makes a workforce development service provider a good fit for SNAP E&T and learn about a new FNS tool to help states think about good providers for their E&T programs. Responding to a renewed sense of urgency for transforming publicly funded work programs to more adequately help participants achieve their dreams and aspirations, states, counties and local agencies are redesigning their employment and training programs to build on participants’ strengths while simultaneously recognizing the toll that racism and trauma have taken on their lives. Presenters share the work they are doing to redesign employment and training programs by listening to the voices of program participants, using research on the impact of racism and other forms of trauma to provide staff with the tools they need to deliver more effective services, and developing policy agendas that support moving employment and training programs in an anti-racist and trauma-informed direction.
Equitable SNAP E&T: Clearing the Path to Economic Mobility for All
This was a live-streamed session at the 2022 SNAP E&T National Forum. This panel presentation, facilitated by the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA), highlights APHSA and its members commitment to advancing equity in human services, including through SNAP E&T. State leaders from Alabama and Washington share how they have initiated innovative work in advancing equity and inclusion within SNAP E&T by addressing disparities in supportive services, developing multidisciplinary tools and staff/provider training, analyzing data to embed DEI in workforce strategies, and promoting DEI in provider procurement and service provision. APHSA also shares resources and tools developed to support agency leaders and staff in advancing DEI/REI strategies.
Advancing Equity: Racial, Gender, and LGBTQ+
FNS is committed to advancing equity and improving access to SNAP E&T nationwide and there are exciting efforts to advance equity happening at the state and provider levels. In this session, you’ll hear from two SNAP E&T providers in Illinois—Jane Addams Resource Corporation and Revolution Workshop—that are implementing ongoing strategies to advance racial, gender, and LGBTQ+ equity within their agencies and within the local manufacturing and construction industries. In addition, the Minnesota Department of Human Services will share exciting updates about their USDA-funded Data and Technical Assistance (DATA) grant. This project, which involves E&T provider engagement, seeks to answer key questions about the quality and equity of its E&T program to make data-driven improvements.
Building Good Jobs in Federal Investments
The Good Jobs Initiative is a Department of Labor led initiative that provides critical information to workers, employers, and government agencies as they work to improve job quality and create access to good jobs free from discrimination and harassment for all working people (with emphasis on underserved communities, including BIPOC individuals, LGBTQ+ individuals, women, immigrants, veterans, individuals with disabilities, individuals in rural communities, individuals without a college degree, individuals with or recovering from a substance use disorder, and justice-involved individuals). Learn more about the Good Jobs Initiative and discuss opportunities for a systems approach to creating good jobs.
SNAP E&T in Rural Areas
Learn how state SNAP agencies and SNAP E&T third party providers effectively deliver and adapt services to rural areas to improve participant outcomes. This session includes examples from Colorado, Maine, and West Virginia on methods to integrate partnership strategies that busy program operators can successfully employ in other rural areas.
State Tribal Consultation on the SNAP E&T Plan
Tribal consultations are a critical part of honoring the sovereignty of tribes and upholding trust in the government-to-government relationship between tribes and state or federal agencies. This session provides a brief history of the importance of consultation on food policies between state agencies and tribal organizations and discuss why consultation on SNAP operations is essential. It also highlights the recent FNS guidance memos on the requirements of the consultation process between state agencies and tribal organizations on the E&T State Plan, as well as best practices for consulting in good faith. The session presents existing successful models of relationship building and consultation between state agencies and tribes on SNAP E&T plan.
Partnering with Employment Social Enterprises (ESEs)
This session will focus on how SNAP E&T agencies can partner with Employment Social Enterprises (ESEs) — mission-driven, revenue-generating businesses that invest the money they make into helping people with diverse talents and experiences who are striving to overcome employment barriers get jobs, maintain employment, and build a better life—to reach more individuals with quality E&T services. Specifically, we will discuss the ESE model, its alignment with SNAP E&T, and how ESEs are advancing equity and creating an inclusive economy, along with connecting to career pathways. We will also outline how collaborating with ESEs will assist agencies in reaching target populations and further strengthen their programs. Understanding the essential program elements that make individuals successful in E&T and how agencies can build these elements across their partners with the help of ESEs is critical. This includes highlighting how to build training materials for new partners that serve high-barrier populations as well. Lastly, throughout this session, we will share lessons learned with partners regarding employer connections and facilitating quality jobs following E&T.
- Expansion and Improvement of State SNAP E&T Programs
What Makes a Good SNAP E&T Provider
This was a live-streamed session at the 2022 SNAP E&T National Forum. Hear from state agency and provider staff about what they think makes a workforce development service provider a good fit for SNAP E&T and learn about a new FNS tool to help states think about good providers for their E&T programs. This session incorporates an equity lens in the discussion.
SNAP E&T Program Evolution: A Case Study
States find themselves at different points of program evolution from just starting a program to others that have many different types of providers. This session will feature three states discussing where they’re at now, how they got there, and where they’re going.
Lessons Learned: How to Harness SNAP E&T to Build and Scale Career Pathways through Community College and Human Service Partnerships
This was a live-streamed session at the 2022 SNAP E&T National Forum. States can advance racial equity and economic mobility by leveraging federal funding streams to create career pathways that center the needs of adult learners and workers. Hear how states and community colleges are leveraging SNAP E&T and other federal, state, and philanthropic funding streams to transform partnerships between community colleges and human service agencies—increasing educational attainment, connection to quality jobs, and elevating student and worker voice. Find out how this work can address the racial wealth gaps and basic needs insecurity facing too many learners and workers, while also shifting the narrative away from individual fixes to systemic solutions to address structural barriers. Hear lessons learned from six states, and tactical examples of how SNAP E&T can transform these partnerships between community colleges, adult education providers, and human service agencies to build these robust career pathway systems.
Public Workforce System and SNAP E&T Alignment to Enhance Service Delivery
Since the enactment of the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) in 2014, there has been an ongoing effort to establish a stronger partnership between the USDA SNAP Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) Program and the U.S. Department of Labor’s WIOA programs. WIOA is the driving legislation of the public workforce system in the U.S. and requires states to develop comprehensive plans for their workforce systems, which serves as a catalyst to strategically align various workforce development programs with increased emphasis on serving vulnerable populations. SNAP E&T is one of the programs that many states now include in their plans to better integrate or align it within their workforce system initiatives. This presentation will highlight the enhanced partnership between SNAP E&T and the public workforce system to increase access to employment opportunities for this often marginalized and underserved population.
Developing Partnerships and Onboarding New Providers
In this session, Louisiana Department of Children & Family Services SNAP E&T staff will identify effective methods that have proven to be successful in developing partnerships and onboarding new providers in their SNAP E&T program. The session will explain the importance of leveraging key partnerships in order to bring quality training programs to all areas of the state to grow the SNAP E&T program. In addition, Louisiana’s SNAP E&T program will explain the development and implementation of accountability measures for partners that will ensure the success and sustainability of the SNAP E&T program over time.
Early Lessons Learned, SNAP E&T National Partnership Grants
In FY 20, USDA awarded more than $6.7 million in SNAP E&T National Partnership Grants to help six national non-profit organizations expand program capacity to serve SNAP participants. In this session, each of the six National Partnership grantees will share perspectives from a variety of focus area and stakeholder lenses to highlight how to develop strategic partnerships with community-based organizations, community action organizations, community colleges, social enterprises, workforce boards, and human service organizations to connect with SNAP E&T participants. The session will lift opportunities for states to engage with potential providers. The grantees will also share early lessons learned from the project process.
Intermediaries: The Path to College Partnerships
SNAP E&T partnerships with community colleges are more important than ever. But state capacity and resources often get in the way. Learn not only why community college partnerships are important to a quality E&T program, but why intermediaries are so helpful to states in developing and managing those partnerships.
Working as a SNAP E&T Intermediary
Now in its third year as the SNAP 50/50 Intermediary for the greater Chicagoland area, National Able Network first piloted this function in early 2020 at the onset of the pandemic. Learn about the various phases of growth and operations from program conception through adaptation and sustainability, which Able experienced during these unprecedented times, as well as the role philanthropic and private investments have played to ensure the Intermediary’s ongoing sustainability. This session also focuses on best practices and strategies around subrecipient provider identification, assessment, onboarding, support, financial and sector-based programmatic growth strategies, as well as intentional linkages to the larger workforce development and training ecosystem including WIOA and SCSEP programs. Hear directly from Intermediary staff on how this now expanded function has become a critical part of a successful service delivery strategy for SNAP recipients across a metropolitan area.
Using Rapid Cycle Evaluation to Increase SNAP E&T Enrollment and Engagement
Rapid cycle evaluation (RCE) can be a powerful tool for improving programs’ efficiency and effectiveness. It is a collaborative process that follows a series of steps to identify challenges and define and test potential solutions. The process helps build evidence about what works best, for whom, and under what circumstances, which enables program administrators to target scarce resources and maximize potential impacts on the individuals they serve. FNS is currently funding interventions that are making small-scale, low-cost operational changes to improve enrollment and engagement in SNAP E&T programs. This session describes the RCE process, how it can help SNAP E&T program administrators and providers, and the real-world experiences from E&T staff involved in the study.
- Effectively Reaching Customers
Resources to Support Rural Communities
Join USDA’s Rural Development, the U.S. Department of Labor, and Area Health Education Centers to learn about resources available to support and enhance your efforts in developing and growing rural workforce.
Evolving to the Future Using Pandemic Best Practices
This session will highlight best practices which emerged out of the pandemic to ensure the effective delivery of E&T services. During the pandemic, state agencies and E&T providers transitioned to virtual services in order to sustain operations and continue serving participants. State agencies removed boundaries to continue providing remote case management, job placement and supportive services. E&T partners embraced distance learning and transformed their training methods to ensure E&T participants completed their programs. As we emerge from the pandemic, states and providers are realizing that some of the strategies they implemented were extremely effective and created efficiencies that did not previously exist. Attendees will examine these strategies as a way of operating in the “new normal.”
Client-Centered Communications: SNAP E&T Messaging that Makes Sense
Coming out of the pandemic, the need for clear client communications is greater than ever. The session focuses on plain language and human-centered approaches to explain sometimes-complex requirements – and to achieve notices that are easy to read and that clients can use to take action. The presenters share lessons from their work with 20 state agencies and FNS to improve client-centered SNAP communications. Specifically, the session illustrates this work with the FNS’ Consolidated Work Notice and Script, part of the Model Notice Toolkit. Panelists talk about how they have used these principles to reinvent the model notices in their states to explain SNAP E&T effectively and efficiently to their communities.
- Program Operations, Monitoring, and Oversight
The E&T Data Lifecycle: What is it and Lessons Learned
Join us for a discussion of the SNAP E&T data lifecycle and the part it plays in framing the picture of the E&T program. This session will include what data forms the lifecycle, why that data is collected, its use by FNS, and lessons learned from the past four years of data analysis. This session will round out with describing how states can replicate and use this data for their planning and evaluation of their E&T programs.
SNAP E&T Management Evaluations: How to Best Prepare for a Successful Review
New to SNAP Management Evaluations, or want to further your understanding of them? This session will provide an overview of the E&T Management Evaluation from scheduling letter to ME closure, how the state can work best with FNS to have a successful review, best practices in preparing for MEs, and what to expect following the review.
Measuring Results: Evaluations for SNAP E&T Output, Outcomes, and Impact
We all know the phrase data-driven decision-making. In this session, go beyond reporting basic data and outputs. Learn to demonstrate impact and how to communicate it to deliver high-quality economic mobility programming to our neighbors through SNAP E&T.
SNAP E&T Funding
Everything you ever wanted to know about SNAP E&T funding. This session will start with a high-level overview of the overall federal budget process and where SNAP E&T funding fits within that process. Then the session will dive into processes for allocation of E&T funds, reallocation of funds, the preliminary recovery, and state agencies request for additional E&T funds. Finally, we’ll discuss the important role that the State E&T Plans play in E&T funding.
Intro to Policy Analysis: Building Skills for Greater Impact
Policy analysis is an important part of problem solving and program leadership, however, it is often hard to set aside time to reflect on and develop effective policy strategies amidst the day-to-day demands of program management. In this session, participants will have an opportunity to pause and reflect on policy analysis, their role, and what tools they need for success. Participants will also gain confidence in their ability to implement and analyze the impact of policy changes overtime and how to engage staff and clients in the process. Overall, participants will walk away with concrete steps and resources on how to strengthen their policy skills and SNAP E&T program.
Developing SNAP E&T IT Systems: Lessons Learned from Two State Approaches
Learn about the process to develop and implement a dedicated SNAP E&T IT system to support program expansion and administration in Illinois and South Carolina. The session will include a discussion about common pitfalls, procurement options, do’s and don’ts, and lessons learned. The session will conclude with a demonstration of South Carolina’s Comprehensive Employment & Training System (SCCETS).