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Considerations for Improving Participant Experiences in the USDA SNAP Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) Programs: Lessons from the SNAP E&T Pilots

Resource type
Research type
Assessing/Improving Operations
Program Access

The Agricultural Act of 2014 authorized $200 million for the development, implementation, and evaluation of pilot projects to test innovative strategies to reduce dependency on and increase employment among Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants. California, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Mississippi, Vermont, Virginia and Washington received grants in March 2015 and began implementing their pilots between January and April 2016. All grantees concluded pilot services by April 2019. Evaluation findings are presented in the final summary report and the 10 pilot-specific final reports published here.

The four issue briefs present cross-pilot findings that cover participation patterns in selected Employment and Training (E&T) activities, effectiveness of work-based learning, employment patterns after occupational skills training, and how sanctions affect participants in mandatory SNAP E&T programs.

Key findings include:
  • Individuals were less likely to engage with the program or begin E&T activities if there were multiple participant handoff points and referrals between enrollment and accessing E&T services.
  • Most work-based learning opportunities did not lead to permanent jobs.
  • Over half of the participants who completed occupational skills training participated in multiple trainings in unrelated fields.
  • In mandatory SNAP E&T programs, challenges with service delivery models can reduce participant engagement leading to noncompliance and sanctions.
  • Sanctioned individuals had lower employment and earnings compared to those not sanctioned.
Page updated: November 17, 2023