|DATE:||April 2, 2019|
|SUBJECT:||Delivering SNAP Employment and Training Program Components through the Statewide Workforce Development System|
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
This memorandum is pursuant to the President's Executive Order, Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility, which instructed the Department to review regulations and guidance documents to ensure they are consistent with promoting economic opportunity and ensuring the most efficient use of taxpayer funds.
Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) regulations at 7 CFR 273.7(c)(5) require that each component of the state agency's SNAP E&T program must be delivered through its statewide workforce development system, unless the component is not available locally through such a system. This memorandum describes the statewide workforce development system for the purposes of this requirement and provides best practices in aligning programs that meet local workforce needs. Please distribute this memorandum as written to all state agencies.
Delivering Components through the statewide Workforce Development System
State SNAP agencies are increasingly collaborating with a network of public and non-governmental providers to deliver SNAP E&T components. Partnering with effective workforce development providers can help states improve employment outcomes for SNAP participants and ensure that the state has available services to meet the unique barriers and employment goals of SNAP participants.
The statewide workforce development system refers to a network of providers, which may include government and the public sector; community-based organizations and nonprofits; employers and industry; occupational training providers; and post-secondary institutions, such as community colleges. If a component is not available through such a system, the state agency may use another source to deliver these services. States are not limited to partnering with American Jobs Centers or programs operated by the Departments of Labor to fulfill this requirement.
Aligning SNAP E&T Programs with Local Workforce Needs
The goal of SNAP E&T is to help SNAP participants gain the skills and credentials they need to obtain good jobs leading to economic self-sufficiency. The most successful SNAP E&T programs take into account the dual needs of employers and the SNAP participants in need of further education and training. States can improve the likelihood of strong employment outcomes by considering local labor market needs when operating state SNAP E&T programs. State SNAP agencies should work with their Departments of Labor and local American Job Centers to obtain comprehensive labor market information that will inform the design of the state SNAP E&T program. States may also choose to contract with these agencies to deliver select SNAP E&T services. For more information about best practices in using labor market information to inform program design, states may refer to the SNAP to Skills policy brief, Building an Employer-Driven SNAP E&T Program by Utilizing Labor Market Information, available on the SNAP to Skills website at http://snaptoskills.fns.usda.gov.
FNS will continue to work with all state agencies in developing employer-driven SNAP E&T programs that are also in compliance with SNAP policy and regulations.
Office of Employment and Training