Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of welcoming 39 people from all across the U.S. and a variety of different sectors to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) Learning Academy. These devoted leaders have committed eight months to becoming experts in SNAP E&T so they can share what they’ve learned with their networks back home and ultimately build successful E&T programs that help individuals find – and keep – gainful employment.
The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is committed to ensuring participants in SNAP have the skills and support they need to work toward economic self-sufficiency. Self-sufficiency is a cornerstone of the American dream, and it begins with employment.
Effective E&T programs don’t just help people find a job—they equip them with the skills needed to gain and retain good jobs. With two-thirds of jobs created over the next decade expected to require at least some education or training beyond high school, it is critical for SNAP participants who have limited proficiency or earn low wages to have a pathway to becoming self-sufficient.
The SNAP E&T Learning Academy is one way FNS is helping pave that pathway. The Academy includes two multiple-day workshops to increase national expertise and develop new leadership capacity. It uses a “train the trainer” approach to creating high-quality SNAP E&T programs across the country by sharing best practices and proven strategies for helping individuals gain employer-valued skills and find good jobs.
FNS used a competitive application process to select a cohort that includes participants from community colleges, hunger coalitions, state advocacy organizations, local workforce boards, national nonprofits, E&T providers, and state SNAP agencies. This week, they all gathered in Alexandria, Va., to learn from FNS’s Office of Employment & Training, outside guest speakers, and each other. They will take the lessons they learned home to embark on capstone projects, which they will later share with other participants, FNS, and the broader E&T community.
Visit USDA’s SNAP to Skills site to read more about the 2018 SNAP E&T Learning Academy participants. We thank each and every participant for their commitment and look forward to working with them to improve the lives of SNAP participants nationwide.
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Can you provide a list of people in attendance. I am specifically concerned if anyone was in attendance from Chicago, Cook County or Illinois.
Kelly Cox, Student and Parent
I am very interested in the information and very vital.
I applaud the program. I hope that Public Health Nursing is included in the program. Having spend more than 50 years in rural, migrant and public health care as a public health nurse, I can speak from experience of working with the families who receive assistance in many forms and especially the food assistance programs. The goal of the SNAP /food Stamps is laudable; however, it is not used to its ultimate goal by families. There are no restrictions on the types of food for which the program covers. I see families loading grocery carts with what is really JUNK foods--sugar coated cereals, cookies, candies, chips fatty crackers, etc. ---because these are edible, they are covered under the program. THIS MUST STOP. With technology, there should be a way to prevent payment of junk foods with the government programs. Education of families has been a losing situation--if they can get the junk foods (liked by the children), they do so. But that is with public money that also pays for health care--for obesity , diabetes as well as dental care. The hard real fact is that program needs revisiting and revising to get the best results---
I am tired of being told by those who make the rules and distribute the food assistance payment cards that designating certain foods as non-allowable for payment is discrimination and people cannot be told what to buy. This is irrational.
@Kelly Cox - thank you for your comment. In regards to your question about attendance from Chicago, Cook County or Illinois at U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) Learning Academy, please see the list of participants: snaptoskills.fns.usda.gov/news-events/fns-announces-2018-learning-academy-participants