(Washington, D.C., Friday, March 6, 2020) – Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced a proposed rule that will strengthen the way states serve Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients through Employment and Training. The proposal was announced at Jane Addams Resource Corporation (JARC) in Baltimore, Maryland where they teach low-income adults and workers the skills they need to earn a living wage, connect job seekers with good jobs in the manufacturing sector, and foster the life skills that create a path out of poverty. The Secretary’s visit comes on the heels of President Donald J. Trump’s continued historic economic expansion which includes today’s news that unemployment ticked down to 3.5% and that there are 6.4 million job openings across the nation.
You may view the above video to watch a recap video of Secretary Perdue’s JARC visit or view the video.
You may view more of Secretary Perdue's JARC visit photos.
SNAP participants have exclusive access to training and support services to help them enter or move up in the workforce. The proposed rule, Employment and Training Opportunities in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, makes a wide range of enhancements to these services to empower more SNAP participants to gain the skills, training, or work experience they need to move toward – and into – employment.
In the 2018 Farm Bill, Congress provided additional tools for USDA and state agencies to bolster the quality of SNAP Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) programs. Yesterday’s proposed changes promote evidence-based practices and hold states accountable for providing E&T services that move participants towards work. The changes maintain the flexibilities providers need to design programs that fit the needs of local communities.
Yesterday’s proposed rule is just one of many ways USDA is partnering with and empowering states to improve their SNAP E&T programs. USDA provides over $100 million each year for states to operate their E&T programs. If a state invests their own money - or includes outside funding from any non-federal source - to expand and enhance their E&T programs, the federal government will match those funds, dollar for dollar, without limit. Deputy Under Secretary Lipps recently highlighted the importance and opportunity to expand E&T by directly calling on states to take action.
In addition, USDA:
- Actively identifies successful employment and training providers in every state who are ready and willing to service SNAP participants as they seek employment. These providers can qualify for matching federal dollars, providing an immediate increase in a state’s E&T capacity.
- Operates SNAP to Skills, which provides intensive assistance and coaching to states and their partners on building robust E&T programs. This year, 7 states – Oregon, Colorado, Louisiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island – join the 22 other states who have participated since the program’s launch in 2015.
- Provides trainings, such as the SNAP E&T State Institutes and Learning Academies, to develop expertise in administering SNAP E&T among individuals, partner organizations, and state agencies across the country.
- Will host the first ever SNAP E&T National Forum this fall in St. Louis, MO. The forum will take place October 13-14, 2020, and registration will open later this month.
USDA remains committed to listening to and collaborating with customers, partners, and stakeholders to make these proposed reforms as effective as possible and encourages comments on the proposal when it publishes on Regulations.gov.
USDA’s proposed rule will appear in the Federal Register next week. The public will be invited to comment for 60 days.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) administers 15 nutrition assistance programs that leverage American’s agricultural abundance to ensure children and low-income individuals and families have nutritious food to eat. FNS also co-develops the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which provide science-based nutrition recommendations and serve as the cornerstone of federal nutrition policy.
- Proposed Rule: Employment and Training Opportunities in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Fact Sheet: Regulatory Reform at a Glance: Employment and Training Opportunities in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- March 2020 Letter to States
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