USDA Improving Services to Provide More SNAP Participants the Dignity of Work

New rule encourages more robust services and opportunities to gain skills for today’s job market

(Washington, D.C., March 5, 2020) – In light of President Trump’s historic economic expansion – with a 3.6% unemployment rate and 6.4 million job openings across the nation – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced a proposed rule[1] that will strengthen the way states serve SNAP recipients through Employment and Training.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (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.

“We’ve seen the results and believe work increases the potential for people to have a life full of dignity, respect and hope. Our safety net programs like SNAP were never meant to be for long-term use. Government dependency has never been part of the American dream. This proposed rule will enhance the opportunities SNAP participants have to gain the skills they need to provide for their families and contribute to their communities,” said Secretary Sonny Perdue. “President Trump has unleashed a booming economy and thriving job market that needs more workers to fill the millions of job openings. We aim to prepare more Americans to re-enter the workforce so they too can experience the benefits of a prosperous economy.”

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. Today’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.

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