STRATEGIES & KEY INITIATIVES
SNAP E&T Program
Under the SNAP E&T Program, the USDA reimburses organizations up to 50% of the cost of services designed to assist eligible participants in obtaining skills through education, training, or work experience that will increase self sufficiency and lead to employment.
Over the past decade, the State of Washington, the Seattle Jobs Initiative, and dozens of community-based partners have built their SNAP E&T program into a nearly $40M per year funding source. Detroit has recently taken the first steps toward replicating that success. To pilot the initiative, two organizations – Focus: HOPE and Southwest Solutions – were selected by RFP in 2016 and served over 45 individuals. 4 more organizations were added following a second RFP in mid-2017 with an ability to serve more than 500 Detroiters.
There are well over 100,000 adults in Detroit who receive food assistance but not cash benefits, with the vast majority being in poverty. Some are single men; many are women with children. They are among the residents of our city who are perhaps most in need of education, training and employment services. The SNAP E&T program not only allows us to reach them; it can also pay for many of the kinds of intensive support services that the population needs to be successful.
Our goal is to do what Seattle and Washington have done: to build SNAP E&T program into the centerpiece of a unified workforce development system that meets the needs of all Detroiters and local employers.
It was really a boot camp – they crammed us with a lot of stuff, and they also plugged us in with jobs. Every day for a whole weekend we had six interviews a day – leave one, go to the next one, so you had to be on it. All the P’s and Q’s. It has really been a journey since I’ve been at VisionIT. I would say, coming from out of high school for my training, it helped me a lot.