Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Job Training and Employment

  • Once jobless and uncounted, eager workers could slow Fed rate hike, By Howard Schneider, October 18, 2016, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “The crammed-to-capacity parking lot at a job training center in this St. Louis suburb is exhibit A for why the Federal Reserve remains at odds over the health of the U.S. labor market and how quickly interest rates should rise.  Among those in the building on a recent fall day, Joshua Goodson, 23, described his recent work history as a ‘dead end.’ Motivated by the prospect of a firm career foothold, he is now in a program at the Family and Workforce Centers of America that includes both a curriculum in heating and air conditioning installation, and the ‘soft’ social skills needed to keep steady employment…”
  • Nonprofit seeks to fill skills gap of low-income high school graduates, By Akilah Johnson, October 21, 2016, Boston Globe: “Eye contact was made with each visitor, who was greeted with a firm handshake. Pleasantries were exchanged, with a smidgeon of small talk.  But there was also direction and discipline for those Year Up students whose professional attire was deemed a bit too trendy for the buttoned-down business world. It’s these types of behaviors and approaches that the job-training program seeks to teach thousands of disconnected youth…”

Child Support Enforcement

  • Not just a deadbeat dad, By Dwyer Gunn, July 12, 2016, Pacific Standard: “On a sunny Tuesday morning in February, Lewis Griffin walked into a meeting room in the Arapahoe County Human Services Building in Aurora, Colorado. Griffin, a barber and ex-convict who’s also the co-facilitator of a fatherhood class, is a tall black man with closely cropped silvering hair — on the day I met him, he was sharply dressed in grey jeans, a neatly pressed grey-striped button-down shirt, and sleek, modern glasses. Griffin has an open, friendly manner and a disarming sense of humor. When he introduced himself to me, he clasped both hands to his chest, inhaled sharply, and said with exaggerated anxiety, ‘I’m nervous!’  The men (and one woman) gathered in the meeting room that morning all had one thing in common: They were non-custodial parents who had fallen behind on their child support payments…”
  • Wisconsin’s grand child support experiment, By Dwyer Gunn, July 13, 2016, Pacific Standard: “In 1997, the state of Wisconsin decided to experiment with the way it handled child support payments made to welfare recipients. In previous years, under the Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC) program, recipients who also received child support payments from a non-custodial parent were required to relinquish the bulk of what they received in child support to the state — states only ‘passed through’ the first $50 of child support in a given month. The federal welfare-reform bill (formally known as the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act) of the previous year gave states room to experiment with and set their own policies…”

SNAP Employment and Job Training Programs

Missouri selected for SNAP employment and job training project, By Jackie Rehwald, March 2, 2016, Springfield News-Leader: “As Missouri adds stricter job requirements for ‘able-bodied adults’ who receive food stamp assistance, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is stepping in to help the state get better at assisting these people. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday that Missouri and nine other states have been selected to take part in SNAP to Skills, a new effort to help state agencies design improved employment and training programs for adults participating in the SNAP program. The goal is to help those people find employment and ultimately move off the SNAP program…”

Veteran Homelessness and Unemployment

An end to jobless vets? New VA job program raises hopes, By Gretel Kauffman, June 28, 2015, Christian Science Monitor: “The US Department of Veteran Affairs has launched a new program which offers individualized assistance to the roughly 50,000 unemployed veterans living on the street. Through the Homeless Veterans Community Employment Services program, more than 150 community employment coordinators (CECs) will help veterans at VA locations across the country by identifying those who are job-ready and establishing relationships with community employers who may be able to find them jobs. The coordinators will also connect veterans with resources to help them succeed in their jobs once they find employment…”

SNAP and Employment

Illinois among states to test ways to send food stamp recipients to work, By Mary Clare Jalonick, March 20, 2015, Chicago Sun-Times: “Ten states will test new ways to get food stamp recipients back to work, using Agriculture Department grants aimed at helping some of the 46 million Americans who receive benefits move off the rolls.  The grants come as the Republican Congress is exploring ways to cut the program, which cost $74 billion last year — twice its cost in 2008. Some in the GOP have proposed stricter work requirements as a way to do that…”

Workfare – New York City

De Blasio’s plan to eliminate workfare lifts hopes for job seekers, By Rachel L. Swarns, November 2, 2014, New York Times: “Every workday morning, Phedra Schliefer-Tobias mops floors, cleans toilets and scrubs sinks just like the rest of the members of the custodial staff in a nine-story office building in Lower Manhattan. But her city-issued identification card — her badge of shame — makes it clear that she stands apart.In bold, black letters, the ID card describes her as a “Non Employee,” proof that she is not on a career track. She is a 48-year-old welfare recipient, working for her benefits and “going nowhere,” as she puts it…”