Michigan selected for federal job training project to help food assistance recipients

State selected based on existing commitment to expanding employment

Friday, March 4, 2016

LANSING, Mich. – Michiganders who receive food assistance will have access to improved job training now that the state has been selected by the federal government to participate in a new project.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that Michigan is one of 10 states selected to take part in the SNAP to Skills Project. The first-of-its kind effort will help state agencies design improved employment and training programs for people who receive benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

“Helping Michiganders remove barriers to success so they can find good jobs is an ongoing priority,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “This project will enhance our employment training currently available and help residents build stronger futures for their families.”

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Talent Investment Agency and Workforce Development Agency will join forces to set this project in place. The agencies will create a unique partnership with community organizations – such as community colleges and Michigan Works! Agencies – that already offer similar training and employment services for low-income residents. 

USDA will offer MDHHS, TIA and WDA direct assistance from leading subject-matter experts in SNAP education and training and workforce development from the Seattle Jobs Initiative.

USDA has partnered with the Seattle Jobs Initiative — an organization with more than a decade of experience in both developing job-driven training and operating SNAP education and training programs — to operate SNAP to Skills. The national nonprofit opens doors to living-wage careers through career pathways programs, research and policy work, and technical assistance to other agencies and organizations to increase their impact in helping people move from poverty to self-sufficiency.

States were selected based on their existing commitment to expanding employment and training programs for people who receive food assistance, their ability to build effective partnerships with local training providers and the availability of strong, job-driven workforce development programs in the state.

Other states selected were Arizona, Arkansas, California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina and Tennessee.

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