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CJFS Expands Workforce Providers for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment & Training


Media contact:
Mary Louise Madigan: (216) 698-2521; mlmadigan@cuyahogacounty.us
Tina Coleman: (216) 592-2739; tina.coleman@jfs.ohio.gov

The department is adding options for training and education

– Cuyahoga Job and Family Services (CJFS), an agency of the Cuyahoga County Department of Health and Human Services, has expanded the opportunities that are available for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants to receive job skills, education, and training. Beginning October 1, 2019, three providers were added to the six initial providers and began offering services to participants through the SNAP Employment & Training (E&T) program to help individuals reach a meaningful career path and family-sustaining wages. The new providers are Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries, Spanish American Committee, and West Side Catholic Center.

The original providers are Cuyahoga Community College - Workforce Development Alliance, Cuyahoga County Public Library - Aspire Greater Cleveland, New Bridge Cleveland, Towards Employment, The Centers for Families and Children - El Barrio Workforce Development, and Youth Opportunities Unlimited.

The SNAP E&T program is a skill and job-training program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) which offers a key resource to help SNAP participants move beyond low paying jobs and build their job skills. Seattle Jobs Initiative (SJI), a nationally-recognized SNAP E&T consultant has worked under contract with CJFS to develop the service delivery model and currently provides technical assistance to the agency and SNAP E&T providers. This model allows for local community and technical colleges as well as community-based organizations (CBO) to be reimbursed based on their expenditures of non-federal funds for employment, training, and supportive services when offered through an approved E&T program.

“I am pleased that we are able to expand these services,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish. “SNAP participants who use these services will learn crucial skills that will help them get better jobs and have the opportunity to thrive.”

SNAP E&T services are primarily focused on able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) between the ages of 18 and 49 who are required to participate in work activities to maintain SNAP benefits but are also offered to SNAP participants who volunteer to participate in education or training programs. SNAP E&T programming consists of the following along with supportive services:

  • Job Search
  • Job Training
  • Basic Education/ English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
  • Work Experience
  • Vocational Training
  • Job Retention Services

“There are great careers within Cuyahoga County and we need to make sure that our residents are trained for those jobs,” said Kevin Gowan, Administrator for Cuyahoga Job and Family Services. “Educating and training our able-bodied adult population will give them the opportunity to be competitive in today’s job market and start on the path of a meaningful career.”

During the initial three quarters of third-party model providing SNAP E&T services, 501 SNAP participants were referred to the providers, and 366 were found eligible to start one of the programs. From the participants that completed their employment or training program, sixty-five percent gained meaningful employment, with an average wage of $12.28.

For more information about SNAP E&T programs, call the Workforce Opportunity Resource Center at (216) 987-6578.