Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training (E&T) Study

Project Overview

In addition to nutrition assistance, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides employment and training (E&T) services to unemployed and underemployed participants. The purpose of this study is to conduct a nationally representative survey to gain a better understanding of SNAP work registrants, SNAP E&T participants, and SNAP E&T service providers. The study also includes focus groups with SNAP E&T participants to enhance understanding of their skill gaps and training needs, the services they receive from E&T providers, and the barriers they face in finding and retaining employment. The last comprehensive evaluation of SNAP E&T was held more than 20 years ago, making this study critically important to understanding today’s E&T participants and programs.

All 53 State SNAP agencies operate E&T programs to help SNAP recipients find work and/or gain skills, training, or experience needed for employment. Each State can decide whether its E&T program will be a voluntary or mandatory one. SNAP participants who are not exempted specifically by statute are subject to work requirements as a condition of eligibility. In FY 2013, 13.3 million SNAP participants registered for work and approximately 634,000 were expected to participate in E&T programs.

Each State has flexibility in designing its E&T program to tailor services to the needs of specific populations or areas. Each State’s program can differ, but must contain 1 or more of the following components: 1) job search; 2) job search training; 3) workfare; 4) work experience or training; 5) State, local, or Workforce Investment Act work programs; 6) education programs; and 7) self-employment.

The study includes development of a sampling frame, survey, and focus group instruments, as well as collection and analysis of the data. The findings from this study will inform policy recommendations and contribute to the knowledge on SNAP E&T services.

As a subcontractor to Mathematica, Insight is:

  • Developing and pre-testing data collection protocols
  • Recruiting and conducting focus groups across the country in both English and Spanish
  • Analyzing and writing the findings from focus group data

Core Activities

Data Collection; Data Analysis; Qualitative Research; Report Development and Presentation


The final report will be submitted in September 2016.