Projects

The Role of Job Search as a SNAP Employment and Training Component

Project Overview

The Food Security Act of 1985 established the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) employment and training (E&T) program to help SNAP recipients gain the skills, training, and experience needed to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Although all states must operate a SNAP E&T program, they have flexibility in its design. For example, states may choose one or more of several SNAP E&T components, such as job search, on-the-job training, workfare, or vocational training to offer to SNAP E&T participants. Of the possible activities, job search and job search training are the most commonly offered by states and have the highest participation rate across E&T programs. Although studies suggest standalone job search activities do not lead to long-term self-sufficiency, there is a lack of evidence on how job search interacts with other E&T components, such as education or workfare, particularly within the SNAP E&T context.

This study informs the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) about the types of job search activities offered through SNAP E&T programs and their effectiveness in moving participants toward employment. FNS is particularly interested in how job search activities may work in conjunction with other E&T components and the optimum circumstances fostering the effectiveness of job search activities.

Specifically, Insight is addressing the following study objectives:

  • For each study state, document and describe job search activities offered and state-level E&T policies and requirements.
  • Conduct a process evaluation documenting implementation and operation of job search activities in the study states.
  • For each study state, conduct an outcome evaluation to assess short- and long-term effects of job search activities on participants.

Study methods include conducting case studies in four states with in-depth interviews, observations, and process mapping exercises; collection and analysis of administrative SNAP, E&T, and Unemployment Insurance wage data; and semistructured phone interviews with current and former SNAP job search participants.

Products

Draft and final reports