The Food Security Act of 1985 established the SNAP E&T program to help SNAP recipients gain the skills, training, and experience needed to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Of the possible program components, states most commonly offer supervised job search assistance and job search training. Despite their use, however, little is known about state agency implementation of these components; specific activities offered by SNAP E&T providers; and the short and long-term economic effects of participation. This study helps to fill this knowledge gap through case studies of three States with different approaches to E&T implementation.
The study team drew on several sources to answer these research questions, including: (1) an environmental scan and literature review; (2) virtual site visit interviews with State SNAP, local SNAP office, and E&T provider staff in three States; (3) phone interviews with current and recent E&T participants; and (4) analysis of SNAP administrative, E&T and unemployment insurance wage data.
Across States and E&T providers, the most common job search activities were resume or cover letter assistance, mock interviews, and individualized job search plan development. While quantitative findings suggest jobs obtained after participating in these activities are unlikely to enable long-term self-sufficiency, interviewed participants reported high levels of satisfaction with the services they received. Respondents noted they were able to find employment because of the assistance they received from their E&T provider and were grateful to be working with a caseworker who helped motivate them during their job search.