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SNAPThis month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance was selected to participate in the “SNAP to Skills” project to enhance education and training opportunities for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients.

As a recipient of SNAP individuals are eligible to participate in the Employment and Training (E&T) program, which provides valuable training opportunities to build relevant and marketable skills to obtain and maintain employment in today’s job market. Recipients also work with providers across the Commonwealth to increase their education, and work toward improved employment opportunities that will lessen their reliance on benefits and help them move to self-sufficiency.

Participation in the federal SNAP to Skills project will enable DTA to expand and improve the Massachusetts E&T Program through technical supports over a two-year period from experts from across the country.

“DTA is grateful to be selected as one of 10 states nationally to receive the SNAP to Skills Project and avail ourselves to the federal government’s vast network of experts, said DTA Commissioner Jeff McCue.

DTA staff has already begun working with and developing an ongoing relationship with SNAP to Skills staff to identify ways to enhance the SNAP E&T Program. As a result of participating in the SNAP to Skill project, DTA will:

  1. Grow the Provider Network – DTA will be working more closely with new E&T providers all across the Commonwealth who can better react to the demands of the market. Additionally, we will grow our partnership with community colleges so SNAP recipients can receive quality educational opportuneness.
  1. Simplify the Process – By ensuring recipients have easy access to E&T services, they can begin learning sooner and be on a faster path to finding a job.
  1. Increase Support Services – Providing low-income residents who are looking to better their lives supportive services while they participate in an E&T program will ensure they can take full advantage of training opportunities.
  1. Enhance Federal Partnerships – The federal government is an invaluable resource for DTA. By working directly on SNAP to Skills with experts in employment and training programs, DTA will build our network of partners and be better positioned to capitalize on more federal funds to help clients reach self-sufficiency.

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