Subsidized Employment: A Strategy to Address Equity and Inclusion in SNAP E&T Programs
By Elizabeth Lower-Basch & Melissa Young
States have a new opportunity to use federal funding through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Employment and Training Program (SNAP E&T) to offer paid work-based learning activities to workers and jobseekers who have been overlooked for far too long and often face compounded economic marginalization. Policymakers, agency leaders, and program administrators can use this federal investment to address long-standing inequities among people who face structural barriers to employment and economic marginalization.
As a result of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment and Training final rule, states are permitted to use SNAP Employment and Training (E&T) funds to provide subsidized wages to SNAP participants in work-based learning activities. When included in a state’s approved SNAP E&T plan, states and counties may offer subsidized work-based learning as a part of their E&T programs and also partner with third parties qualified to provide these services in their communities. These partners are then reimbursed 50 percent of their spending on such activities.
Recent guidance by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) offers additional insight into the intent and goals of subsidized work-based learning as a component of SNAP E&T and how best to structure and support subsidized work-based learning to achieve these goals.