The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment & Training (SNAP E&T) Program is a self-support program to help customers acquire work skills and find employment. The program also helps customers with work-related expenses for the first 30 days of a job. The program is mandatory for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) who receive non-assistance SNAP benefits, are between the ages of 18 through 49, and are not exempt. The program also serves noncustodial parents of TANF children who are ordered by the court to take part in the Earnfare program; these noncustodial parents may or may not receive SNAP benefits. Finally, volunteers who receive non-assistance SNAP benefits may also participate in SNAP E&T as resources permit. Participation in SNAP E&T enables participants to gain work skills and experience, meet the federal work requirement, and become self-sufficient. Some participants are hard to serve individuals with limited work histories and experience. Some may need additional education and training to find and keep a job or have other barriers to employment. Individuals will participate in specific programs based upon their individual assessments, identifying strengths and areas for development. All individuals who participate in the SNAP E&T program must be assigned to the required number of participation hours, based upon the SNAP allotment and/or the component activity into which they are placed.
Following are descriptions of the SNAP E&T programs and/or activities funded by the Division of Family and Community Services, Bureau of Workforce Development, Employment and Training Resource Development Services. The Provider will provide the programs/activities specified in Exhibit C, Exhibit B, and in accordance with the provisions contained in the SNAP E&T Program Manual.
Earnfare is an employment and training program which offers eligible participants an opportunity to gain work experience and earn cash assistance. Participation is limited to adults who receive non-assistance SNAP benefits and who volunteer and to persons who are court-ordered to participate. Participants work off the value of their SNAP benefits at the state or federal minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to a maximum number of hours per month before earning cash assistance.
Participants may be assigned to an Earnfare work site or to other approved activities in order for them to earn cash assistance, meet the federal work requirement and/or increase their self-sufficiency.
- Cook County Earnfare: In Cook County, staff in the Department's Family Community Resource Center (FCRC)- previously known as "Local Office" - orient and assess participants, determine supportive service needs, and refer them to appropriate Earnfare employers developed and contracted directly by the Department. These Earnfare employers do not receive administrative payments.
- Downstate Earnfare: The Department may contract with downstate private sector businesses, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, community and faith-based organizations and governmental agencies to administer the Earnfare program. The providers recruit, orient and assess individuals, recruit employers, and refer individuals to appropriate employers. These Earnfare Providers do not receive administrative payments. The Department's FCRCs may also refer individuals to these providers.
- NCP Earnfare: NCP Earnfare provides court-ordered, unemployed non-custodial parents of children receiving TANF an opportunity to gain work experience while meeting a portion of their child support obligation. Participants are court-ordered to NCP Earnfare when they tell a court that they are unable to provide financial support to their children due to unemployment. NCP participants may or may not receive SNAP benefits. NCP Earnfare services are available in Cook County and in select Downstate locations. NCP Earnfare employers do not earn administrative payments.
SNAP E&T Job Placement With Retention:
The Department may contract with private sector businesses, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, community and faith-based organizations and governmental agencies to provide intensive education, job skills training, and/or pre-employment services and unsubsidized job placement services to ABAWDs who receive non-assistance SNAP benefits. Special populations may be targeted for services.
Participants may be assigned to a Work Experience, Vocational Training, or Basic Education or to a combination of these activities. The Providers recruit, orient, assess, and refer eligible individuals and recruit employers who provide suitable work sites and unsubsidized employment opportunities for participants. Providers are also responsible for providing case management to participants to reduce barriers to employment and maximize self-sufficiency. The Department's Family Community Resource Centers (FCRCs) have the opportunity to refer individuals to Job Placement with Retention providers.
SNAP E&T Special Project:
SNAP E&T Special Project contracts provide services to ABAWDs who receive non-assistance SNAP benefits. Programs are negotiated individually when special needs are identified.
SNAP E&T Support Services:
SNAP E&T Support Services contracts provide only support services in accordance with the SNAP E&T Program Manual or provide special support services, over and above those itemized and explained in the SNAP E&T Program Manual, to ABAWDs who receive non-assistance SNAP benefits. The programs are negotiated individually when special needs are identified.
See Appendix A - Glossary for the definitions of commonly used terms and acronyms.