BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Community & Technical College System (LCTCS) and Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, announced a partnership to help Louisiana recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits receive workforce training for high-demand jobs.
The partnership is part of DCFS’s SNAP Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) initiative, which offers SNAP recipients the opportunity to gain skills, training and work experience. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service, and its goal is to help participants secure regular employment and achieve economic self-sufficiency.
The LCTCS effort will focus initially on allied health and construction programs at Baton Rouge Community College and SOWELA Technical Community College in Lake Charles. The partnership will allow LCTCS to leverage federal reimbursement for certain SNAP recipient-related expenses to fill gaps for those students – paying for credentials and other supportive services, such as transportation, dependent care, uniforms, equipment, books, supplies and tools.
Through student exit surveys, LCTCS data suggests students do not progress through their respective academic program for various reasons. Particularly, more than half of students claim non-academic reasons for withdrawing from courses such as lack of transportation, financial hardship, family responsibilities, scheduling job/work, and other personal demands pulling them from coursework.
“Today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to ensuring all Louisiana residents have access to life training workforce development programs.,” said LCTCS President Monty Sullivan. “The goal of this partnership is to remove those barriers and increase the chances for these students to connect to training that leads to gainful employment.”
“This is about helping our SNAP recipients get the resources they need to find meaningful-wage work and provide for their families,” said DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters. “That’s the goal of SNAP E&T, and it’s at the heart of our mission to help families become self-sufficient.”
Allied health and construction are both pathways that lead to high-wage, high-demand careers and were specifically chosen for this partnership in June, following consultation with industry-employer partners and trade associations in response to current employer short-term and long-term needs.
Credentials in these areas lead to jobs such as nursing, plumbing, carpentry, industrial maintenance and others, with statewide salary averages of $40,000-$65,000.
For more information on SNAP E&T, visit www.dcfs.la.gov/snapet.