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Congressman Jim Costa

Representing the 16th District of California

Costa Introduces Legislation to Support Employment Training for SNAP Recipients

Jul 28, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) introduced the Results Through Innovation Act of 2017 into the House of Representatives. If enacted, the legislation would bolster the federal funding for employment and training programs for individuals receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. SNAP employment and training programs (E & T) aim at helping SNAP recipients secure gainful employment through work-related education, job training, and job advancement classes so they can ultimately become self-sufficient.

“For years I have been following how pairing education and training programs with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has transformed people’s lives in the San Joaquin Valley, and we have seen the success of programs that focus on helping individuals find long-term employment and start real careers,” Rep. Costa said. “These types of programs help individuals raise themselves out of poverty and become self-reliant, which is good for the individuals, good for their families, good for our communities, and good for our nation.”

The 2014 Farm Bill authorized funding for the development, implementation, and evaluation of ten SNAP E & T pilot projects for three years in order to learn how to make SNAP E & T programs as effective as possible. One of these pilot projects built on existing programs at the Fresno Bridge Academy in Fresno, California, an organization that has been helping individuals find long-term employment and become self-reliant since 2010.

“For seven years now, we have demonstrated at the Fresno Bridge Academy that we can help SNAP beneficiaries lift themselves out of poverty, and we can do so while earning very positive returns for taxpayers,” said Pete Weber, Founder and Chair of the California Bridge Academies. “Congressman Costa’s bill will help millions of Americans lift themselves out of poverty while saving taxpayers billions of dollars in outlays for public assistance.”

The funding for the E & T pilot projects authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill ends in 2018, while funds for the grant program created in the Results Through Innovation Act of 2017 would become available in 2019. To help ensure grants fund SNAP E & T programs that are as efficient and successful as possible, the Results Through Innovation Act of 2017 states the E & T projects given grants should meet certain requirements. These requirements include increasing the short-term and long-term employment as well as income earnings for households receiving SNAP benefits, supporting a range of rural and urban areas, and providing support services to individuals to help enable them to participate in the program, such as transportation reimbursement and childcare.