Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Innovative Job Training Program Leverages State and Federal Funding

Food Stamp Employment and Training (FSET). FSET is a federal program that provides grants to states to provide job training services for food stamp recipients. In addition, this program also provides unlimited 50 percent federal funding match for additional state and local funds invested in training for this population. States that access these uncapped matching funds can leverage significant federal dollars to provide expanded job training and related supports to those at the lowest end of the income scale. An evaluation of the first 18 months of the pilot program identified the following successes:

  • Enhanced Services. Through the pilot program, partnering agencies enhanced access to employment services, expanded the services available, and provided more personalized and intensive services. In the first year of the program, 566 people received employment and training services -- people who, without this program -- would not have been eligible for these services.
  • Higher Wages Among Participants. State data show that wages of program participants grew from $8.80 before participation to $11.46 afterward -- a gain of 30 percent.
  • Significant Leverage of Federal Funds. During the first 18 months of this pilot, partners accessed over $1.1 million in federal matching funds.
  • Return on Investment: A Washington state study found that effective job training yielded net benefits to taxpayers of up to $27,000 per participant.

For policies to improve job training and maximize the FSET program.

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