June 3, 2014
New Research from Seattle Jobs Initiative Offers a True Insider’s Guide to
Washington’s Basic Food Employment & Training (BFET) Program –
the State’s Remarkable SNAP E&T Program.
The story of Washington’s BFET program, the state’s federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Employment & Training (SNAP E&T), is one of remarkable success. In just eight years from its October 2005 launch, the BFET program has grown from a $150,000 to a $29 million program; from serving the Seattle area exclusively to serving the entire state; and from serving a few hundred to nearly 30,000 individuals each year. The program’s innovative model emphasizes skills training provided by community colleges and community-based organizations to help those on SNAP advance to better-paying jobs.
In a time of diminished public resources for workforce development programs – particularly supporting low-income/low-skilled individuals with multiple barriers to employment – Washington’s BFET program demonstrates how SNAP E&T can be a vehicle through which states may scale effective workforce programs for the sizeable, underserved and largely unskilled SNAP population.
Seattle Jobs Initiative’s latest research, Washington State’s Basic Food Employment & Training Program, is based on the first-hand knowledge of individuals closely involved in the conception, development and operation of BFET, and offers readers an inside look at:
- How a “third-party” match SNAP E&T program operates (in which program services and matching dollars
are being provided by contracted college and community-based organizations rather than the state).
- How BFET moved from initial conception to pilot launch, including the process of program design, how
benefits and risk were weighed, and how critical political support for the new endeavor was built.
- An overview of the menu of employment and training and support services that BFET provides to participants.
- How the BFET program is structured, including a detailed look at operational processes and procedures as
well as state agency staffing requirements and roles.
- A “nuts and bolts” look at how BFET is run by the state’s community colleges, including interview
responses from knowledgeable college staff.
- Detailed profiles of a variety of community-based organization BFET programs.
- A look at how the BFET program was brought to scale and an overview of the outcomes it has
achieved for participants.
- Best practices of the BFET program and recommendations for other states considering
expanding their SNAP E&T programs.
For inquiries, please contact David Kaz, Director of Policy & Communications at
Seattle Jobs Initiative, at firstname.lastname@example.org.