WESTMINSTER, Vt.— In 2015, Vermont was one of ten states chosen by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop and test strategies for reducing dependency on the national Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Vermont’s SNAP Program, called 3SquaresVT and administered by the Department for Children and Families (DCF), was awarded a three‐year $8.9 million dollar grant to develop a job readiness and training pilot program for people getting benefits.
Vermont’s pilot, called Jobs for Independence (JFI), began accepting applications at the end of February 2016.
“The Jobs for Independence pilot will give participants the opportunity to develop skills, overcome barriers to work, and find and keep good jobs,ʺ said DCF Commissioner Ken Schatz. “Most importantly, it will help them to rely less on government assistance and more on their own capacities for building strong futures for themselves.ʺ
Jobs for Independence (JFI) can help people even if they: don’t have stable housing; have a mental health issue; are struggling with substance abuse or recovery; or have a criminal record. Vermonters who get 3SquaresVT benefits may be eligible to participate.
Those selected for the program could get help to:
· Resolve issues that may be keeping them from work (e.g., criminal record, mental health, substance abuse, or unstable housing)
· Find new or better jobs
· Gain work skills and knowledge
· Pay for things they need to work like car repairs and work clothes
· Earn the Governor’s Career Ready Certificate at the Community College of Vermont (CCV)
· Achieve industry‐recognized certification (e.g., CDL or IT Software)
3SquaresVT participants who are interested in JFI should call SEVCA to see if they qualify. In Windham County, contact Elizabeth McEwen at 802 376-0362 or firstname.lastname@example.org. In Windsor County, contact Elizabeth Meuse 802 376-0361 or email@example.com.