Food Assistance Job Training Programs To Be Consolidated By Region

Employment And Training Programs Fulfill FoodShare Recipients' Work Requirement


Big changes are on the horizon for programs that offer job training for Wisconsin’s food assistance recipients.

Under the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known in Wisconsin as FoodShare, food assistance recipients can participate in employment and training programs to help them find work. Counties have been administering or contracting out these programs, but starting in January, the programs will be consolidated regionally. This week, the state awarded contracts to counties and companies to run the programs in 11 areas.

La Crosse-based Workforce Connections will work with FoodShare recipients in southwest Wisconsin. Executive Director Teresa Pierce said the change will help meet the urban and rural needs of employers and workers in the region.

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“We will be working with the full system to make sure we put people onto the career path that makes the most sense for them,” Pierce said. “Everyone comes to us with different skill sets, and it’s our job to assess those individuals and figure out where they’re at on their own career path and how we can move them forward.”

Also in January, FoodShare participants who are able-bodied adults without dependent children will have a work requirement, which can be fulfilled by participating in an employment and training program.

Health Services Department spokeswoman Claire Smith said the state has invested money in the program to help get people back to work.

“What we’re focused on is helping Wisconsin residents move from dependence on government programs to the independence and dignity that comes with working hard to build a prosperous future,” said Smith.

FoodShare participants that don’t fulfill their work requirement will only receive three months of benefits during a three-year period.

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