For Immediate Release
August 29, 2017
Russ Reno, Communications and Legislative Services, (office) 402-471-8287 or (cell) 402-450-7318 or firstname.lastname@example.org
DHHS, Dept. of Labor Employment Program Contacting Families in Hastings Area
Lincoln – Hastings area recipients of Nebraska’s Supplemental Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, are being contacted about participating in a new employment initiative that helps them find better-paying jobs. The pilot program is a partnership of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) and utilizes their existing manpower and resources.
Those eligible for the program receive a letter and a follow-up phone call. Nine families in the Hastings area already are enrolled in the program, which launched July 1.
The pilot program started 13 months ago in Grand Island, which has involved 33 families. So far, 14 clients have changed jobs resulting in an average increased annual salary of $6,900. Because of higher salaries, eight receive fewer SNAP benefits, and six no longer receive SNAP funds.
Besides increased income, participating families also have improved their quality of life. For instance, stable work hours have given them more time to spend with family and pressure on them to provide for their families has decreased.
In Hastings, clients also will be served online for those unable to travel to the training site. In the training, DHHS and DOL meet with clients to identify and provide assistance they need to overcome barriers to their success while enhancing their lives at home. A plan is developed and the DHHS case manager coaches and supports clients to overcome the barriers keeping them from higher-paying jobs. DOL provides training in preparing SNAP clients to find more-suitable jobs through résumé writing, learning how to search for a job, preparing for job interviews, and working with employers for on-the-job training.
The program is scheduled to start in Columbus in September, and Norfolk in May 2018. Eventually, it will operate statewide.
SNAP helps people with low-incomes buy food, and was previously known as food stamps. SNAP funds are administered by DHHS based on federal guidelines. SNAP eligibility is based on many factors such as family size, income, and other family resources.