Career pathways help people upgrade their skills and advance to better jobs over time through a stackable set of education and training steps and credentials within a particular industry. States and localities have increasingly adopted the career pathways framework to better connect previously “siloed” education and training services, strengthen links to employer needs, and support participant success. As States expand and improve SNAP Employment and Training (SNAP E&T) 50 percent reimbursement (50-50) programs, they should consider how E&T can be incorporated into existing career pathways systems to get better results for their participants. State SNAP agencies can do this by—
- Engaging in career pathways conversations already happening at the State and local level to think broadly about how SNAP E&T participants and services can best be integrated into State and regional pathway strategies.
- Thinking strategically about the most efficient use of SNAP E&T funds—how can E&T build on what already exists to create comprehensive, evidence-based pathway approaches that improve participant outcomes? This might include, for example, increasing career coaching, providing support services, or adding contextualized basic skills instruction through integrated education and training.
- Choosing SNAP E&T 50-50 partners who are already implementing career pathways well and helping to expand their services to more E&T participants.
States may find that an added benefit to integrating SNAP E&T services and participants into career pathway efforts is a stronger alignment of E&T with the workforce system. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) emphasizes career pathways as well as related strategies, such as integrated education and training and industry sector partnerships. (Author abstract)