Seattle Jobs Initiative leads national food-stamps-to-jobs center

The US Department of Agriculture has selected the Seattle Jobs Initiative to create and begin operating the nation’s first Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training “Center of Excellence.” Partnering with the federal Food and Nutrition Service, the Center will help 10 states (as yet unnamed) to build on Seattle Jobs Initiative’s experience in providing education and job training to SNAP participants.

According to KPLU.org, Seattle Jobs Initiative helped Washington state develop a job training program that linked more than 10,000 people to training and apprenticeships in 2013 and 2014. The heart of the new Center will be a digital platform that will enable states to share information, ideas, and tools that help people move to financial independence.

Communities Count’s recently updated food indicators show that, while the King County economy may be booming, the need for food assistance has not declined since the recession.  Not surprisingly, food hardship (running out of food and not having money to buy more) is strongly linked to unemployment.