Metropolitan Community College is part of a new pilot program aimed at helping food stamp recipients gain access to free job training and find employment. MCC is one of two community colleges in the state working in partnership with the Missouri Community College Association, MU Extension and the Missouri Department of Social Services Family Support Division.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service program, has three components: food assistance, nutrition education and an employment and training program known in Missouri as SkillUP. Through a new partnership, the state’s Family Support Division, community colleges, Missouri Job Centers and University of Missouri Extension are collaborating to expand SkillUP in Missouri.
Food stamp recipients can enroll in SkillUP Missouri for free at any participating partner location. They will be assigned an adviser to guide them through choosing a program of study, accessing soft skills training and finding assistance with transportation or child care. Once they complete the training program, the Full Employment Council will help them find a job.
“We are excited about this new partnership and the opportunity to provide students with more job skills training opportunities,” said Jackie Gill, president of the MCC-Business & Technology campus. “We anticipate this will also help community employers fill positions in high-demand industries such as advanced manufacturing and health care.”
At this time, the program is being piloted at Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City and Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield, but the partners will expand the program statewide in the coming years.
“Each of the partners in this project brings something unique to the table,” said Liz Roberts, manager of finance and administration for the Missouri Community College Association. “By collaborating, we hope to help Missouri’s low-income families reduce their dependence on the SNAP program by connecting them to training opportunities and employers.”
SkillUP Disclaimer: This project/program is funded 90.5% at $482,110 by federal funds and 9.5% at $50,380 by nongovernmental sources for a total amount of $532,490. The federal funds are received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture provided by Missouri Department of Social Services, Family Support Division.