Third Sector is Part of a Winning Team for the USDA SNAP E&T National Partnership Grant

Third Sector Capital Partners (Third Sector) is excited to be part of a team working to expand the reach, quality and equity of U.S Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) SNAP Employment & Training (E&T) program by connecting the program to Department of Labor’s (DOL) workforce development system through workforce development boards (WDBs). Third Sector, a non-profit consultancy with a mission to transform public sector programs for improved outcomes and racial equity, is part of a team that has recently been awarded a USDA National Partnership Grant from the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service.  The team is led by the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) and also includes Seattle Jobs Initiative (SJI). Together, the Team will build the capacity of NAWB’s network of more than 500 WDBs  so that 70 workforce boards can become SNAP E&T providers or intermediaries with an explicit focus on quality, impact and equity.

USDA’S Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is allocating $6.7 million to the three-year SNAP E&T National Partnership Grant which is spread across four projects. All projects will work to expand the number of  third-party SNAP E&T providers. SNAP E&T helps SNAP participants gain skills, training, or work experience to increase their ability to obtain regular employment that leads to economic self-sufficiency.  

Leveraging nearly 10 years of expertise supporting state and local government agencies to implement outcomes-oriented programs, Third Sector’s support will focus on equipping WDBs with the tools to deliver quality services, maximize impact in and with their communities, and advance racial equity. “We are excited to have Third Sector on our Team and know their extensive expertise will greatly help re-orient publicly funded programs towards equitable results” said Melanie Anderson, Executive Director at NAWB.  

The SNAP E&T National Partnership Grant couldn’t come at a more opportune time as it works to integrate two distinct components of the US federal workforce system. “Given these unprecedented times where workforce systems and programs are balancing increased demand due to high unemployment, health constraints due to COVID-19, budget cuts, and continued scrutiny on strict program compliance requirements, we are so excited to help USDA and DOL programs come together and jointly innovate, break down silos and leverage each other’s resources to equitably expand services for the people who need them the most” said Maria Posey, Director of Federal Business at Third Sector.  

Another key feature of the project is its focus on quality, impact and equity. Third Sector will use human-centered design approaches to provide technical assistance and training to select WDBs to put quality, impact and racial equity at the center of their SNAP E&T work. This includes exercises in root cause analysis, stakeholder engagement and comprehensive use of disaggregated data for continuous improvement and learning. “Our hope is that this National Partnership Grant will both increase the number of SNAP E&T providers across the country and focus two essential components of the workforce system on aligning funding to achieve equitable and sustainable economic outcomes”, said Caroline Whistler, President and CEO of Third Sector.