TANF & SNAP Pipelines to Address Workforce Shortages



  • Jen Davis, Policy Advisor for Governor Gordon
  • Katie Hogarty, CEO of CLIMB Wyoming


  • Algeria Wilson, Policy Advisor for Governor Whitmer
  • Joe Billig, Division Administrator, MI Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity


CLIMB Wyoming:

  • A nonprofit organization partnering with the state’s TANF program, with a specific mission to serve low-income, single mothers so they can achieve self-sufficiency through career training and placement.
    • State TANF dollars are used to provide career training and placement supports to extremely low-income moms that are within 30%-40% of the federal poverty level
  • Utilizes a trauma-informed approach to meet the needs of their mothers and ensure that they have the tools they need to obtain and retain a good job and transition into industries that offer family-sustaining wages, including plumbing, pipefitting, trucking, and professional office careers
  • 80% of CLIMB Wyoming graduates double or triple their monthly wages just two years after graduating the program


  • SNAP E&T program is a critical part of Governor Whitmer’s 2022 $2.1 billion New Economy plan that aims to lift individuals out of poverty and back into the workforce
  • Michigan’s model is a volunteer SNAP E&T program that links together MI Department of Health and Human Services and MI’s Workforce Development Agency, and leverages both 100% and 50/50 SNAP E&T reimbursement funds

Key Takeaways

Proactive employer and business engagement is critical to ensuring that program participants obtain promising jobs that meet community needs—dedicated staff that manage relationships with local businesses are essential to the success of both these programs.  

CLIMB Wyoming:

  • Intentionally keeping training programs short (~8-10 weeks) can minimize the financial cost incurred by moms when they take time away from the workforce to invest in reskilling and workforce training
  • CLIMB Wyoming provides participating mothers with options for their career development by connecting them with 5-6 potential employers to determine the best fit, and keep participants engaged
  • Focus on Soft-skills development: training in problem-solving, communications, and executive functioning are critical to success in the workplace but are often left out of traditional workforce training programs

Michigan SNAP E&T:

  • Michigan engages community partners to mitigate real local workforce shortages while bridging the transition from participant training to employment
  • Program Promotion of is a critical part of recruitment: Michigan created a toolkit containing templates for partners to use in various scenarios, including social media marketing, job fair collateral, or at American Job Centers specifically
  • Michigan’s SNAP 50/50 program drew down more than $1.7 million dollars this year, offering targeted services to hard-to-reach populations, like the homeless or TANF-ineligible families
  • External partnerships with FNS and the Seattle Jobs Initiative for technical assistance has been key to expanding 50/50 services and providing more support for participants entering the workforce


Session Presentations